The GISAID Initiative promotes the international sharing of all influenza virus sequences, related clinical and epidemiological data associated with human viruses, and geographical as well as species-specific data associated with avian and other animal viruses, to help researchers understand how the viruses evolve, spread and potentially become pandemics.
GISAID does so by overcoming disincentives/hurdles or restrictions, which discourage or prevented sharing of influenza data prior to formal publication.
The Initiative ensures that open access to data in GISAID is provided free-of-charge and to everyone, provided individuals identify themselves and agree to uphold the GISAID sharing mechanism governed through its Database Access Agreement.
GISAID calls on all users to agree to the basic premise of upholding scientific etiquette, by acknowledging the originating laboratories providing the specimen and the submitting laboratories who generate the sequence data, ensuring fair exploitation of results derived from the data, and that all users agree that no restrictions shall be attached to data submitted to GISAID, to promote collaboration among researchers on the basis of open sharing of data and respect for all rights and interests.
GISAID has an ongoing educational program of training workshops and demonstrations of its platform, by members of the GISAID Database Technical Group, often in collaboration with institutions in different regions of the world.
GISAID actively promotes the development of novel research tools for the analysis of influenza data by helping developers to facilitate the integration or connection of their tools to analyze GISAID data.