Online from today the Italian Covid-19 Data Portal, which allows researchers to upload, access and analyse reference data and specialised datasets related to Sars-CoV-2 and Covid-19.
The web site is implemented by the Italian node of the European Elixir infrastructure for life sciences data and is coordinated by the National Research Council. GARR is collaborating in the project by providing the digital infrastructure.
In addition, 22 other subjects including universities and research institutions - including the Istituto Superiore di Sanità - are participating. Among the objectives of the initiative is the collection and sharing of data produced by the Italian research community, linking them directly with those produced in Europe and globally.
The Italian portal has been developed as part of a European initiative promoted by EMBL-EBI, which federally links the COVID-19 European Data Portal and national portals - including Sweden, Poland, Slovenia, Norway, Japan and Turkey - to encourage the sharing and monitoring of research results.
The project is based on the principles of open science, open access to data and scientific literature, priorities that are even more evident and necessary today to overcome the current health emergency. Through the portal, it is possible to identify viral genome sequences and variants, deposited in public databases and to know their spread and prevalence in a given geographical area or time interval. The project also aims to raise awareness, among the scientific community, of the importance of sharing data and research results in a coordinated and rapid manner to develop treatments and vaccines. Guidelines and best practices, as well as training courses for data production and management, will be made available to make them easily accessible and reusable by researchers.
A help desk service is available through the portal to assist researchers in depositing their research results in internationally recognised public repositories. In addition, online forms allow researchers to submit research projects, scientific articles and preprints, services and datasets that will be progressively published. This is a bottom-up update mechanism for the benefit not only of the scientific community, but also of institutions, companies, and, in general, for any interested citizen.