Here we provide information about open science, open access publications and FAIR data stewardship aiming at the research community that works on the current COVID-19 outbreak. The information is also a guidance for ZonMw’s requirements and recommendations in its research programmes for COVID-19. It addresses the following research activities:

  1. Transparency on research projects
  2. Creating FAIR data
  3. Access to research data
  4. Sharing of research findings through open access publications

For these research activities, we point in the sections below to the latest developments for FAIR data management and stewardship.

The overall aim is to synergize the many efforts in the current hectic of COVID-19 research, to benefit from new developments, to find options to collaborate, and to prevent double work.

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 that can be used by humans as well as machines. As a result, data become findable through computer search, and accessible for learning-algorithms (comparable to the Personal Health Train concept).
The results of the activities are available for the entire research community of COVID-19.
The activities include:

Support and community building

ZonMw’s requirements and recommendations aim at converging the open science activities toward choices that the COVID-19 research community agrees on. The open science and FAIR data resources (standards, technologies and infrastructure) that are explained on this site are therefore a starting point.
To benefit from the latest developments, and to find out how these can be implemented in a research project, researchers can get support from their data steward and/or data support office that is available at most research institutes.
ZonMw collaborates with the DTL Data steward Intrerest Group, DSCC-implementation network, Health-RI, and LCRDM to reach out to data stewards and data support offices to agree on the approach and resources to apply in COVID-19 research projects. We thereby build a research community with local data stewards and infectious disease experts at the research institutes to continue developing community specific open science and FAIR data practices.

Select for more information about:

  1. What researchers need to do for a grant proposal and research project
  2. Transparency and sharing of research findings and data
  3. Creating FAIR data, tailored to the COVID-19 research community

Read more about:


Networks, data services

  • VODAN, Viral Outbreak Data Network, to create FAIR (and machine readable) (meta)data, e.g. with the COVID-19 case record form (CRF) of the WHO (see GitHub and BioPortal, Castor).More on these and other VODAN deliverables (summer 2020).
  • VODAN-in-a-box, a toolset to facilitate the capture of data related to virus outbreaks and the publication of metadata describing these datasets. The resulting infrastructure makes real world COVID-19 patient data available for research, under well-defined conditions and with patient privacy well protected.
  • Health-RI, COVID-19 related initiatives
  • Genotyping COVID-19 patient DNA (see Genetic laboratory of ErasmusMC)
  • COVID-19 HOTEL@ DTL serves COVID-19 projects to rapidly rationalise phenomena observed in real world situations, generate hypotheses that can be laboratory tested, and subsequently serve decision making in the clinical setting. The COVID-19 Hotel enables an in silico rationalisation workflow, making use of FAIR data.

Portals to find projects, data and other resources

COVID-19 related research initiatives

REMAP-CAP uses an innovative trial design to efficiently evaluate multiple interventions simultaneously (see also the webinar session 4, May 7 2020)

CAPACITY and the FAIR data project (statistical analyses and machine learning models for insights about the relation between cardiovascular history and related complications in COVID-19 patients)

Please inform us about more other COVID-19 research and FAIR data initiatives:

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