The C-19 Rapid Review Initiative is led by a group of scholarly communications organisations including the Royal Society, OASPA and the ELIXIR-UK service FAIRsharing. The initiative was launched in April 2020 with the aim of maximising the efficiency of peer review to ensure that key work related to COVID-19 was published as quickly and as openly as possible.
Now the initiative has agreed to mandate data deposition for all of the publishers who were original members of the collaboration. This means that from the 20th of January 2021 all of the articles published in associated journals must deposit their data in a public repository rather than having it available on request.
The ELIXIR-UK service FAIRsharing plays an important role in this new step for the initiative, as the members of the COVID Rapid Review Initiative will need to register their data policy with FAIRsharing. The policies will then be made available under a dedicated FAIRshairing collection. The FAIRsharing COVID-19 collection also contains databases and standards for use in the COVID-19 pandemic, making it a useful resource for those researching this disease.
Making data open and sharing it in publicly accessible repositories is essential for transparency and reproducibility. The COVID pandemic has highlighted the importance of FAIR data for fast and reliable research, and this new mandate will help COVID-19 researchers to access and scrutinise data quickly and easily, helping to inform the peer review process and inform research helping combat the pandemic.