A right to access and a duty to reciprocity – GISAID sets the paradigm

There is imbalance between research capacity at the geographic source of infectious agents and remote laboratories that perform analysis. Working with labs on the global molecular profiles of infectious diseases is an issue for researchers and governments in developing countries seeking to gain recognition for their contribution.

GISAID is an online collaboratory that actively promotes the sharing of all influenza type virus sequences together with related clinical and epidemiological data, and geographic and species-specific data associated with avian and other animal isolates. It is unique in the global community in that the principles of GISAID address the tensions between developed world research groups and developing world laboratories using the remarkable leveling effect of an internationally accessible repository and analytical engine – – where all who use it must agree upon ethical and collaborative use of the data against a common set of data sharing principles.

Access to critical influenza data is assured to all – and those who deposit the data are assured that their contribution will result in appropriate credit and collaborative involvement. A collaborative repository of this type is a paradigm for current and future global infectious disease research. But to be successful the health contribution of this paradigm needs to be proven. GISAID researchers have a remarkable opportunity to collaborate and exploit the novel data it contains. Publications that share credit across the globe will have an additional level of impact that transcends the direct benefit of the knowledge they contain. There is inherent credibility for work that clearly has been made up of an actively communicating global research group. This inherent value provides a powerful opportunity to be directed at greater health impact of influenza research.


About winhide

I develop and use computational biology approaches to impact global public health in research such as understanding of stem cell biology, systematics of cellular profiling and complex diseases.
This entry was posted in bioinformatics, bird flu, Data sharing, influenza, swine flu and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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