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BY-COVID Policy Brief: Open data to support European pandemic preparedness
Fri 19 May 2023

The BY-COVID project has published a policy brief summarising learnings and policy recommendations to support pandemic preparedness. CESSDA Data Catalogue is highlighted as one of the data resources in the COVID-19 Data Portal!

This Policy Brief presents preliminary results from the BY-COVID project as part of its comprehensive, sustainable and evidence-informed plan to effectively promote and improve FAIR (Findability, Accessibility, Interoperability, and Reusability) and open data sharing in support for European preparedness for COVID-19 and other infectious diseases.

The Brief also places the project and its results in the context of the upcoming EOSC Partnership, the development of the European Health Data Space (EHDS) and the European Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority (HERA).

CESSDA Data Catalogue and BY-COVID portal

The collaboration across domains within the BY-COVID project, particularly involving social science perspectives, allows for access to valuable insights into human behaviour, vulnerable populations, and the impact of different policies. 

This inclusive approach contributes to enhancing public health communication. By incorporating these insights into policymaking, there is an opportunity to develop more effective strategies for preventing and controlling infectious diseases. 

There are over 500 social sciences datasets available in the BY-COVID portal (May 2023) tagged as CESSDA resources.



Policy Brief highlights

Six key takeaways have been identified for policymakers:

  • Place open data at the heart of national pandemic preparedness plans (aligned with the ERA vs Corona Action Plan)

  • Encourage consortia and projects generating data to deposit their data in the public domain, through research infrastructures and databases such as the European COVID-19 Data Platform

  • Provide adequate support for national data hubs and other infrastructure at the local level

  • Ensure investments across life sciences domains to maintain and reuse community-driven knowledge sharing platforms to inform future projects and foster links with research infrastructure facilities

  • Enable research infrastructure led investments in technologies and their on-going adaptation to specific requirements for making infectious diseases data open and accessible to everyone

  • Provide adequate training to foster the adoption of dedicated research tools (e.g. WorkFlowHub, RoCrate, FAIRsharing), data sharing practices, and FAIR and metadata creation.

The full policy brief can be accessed on Zenodo.

Contact: Marieke Willems,

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