A US News and World report has placed the University of Southampton in the top 100 of Universities worldwide., committing for all current and future research findings and publications relevant to the virus to be openly accessible for at least the duration of the outbreak. The statement describes its proposed commitment through five principles, which outline relevant procedures towards the swift and free exchange of data among the research and medical community, including sharing interim data and pre-publication notification of research to the WHO.
“In a global pandemic it is essential we have global response,” says Professor John Holloway, Associate Dean (Research) in the Faculty of Medicine. “This means that we should be open and transparent about our research allowing others to test our data, highlighting results that may benefit others, and potentially reducing duplication of research efforts. By signing the statement, the university is committing to sharing our research findings and data relevant to this outbreak rapidly and openly, to inform the public health response in the UK and worldwide and help save lives. This is entirely consistent with our ongoing support for the principles of open research across all our research portfolio.”
Holloway’s comments are followed up by Mark Spearing, Vice President, Research and Enterprise at the University. “It is vital that we make research results available at the earliest possible opportunity. The University of Southampton has a fantastic track record in addressing public health issues, as well as Open Research, and has been leading in the UK in addressing many aspects of COVID-19, so the Wellcome statement is entirely consistent with our approach.”
Beyond addressing the current pandemic, the Wellcome statement aims to set a precedent for similar outbreaks in the future, stating within that, “[we]intend to apply the principles of this statement to similar outbreaks in the future where there is a significant public health benefit to ensuring data is shared widely and rapidly.”
See how the University is participating in the global research effort against COVID-19 through the stories presented here.