About the COVID Information Commons (original version)

The COVID Information Commons (CIC) is an open website to facilitate knowledge sharing and collaboration across various COVID research efforts, especially focusing on NSF-funded COVID Rapid Response Research (RAPID) projects, as well as other NSF-funded COVID or Coronavirus related awards including SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) and STTR (Small Business Technology Transfer). The CIC serves as a resource for researchers, students and decision-makers from academia, government, not-for-profits and industry to identify collaboration opportunities, to leverage each other's research findings, and to accelerate the most promising research to mitigate the broad societal impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The COVID Information Commons is funded by an NSF COVID RAPID Award #2028999, developed as a collaborative proposal led by the Northeast Big Data Innovation Hub hosted by Columbia University, in collaboration with the Midwest Big Data Innovation Hub, South Big Data Innovation Hub, and West Big Data Innovation Hub. The award commenced in May 2020 and ends in October 2020. It is expected that the COVID Information Commons will continue to be available after the award period.

Phased Approach

Phase I of the COVID Information Commons is scheduled to launch on July 10th, 2020. Phase I includes two forms of award searches into the public NSF Awards database. One is an NSF directorate-level breakdown of NSF funded COVID RAPID awards, connected to customized views of the NSF Simple Search website, which can be found by clicking the icons where it says "CLICK THESE ICONS TO FIND NSF COVID RAPID GRANTS BY NSF DIRECTORATE". 

The second and innovative advanced award search is provided through the blue button on the website entitled Click for COVID Research Explorer ML Maps. The COVID Research Explorer is a machine learning powered tool which clusters awards by multiple parameters and keywords. The COVID Research Explorer tool clusters awards in topographical maps by topical areas, and in polygonal tree maps with keyword labels. Each award represented has a drill-down capability to identify the award number, institution, Principal Investigator (PI) name and email, state, award amount, the abstract from the NSF award, as well as other publicly available NSF award information. 

Contextual and keyword searches provide researchers and students the opportunity to identify research relevant to their work and potential collaborators to further COVID-related research for the good of society. 

Phase II of the COVID Information Commons is scheduled to be available by October 2020. Phase II is projected to add multiple potential attributes including:

  • Additional award information provided by the Principal Investigators, such as websites with their project information, links to materials and papers, and current collaborations
  • New collaboration opportunities with the researchers
  • Additional connections to NSF awards and other scientific collaborators