Editorial Committee formed for the COVID-19 and Pandemic Preparedness Data Portal

Six SciLifeLab researchers have been chosen to be part of the editorial committee for the COVID-19 and Pandemic Preparedness Data Portal. Starting spring 2023, the committee will work closely with the Portal team to develop content to maximise the utility of the Portal for researchers, expand the content beside SARS-CoV-2 research, and increase engagement with the research community.

The COVID-19 and Pandemic Preparedness Data Portal, launched in June 2020, is a web portal promoting the open sharing of data related to infectious diseases that pose a significant risk to public health. In 2022, it became a central part of the SciLifeLab Pandemic Laboratory Preparedness (PLP) Program. The Portal is currently working on increasing  engagement with the research community, increasing the amount of content related to pathogens besides SARS-CoV-2, and expanding collaborations and partnerships.

The Portal is operated by the SciLifeLab Data Centre  and has quickly become a hub for data, tools, services, and other resources around COVID-19 research and pandemic preparedness in Sweden. Over time, the popularity of the Portal has increased within the research community, the general public, and those involved in healthcare, industry, and policy making.

Focus on community engagement

The editorial committee members will bridge between the Portal team and their respective areas of expertise, and increase the Portal community engagement. Moving forward, the committee will play an essential role in helping to shape the Portal by, for example, advising on what resources would be valuable to the research community and contributing content. The committee also aid in increasing the visibility of the Portal, as they will help to promote it to colleagues and peers, which will ensure that those that can benefit from the Portal are aware of it.

-“This is a unique way of working with community engagement and it will be very interesting to see how the portal develops in the future but it has potential to become a very important resource for infection-related research in Sweden”, says Prof. Staffan Svärd, Scientific Lead of the PLP program

The Portal represents a first proof of concept (POC) for how the wider research community can be brought together to work around a common theme or topic. In this case, a web portal focused on a specific research area. SciLifeLab is ideally positioned to test this concept because its national community spans across sites, universities, sectors, and a broad range of life science areas and programs (e.g. PLP and the Data Driven Life Science (DDLS) Programs). The community is also intertwined with the SciLifeLab infrastructure units across Sweden, and SciLifeLab central functions e.g. SciLifeLab Data Centre, capabilities, and training. The Portal will also serve as a preview, a user case, on what the Data Driven Life Science (DDLS) Program hopes to be in the future.

Editorial committee members

The new editorial committee for 2023 comprises these SciLifeLab researchers:

  • Luisa W Hugerth (Uppsala University/DDLS Fellow)
  • Laura Carroll (Umeå University/ DDLS Fellow)
  • Johan Bengtsson-Palme (Chalmers/ DDLS Fellow)
  • Benjamin Murrell (Karolinska Institute (PLP)
  • Mahmoud M. Naguib (Uppsala University/PLP)
  • Johan Ankarklev (Stockholm University/Infrastructure).

The Portal is now an important link between the Swedish infectious disease community and major international data sharing initiatives, and provides a platform to disseminate data and other resources developed by the research community. We are excited to start working with the editorial committee, who will help us ensure the quality and content of the Portal is of high standards. We are very thankful for their engagement to strengthen the Portal.”, says Johan Rung, Head of SciLifeLab Data Centre.  

Champion of open data sharing

At launch in 2020, the Portal (then known as the Swedish COVID-19 Data Portal) became the first national portal in the European network of COVID-19 Data Portals. In 2022, the scope of the Portal was expanded to pandemic preparedness. In general, the response to the Portal has been very positive (>70,000 users since launch; 200 unique visits/day). The Portal receives considerable attention from the research community, as well as the wider public in Sweden. It has been lifted as “a champion of open data sharing platforms and resources” on the European stage. The change in scope means that new features and relevant sections/topics relevant to pandemic preparedness will continue to be added regularly. However, our existing COVID-19 resources will also be maintained, as those are likely to be of vital importance in future pandemic preparedness.

Read more about the DDLS program here:

Further information about the SciLifeLab Pandemic Preparedness efforts and the PLP network is found here

Visit the Swedish COVID-19 & Pandemic Preparedness Portal here


Last updated: 2023-02-22

Content Responsible: Johan Inganni(