This month’s reviewed articles and pre-prints well represented a demanding focus in support of COVID-19 effort from our HDR UK community. We – the Health Data Research UK ECR committee wanted to express our gratitude and pride of all the work that has been done and is ongoing in combating COVID-19.

We evaluated and scored 40 publications in line with the HDR UK ethos focusing on evidence of 1-research quality, 2-Team science, 3-scale, 4-open science, 5-patient and public involvement, and 6- equality, diversity and inclusion. Our highest scored publication for the month of June was: “TRACKing Excess Deaths (TRACKED): an interactive online tool to monitor excess deaths associated with COVID-19 pandemic in the United Kingdom”. A collaborative effort of Michael Poon, Paul M Brennan, Kai Jin, Jonine Figueroa led by Professor Cathie Sudlow in describing trends of excess mortality.

TRACKED is an online interactive tool for monitoring mortality trends in the UK.  Weekly data published by population statistics agencies (ONS, NRS and NISRA) are used to develop this online tool which allows daily monitoring of mortality trends in UK – for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The online interactive dashboard enable continuous monitoring of mortality trends and analysis of excess deaths in both COVID and non-COVID related deaths. This is one of the crucial components to evaluate COVID-19 suppression strategies at the population level for all four-nations of the UK.

The committee particularly scored this work high on the scale for their approach in compiling all data into a single repository and also appreciated the authors’ practice of open science and reproducibility with making the algorithms and methodological approaches openly available and built-in automation for sourcing the most recent available data. The committee highlights the potential of this work to be used in a wider collaboration. Additionally, we see a high potential of patient and public engagement to mitigate the adverse COVID-19 related mortalities.

HDR UK’s Early Career Researcher Committee congratulates and commends Poon et al. for their contribution to the research community, and for promoting the open science at a scale.