The Academy signed a statement to ensure that data on Zika is shared as rapidly and openly as possible
Global scientific statement on Zika
In February 2016, the Academy signed a statement alongside academic journals, NGOs, research funders and institutes, committing to share data and results relevant to the Zika virus epidemic, which was declared a global public health emergency by the World Health Organisation. It was coordinated by the Wellcome Trust, who also posted a news item about the statement on their website.
The statement read as follows:
The arguments for sharing data, and the consequences of not doing so, have been thrown into stark relief by the Ebola and Zika outbreaks.
In the context of a public health emergency of international concern, there is an imperative on all parties to make any information available that might have value in combatting the crisis.
We are committed to working in partnership to ensure that the global response to public health emergencies is informed by the best available research evidence and data, as such:
- Journal signatories will make all content concerning the Zika virus free to access. Any data or preprint deposited for unrestricted dissemination ahead of submission of any paper will not pre-empt its publication in these journals.
- Funder signatories will require researchers undertaking work relevant to public health emergencies to set in place mechanisms to share quality-assured interim and final data as rapidly and widely as possible, including with public health and research communities and the World Health Organisation.
We urge other organisations to make the same commitments.
This commitment is in line with the consensus statement agreed at a WHO expert consultation on data sharing last year whereby researchers are expected to share data at the earliest opportunity, once they are adequately controlled for release and subject to any safeguards required to protect research participants and patients.
Signatories to the Statement, as of 10 February 2016
Academy of Medical Sciences, UK
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)
The British Medical Journal (BMJ)
Bulletin of the World Health Organization
Canadian Institutes of Health Research
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Chinese Academy of Sciences
Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention
The Department of Biotechnology, Government of India
The Department for International Development (DFID)
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)
The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
Fundação Oswaldo Cruz (Fiocruz)
The Institut Pasteur
Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED)
The JAMA Network
Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF)
National Academy of Medicine
National Institutes of Health, USA
National Science Foundation, USA
The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM)
South African Medical Research Council
UK Medical Research Council
ZonMw - The Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development