Authors : Vanessa de Arruda Jorge, Sarita Albagli
In a public health emergency, sharing of research data is acknowledged as essential to manage treatment and control of the disease. The objective of this study was to examine how researchers reacted during the Zika virus emergency in Brazil.
A literature review examined both unpublished reports and the published literature. Interviews were conducted with eleven researchers (from a sample of sixteen) in the Renezika network. Questions concerned sources of data used for research on the Zika virus, where this data was obtained, and what requirements by funding agencies influenced how data generated was shared – and how open the degree of sharing was.
A content analysis matrix was developed based on the results of the interviews. The data were organised acording to categories, subcategories, records units and frequency of records units.
Researchers stressed the importance of access to issue samples as well as pure research data. Collaboration – and publication – increased but also depended on trust in existing networks. Researchers were aware that many agencies and publishers required the deposit of research data in repositories – and several options existed for Zika research.
The findings show that research data were shared, but not necessarily as open data. Trust was necessary between researchers, and researchers in developing countries needed to be assured about their rights and ownership of data, and publications using that data.