Leading Scientific Institutions Agree to Share Zika Research DataGeorge Dvorsky2/10/16 3:33pmFiled to: medicineepidemicszikazika virusscientific communitydata sharingscience112EditPromoteShare to KinjaToggle Conversation toolsGo to permalinkCredit: kaibara87/CC BY 2.0Scientists are typically tight-lipped when it comes to their research, but desperate times call for desperate measures. In an effort to battle the ongoing Zika epidemic, a number of global health bodies—including academic journals, charities, and institutes—have committed to sharing data on the virus. AdvertisementThe statement, signed by over 30 organizations, is meant to ensure that any information relevant to combating Zika is made freely and openly available to the international community as “soon as is feasibly possible.” Signatories include the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Doctors Without Borders, PLOS, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (along with the Chinese equivalent), the JAMA Network, and the U.S. National Institutes of Health. Researchers who signed the agreement were assured that their work would still be eligible for publication in science journals. “Research is an essential part of the response to any global health emergency,” said Jeremy Farrar of the Wellcome Trust and a signatory of the statement. “This is particularly true for Zika, where so much is still unknown about the virus, how it is spread and the possible link with microcephaly.” It’s critical, he said, that results are shared rapidly and in a way that’s “equitable, ethical and transparent.”AdvertisementThis move follows a recent WHO consultation held in early September 2015 in which leading international stakeholders agreed that the “timely and transparent pre-publication” of scientific data and results “must become the global norm.” Talk about long-overdue. It took the West African Ebola Epidemic to get the global health community on board with this idea. Here’s the complete list of signatories:SponsoredAcademy of Medical Sciences, UKBill and Melinda Gates FoundationBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)The British Medical Journal (BMJ)Bulletin of the World Health OrganizationCanadian Institutes of Health ResearchThe Centers for Disease Control and PreventionChinese Academy of SciencesChinese Centre for Disease Control and PreventionThe Department of Biotechnology, Government of IndiaThe Department for International Development (DFID)Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)eLifeThe Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)F1000Fondation MérieuxFundação Oswaldo Cruz (Fiocruz)The Institut PasteurJapan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED)The JAMA NetworkThe LancetMédecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF)National Academy of MedicineNational Institutes of Health, USANational Science Foundation, USAThe New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM)PLOSScience JournalsSouth African Medical Research CouncilSpringer NatureUK Medical Research CouncilWellcome TrustZonMw - The Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development[Wellcome Trust]Email the author at email@example.com and follow him @dvorsky.