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Wednesday, 6th May 2015

Data Sharing for Public Health Key Lessons from Other Sectors

Source: Chatham House

From Summary:

Several recent public health emergencies of international concern have demonstrated a worldwide need for improved surveillance data sharing procedures. Lessons learned from other sectors have the potential to inform the future development of data sharing in the global public health community.

At the individual level, the benefits of sharing data have yet to be proven, in any context, and disincentives predominate. Meanwhile, the challenges of achieving truly shared and equitable benefits from data sharing relationships between high-income, and low- and middle-income countries remain largely unrealized.

The technical solutions to data sharing have already been found and implemented, particularly in the commercial sector, but in many sectors established working models impede the development of a data sharing culture. In contexts where open data is prized, data sharing is no guarantee of transparency and can be highly politicized.

Sharing public health data is faced with particular problems arising from complex international legislative frameworks that govern intellectual property and data protection. Certain tools, such as open data licences, are allowing data to be shared legally and openly, but the legislative landscape remains poorly understood.

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Having begun his career in academic libraries, Adrian Janes has subsequently worked extensively in public libraries, chiefly in enquiry work as an Information Services librarian. In this role he has had particular responsibility for information from both the UK Government and the European Union. He wrote a detailed report on sources for the latter which was published by FreePint in 2007, and has contributed articles to FreePint and ResourceShelf. He is involved in training in information literacy and the use of online reference resources.

A Contributing Editor to DocuTicker, he also write reviews for Pennyblackmusic.

More articles by Adrian Janes »

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