At the end of 2017, FAPESP institutionalized the adoption of Data Management Plans (DMP) upon submission of project proposals. Such Plans must describe the data that will be used and generated throughout the research, how these data will be made public, and for how long they will be preserved. Initially compulsory for Thematic Projects, DMP are progressively being required by other FAPESP funding lines.
Following Open Data recommendations, scientists must deposit the data produced by projects funded by FAPESP in repositories where the data will be maintained and preserved according to the standards of each scientific domain, under the ethical and security constraints defined by the project and its associated domains.
In parallel to the establishment of its DMP policy, the Foundation instituted in 2017 a workforce to design and implement a state network of open research data repositories. This workforce was composed of representatives of the state’s six public universities (University of Sao Paulo, University of Campinas, Sao Paulo State University, Federal University of Sao Carlos, Federal University of ABC, and Unifesp) and of the Aeronautics Institute of Technology. In 2018, the workforce was joined by CNPTIA (the Informatics Research Center of the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation, EMBRAPA). This network, available since december 2019 at https://metabuscador.uspdigital.usp.br/, hosts scientific data from research produced by the network members in all scientific domains.
FAPESP AND OPEN COVID-19 DATA
Thanks to the availability of this open research data infrastructure, which took 2 years to design and build, FAPESP was able to give a prompt response to the pressing need for reliable data for research on COVID-19. In June 2020, it launched COVID-19 Data Sharing/BR, an open repository containing health data on patients who had undergone COVID-related testing in Brazil since the pandemic outbreak in the country.
This repository was created as a result of the collaboration of FAPESP with the University of Sao Paulo, and three prestigious Brazilian healthcare institutions - Instituto Fleury, Hospital Sírio-Libanês and Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein.
In its first stage, the repository made available curated data on 177,000 patients, together with information on primary endpoints and patient transfers, corresponding to almost 5 million records that were pre-processed to meet Brazil’s data protection laws. It will subsequently contain medical images of COVID-19 patients, and associated reports. Periodically updated throughout the pandemic, this represents an exemplary open science effort launched within a public-private partnership.