Leading global health bodies including academic journals, NGOs, research funders and institutes, have committed to sharing data and results relevant to the current Zika crisis and future public health emergencies as rapidly and openly as possible.
Organisations including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Médecins Sans Frontières, the US National Institute of Health and the Wellcome Trust, along with leading academic journals including Nature, Science and the New England Journal of Medicine, have signed a joint declaration and hope that other bodies will come on board in the coming weeks.
The statement is intended to ensure that any information that might have value in combatting the Zika outbreak is made available to the international community, free of charge, as soon as is feasibly possible. Journal signatories provide assurance that doing so will not preclude researchers from subsequently publishing papers in their titles.
It follows a consensus statement arising from a WHO consultation in September 2015, in which leading international stakeholders from multiple sectors affirmed that timely and transparent prepublication sharing of data and results during public health emergencies must become the global norm.