GISAID is committed to near-instant processing and release of genome and metadata to ensure its platform continues to make emerging outbreak information accessible at unprecedented speeds and scale. From time to time, laboratories will increase the speed with which they generate data and submit to GISAID, for instance when new Variants of Interest or Variants of Concern are designated by the WHO. With this increased speed, the need to check for errors in genomic sequence data or metadata also increases.
GISAID Curators, a team of experts strategically located around the globe that operates 24/7, recognize the substantial burden on laboratories to expedite generation and submission of data by supporting them with the possibility to update records when needed.
GISAID Curators frequently initiate contact with data submitters for clarification, for example, related to the sample collection date. These processes regularly result in an improvement of data and occasionally the withdrawal thereof, e.g. if it is determined that duplicates may have been introduced. In the event data are removed, following communication with the submitter, removal is indicated on the affected record and visible to all users. On other occasions, laboratories will re-sequence viral samples and generate more, or higher-quality genome sequences. Both sequences and metadata are made available as updated versions, which is indicated in the affected records.
These processes employed to update data help improve the strength and quality of data within GISAID. Thanks to GISAID's longstanding user identification practice during the signing up process for access credentials, users are readily able to interact directly with submitters of data, a driver for collaboration that is critical during outbreaks, as well as to identify and permit correction of data itself.