COVID Information Commons

Jeannette M. Wing, Avanessians Director of the Data Science Institute and Professor of Computer Science 

This COVID-19 RAPID research program will capture, organize and present up-to-date information through a COVID Information Commons web portal. This portal will include all NSF COVID RAPID awards and links to valuable data sources and analytical capabilities that address the COVID pandemic. Researchers are studying multiple aspects of the pandemic’s impact across domains such as biophysics, social justice/inequity, behavioral science, public health, supply chains, and risk management. To date, there is no concise, integrated, curated resource providing insight into all NSF-funded COVID projects. The COVID Information Commons website will provide this integrated resource, enabling knowledge sharing and collaboration across COVID research efforts to accelerate our nation’s response to the COVID pandemic, and thereby promoting the progress of science, and advancing national health and welfare. The COVID Information Commons will inspire researchers and decision-makers from government, academia, not-for-profit and industry to leverage each other's findings to invest in and accelerate the most promising research to mitigate the broad societal impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and may serve as a model for integrated knowledge sharing and collaboration on other public health challenges, to benefit society.

The COVID Information Commons will consolidate information about all NSF COVID RAPID awards and link to other related efforts, such as the COVID-19 efforts of the Open Knowledge Network projects. The information from these resources will be analyzed and presented through the COVID Information Commons website for ease of access and collaboration to address the COVID-19 crisis and mitigate its impact. Information science approaches will be used to 1) compile a comprehensive list of COVID RAPID awards along with the relevant details about each project and any publicly available data feeds; 2) organize the information and data feeds, such as by categories of research areas or geography, via a metadata schema developed for the commons using existing taxonomy and semantic frameworks; 3) design, develop and launch a web portal that will allow project teams to publish their data and present project information in ways that are most relevant and user-friendly for researchers in academia, industry, and government; 4) integrate COVID-19 annotated data to enable more effective identification, retrieval, and integration of relevant data; and 5) gather input from users about the highest value additional features needed to enhance the capabilities of the web portal.