The GISAID Initiative promotes the rapid sharing of data from all influenza viruses and the coronavirus causing COVID-19. This includes genetic sequence and related clinical and epidemiological data associated with human viruses, and geographical as well as species-specific data associated with avian and other animal viruses, to help researchers understand how viruses evolve and spread during epidemics and pandemics.
GISAID does so by overcoming disincentive hurdles and restrictions, which discourage or prevented sharing of virological data prior to formal publication.
The Initiative ensures that open access to data in GISAID is provided free-of-charge to all individuals that agreed to identify themselves and agreed to uphold the GISAID sharing mechanism governed through its Database Access Agreement.
All bonafide users with GISAID access credentials agreed to the basic premise of upholding a scientific etiquette, by acknowledging the Originating laboratories providing the specimens, and the Submitting laboratories generating sequence and other metadata, ensuring fair exploitation of results derived from the data, and that all users agree that no restrictions shall be attached to data submitted to GISAID, to promote collaboration among researchers on the basis of open sharing of data and respect for all rights and interests.
As part of its educational program and in collaboration with partner institutions across the world, GISAID organizes a variety of training workshops to aid in the capacity building of collaborative networks. Members of the GISAID Database Technical Group, typically share their knowledge.
GISAID actively promotes the development of novel research tools for the analysis of influenza data by helping developers to facilitate the integration or connection of their tools to analyze GISAID data.