Update on ZonMw’s approach to optimize reuse of COVID-19 related data
Under the urgency of the outbreak of the corona pandemic, we take a number of actions to enable researchers in ZonMw’s COVID-19 projects to create FAIR data or - as a minimum - FAIR metadata that can be used by humans as well as machines. As a result, data and metadata become findable through computer search, and ready for access with learning-algorithms (comparable to the Personal Health Train concept).
This approach allows other research on COVID-19 to directly benefit from ZonMw’s projects, accelerating solutions for the corona crisis.
These activities include:
- VODAN for COVID-19 patient data
- FAIR data services and a national COVID-19 data portal
- An advanced approach for creating FAIR data: three-point FAIRification Framework
- A national COVID-19 data portal for the metadata to observational hospital data,
- Workshops and training on the FAIRIfication framework as part of the Support & Community building for researchers and data stewards.
All focus areas in the ZonMw COVID-19 programme
The activities are intended for all COVID-19 projects that ZonMw has granted funding in 2020. They are part of data management planning as required for ZonMw funded projects. The activities for creating FAIR data and metadata will be organised for clusters of projects with similar topics, subdisciplines, and/or methods and techniques. Creating FAIR data will therefore be tailored to quantitative as well as qualitative research; biomedical, behavioral, and social economic research, or any other discipline in ZonMw’s COVID-19 programme.
Data experts, domain experts and their research communities
A crucial aspect of the FAIRification approach is that domain experts (researchers) collaborate with data experts. In clusters of projects with similar topics (etc), they form research communities. They decide on the standards, technologies, and infrastructure that fit in their research area best. These are then captured in community specific metadata schemes that researchers can apply in their projects, and show in their DMPs.
Support and community building
In autumn 2020 over 70 Data stewards and researchers of the COVID-19 projects received training and support from FAIR data experts at GO FAIR and Health-RI. The recordings can be found here.
The DTL Data steward Intrerest Group organises support and community building for local data stewards to exchange ideas, and solve challenges.