In a consortial project, a group of investigators comes together to address a scientific problem which requires standardised research methods. The main results are published collectively by all the investigators concerned, but individual investigators retain ownership of the samples that they have contributed, and can use the data for their own analyses and publications.
MalariaGEN currently has consortial projects in the following areas
- Genetic resistance to severe malaria (CP1)
- Genetic determinants of the immune response to malaria (CP2)
- Human genome diversity in malaria-endemic regions (CP3)
- Linkage analysis of host resistance to malaria (CP4)
Consortial projects typically involve collecting large numbers of samples, sharing expertise and generating large amounts of genetic and phenotypic data. Given the scale and complexity of the research enterprise, and the need to build sustainable research collaborations, it was important at an early stage to agree on policies for managing shared resources and handling genetic data.
At MalariaGEN’s inaugural meeting in July 2005, an initial proposal for managing data sharing, intellectual property and publications was presented to the network. The proposal was refined and endorsed during this meeting, and it represents the network's first consensus on these issues. The network has subsequently developed further specific guidelines, governing, for example, how samples and data are transferred among its members and how data are to be released.
An important area for consideration has been how to provide the scientific community with access to human genome-wide association data while providing appropriate protection for the communities and researchers involved in malaria-endemic countries. Follow this link for information about our human GWAS data access policy.