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The road to successful data sharing

A recent blog from Nature highlights some of the current issues facing successful clinical-trial data sharing, including resource shortages, insufficient government regulation and incompatible reporting.

Vivli, a new data sharing platform, looks set to counter some of these problems by “linking existing data-sharing platforms and communities, while hosting data from investigators who aspire to share data but lack the resources to do so.” The platform, sponsored by the Multi-Regional Clinical Trials Centre of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard University, USA will offer a global, neutral platform to securely host data that has been converted into a standard, anonymised format, with search and data-request services.

However, the authors argue that the success of Vivli will rely on access to clinical data in order to establish a comprehensive database, and it is apparent that many trials are still not reported. A recent grant awarded to Bioethics International is set to enable further assessment of trial-data publication. It is hoped that illustrating the extent of data transparency and disclosure will inspire regulators to create stronger incentives for complete data sharing.

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Summary by Louise Niven, DPhil from Aspire Scientific.

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