COVID Highlights Challenges in Sharing Biospecimens

The COVID19 pandemic has highlighted long-standing, deep-rooted challenges to the sharing of biospecimens. Greater attention is needed to mechanisms for incentivizing materials transfer.

The sharing of biospecimens and their associated data is critical to biomedical research. And yet, 81% of researchers are constrained by the inadequate quantity and quality of biospecimens and 80% of companies find accessing materials difficult.

Post-pandemic, the research community needs wider adoption of electronic legal agreements for specimen transfer and increased harmonization, interoperability, and searching capacity of specimen collections. But stronger incentives from funders and publishers will be most important to encourage materials sharing.

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