Data sharing agreements

In projects involving large consortia, especially those with consortium members distributed across the globe, data sharing agreements can be enacted.

The benefits of a data sharing agreement

These provide a framework and clear guidance on how data is to be shared within the project and the key process involved in doing so.

An example of such an agreement can be seen within the BioMedBridges Ethical Governance Framework, which sets out the principles for data use across the research infrastructures involved in the project.

Agreements such as these provide guidance and best practice based on the laws and regulations in the countries/global territories represented within the project partnership.

In certain fields of scientific research, such as genomics, international efforts are being made to produce codes of conduct applicable to all researchers in the field. A major example being the "International code of conduct for data sharing in genomics" initially proposed by Knoppers et al in 2011 (Towards a data sharing Code of Conduct for international genomic research, Genome Medicine 2011, 3:46) and published in 2014 by the Regulatory and Ethics Working Group, Global Alliance for Genomics & Health (The HUGO Journal 2014, 8:1).