Following on the news of The COVID Tracking Project at the Atlantic (CTP)’s collaboration with UCSF and California Digital Library, Dryad is proud to announce our partnership with CTP to provide an accessible, citable, and long-term home for the data that has guided policy and expanded the capacity of the medical and scientific community to respond to COVID-19. Over the course of the pandemic, CTP tracked and made available national testing data for more than two months, when these counts were otherwise not available, and other factors necessary to guide the medical community to better understand the epidemiology and public health impacts of COVID-19. CTP was the main organization to have compiled data from all the U.S. states, as opposed to using federal or county data. These unique data— reported from every state March 7th, 2020 to March 7th, 2021— are now available in Dryad.
The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI), a philanthropy that is leveraging technology, community-driven solutions, and collaboration to build a more inclusive, just, and healthy future, was an early supporter of the CTP.
“In a time of unprecedented uncertainty, the volunteers at the COVID Tracking Project provided consistent, timely, and meaningful data on the direction of the pandemic. CZI was proud to support their comprehensive COVID-19 racial data tracker, and ultimately, their efforts to derive lessons that will help navigate future public health crises,” said Kishore Hari, Community Engagement Strategist at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. “We are thrilled to see this project archived at Dryad, UCSF, and California Digital Library, allowing researchers across the world to continue exploring the data and organizational records amassed by this incredible team.”
As the world continues to recognize the importance of data-driven and evidence-based research and policy, it’s become increasingly clear that broad access to data is essential to the advancement of research and clinical practice. Access includes having robust metadata to understand and reuse the data, in accessible file formats, and with the assurance of long-term preservation.
CZI is a member of the Dryad community, covering the costs of curation and preservation for their grantees and supporting them in following best practices for open data.
“Open infrastructures for scholarly outputs is a critical component of an open, reproducible, and verifiable scientific ecosystem, and CZI is proud to support our grantees like The COVID Tracking Project with a place to store, preserve, discover, and link research datasets,” said Carly Strasser, Open Science Program Manager at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.
Acknowledging shared values as community-driven organizations, CTS and Dryad found great similarities in approaches to making data openly available and reusable. By hosting these data, Dryad enables users around the world to analyze, cite, and build on these COVID counts that otherwise would not have been available during the first year of the pandemic.
The COVID Tracking Project at the Atlantic’s Amanda French said, “We’re publishing COVID Tracking Project data in Dryad for two main reasons: to provide an authoritative citable version of the data we compiled from U.S. states in the first year of the pandemic and to make sure that the data will be available long after our website and GitHub organization have gone away. There are many copies of CTP’s data all around the internet in different versions (some of which probably have different values from each other), so now that our crisis response organization has largely disbanded, it’s important to us to know that a thoroughly vetted version of the critically important U.S. state COVID data that hundreds of concerned citizens helped to compile has a permanent home where researchers in all kinds of fields can find and use it”.
As CTP continues to wind down and further datasets are curated, they will continue to become available in Dryad.