Declan Butler, reporter This is the personal blog of Declan Butler, a senior reporter at Nature. All views expressed here are mine, and not those of Nature. Contact me at

August 30, 2006

More on flu data access scheme

Filed under: avian influenza,Neglected diseases,Open data,Standards — admin @ 7:33 pm

Nature has an Editorial in this week’s edition — ‘Boosting access to disease data’ — on the Global Initiative on Sharing Avian Influenza Data (GISAID) — see previous post. It also has a short news story — ‘Plan to pool bird-flu data takes off.’

Some excerpts from the Editorial:

August 24, 2006

Global Initiative on Sharing Avian Influenza Data

Filed under: avian influenza,Open data — admin @ 1:45 pm

In a Correspondence published online today by Nature, 70 top flu scientists and health officials, including six Nobel laureates, back a plan to end secrecy over avian flu data. The published letter is available on free access here, and the signatories here.

An accompanying news article — Bird flu data liberated — describes this Global Initiative on Sharing Avian Influenza Data (GISAID), which is intended to encourage scientists and nations to share data rapidly with other scientists worldwide.

I’ve compiled some links to recent related events and Nature coverage here.

I will post related media and blog articles to the Connotea social bookmarking service under the GISAID tag

August 1, 2006

FAO reiterates data sharing policy on H5N1

Filed under: avian influenza — admin @ 9:41 pm

Last week I revealed that since summer 2005 almost no avian flu poultry isolates have gone from Indonesia to the joint network of national and international reference laboratories run by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).

I therefore found it interesting that today the FAO issued a statement reiterating the policy on data sharing which it announced earlier this year. I’ve pasted its statement below.

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