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It is not enough that we require data to be shared; we have to make sharing easy, feasible and accessible too!
  1. Gabriela Karolina Hajduk1,
  2. Nina E Jamieson1,
  3. Bonny L Baker1,
  4. Ole F Olesen2,
  5. Trudie Lang1
  1. 1 Centre for Tropical Medicine and Global Health, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
  2. 2 International Cooperation Europe, European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership, The Hague, The Netherlands
  1. Correspondence to Trudie Lang; trudie.lang{at}ndm.ox.ac.uk

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  • The sharing of health data, including clinical trial data, is required more and more often by research publishers, regulatory agencies, ethics committees and funding bodies.

  • Despite these requirements, there are currently no clear standards and guidelines of how, where and when researchers should share their data.

  • The confusion among researchers regarding issues related to data sharing has led funders such as The European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) to devise initiatives that will provide their grantees, and the wider scientific community within the field of global health research, with clear guidance and a range of tools to facilitate the data sharing process.

  • In an effort to support and facilitate data sharing, the EDCTP is working in collaboration with The Global Health Network to assess whether a cross-cutting knowledge hub around data sharing would help researchers find the optimum repository and to gather their data in a form that is ready for sharing.

Over the past several years, we have seen a movement towards a more open way of conducting science, with recommendations that ought to lead to reproducible methods, analyses and results, as well as reusable data. Data sharing is widely encouraged and its importance has been noted in the context of health data, including clinical trials.1 2 It is now a standard requirement by publishers, research institutions and regulatory agencies to share data. Many types of health data are increasingly viewed as global public goods that should be made available to the wider scientific community without unnecessary delays, ensuring important findings can be extracted as soon as possible.3 4 Major funders such as the European Commission, National Institutes of Health, Wellcome Trust, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and The European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP; www.edctp.org) are imposing contractual obligations on their grantees …

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