Submitting sensitive data

Interim policy on biosecurity

While we formalize guidelines on this issue, we ask that you not deposit any data for any animal pathogens on the USDA Veterinary Services list of Select Agents, or any data on human pathogens for which specific spatial and temporal information might create a security risk (e.g., coordinates attached to a deer carcass that tested positive for anthrax).

Managing other risks

Users accept all responsibility for the data they choose to share on this platform. As such, they should be judicious about what they choose to share. Sharing data related to high-consequence pathogens can lead to panic about disease risk, with adverse consequences for communities (e.g., loss of revenue from trade and travel) and for conservation (e.g., bat roosts targeted for burning or culling). Researchers have a responsibility to be judicious about which data they share, and at which resolution: in some cases, simple steps like coarsening spatial information can help protect endangered species' breeding habitat, but in others, sites may still be identifiable (e.g., caves that are major tourist attractions). Researchers might also aim to include context in their data release that reduces the risk of over-reaction: for example, researchers might consider using the "Detection comments" field to include context related to zoonotic disease risk; an example of this approach can be found in the USAID PREDICT project's data release.