Description of the project

CopaQ stands for Quebec Participatory Cohort. It is a participatory science platform that aims to collect data on the Quebec population in order to conduct research and to share the results of the work in a popularized form.

Why participatory science?

Because in the Internet and social media era where information is easily available, involving citizens in scientific research is an asset both for researchers, who will have access to original data and for citizens, who will be more personally involved in scientific developments previously reserved for an elite.

The objective is to create a large cohort of the Quebec population by inviting people who have already taken a genetic test from a private company to share their data with the scientific community. In exchange, the researchers commit to providing the participants with personalized and accessible scientific content. In addition to becoming a resource of choice for many researchers in various fields, CopaQ will be the only resource in Quebec that will allow you to better understand your genetic and genealogical data (if you choose this option) by having access to a popularized interpretation of them.

The Quebec population genealogy

Indeed, one of the particularities of this project is that the genetic data provided by the participants can be linked to the BALSAC database, which is a giant family tree of the Quebec population that goes back to the beginning of the 17th century. It is this link that makes the data all the more interesting for researchers since few populations in the world have access to such data. The project team, researchers from different backgrounds, will also be able to analyse the data to answer different questions. For example, the team will be able to provide participants with information on the regions of Quebec represented in their genome, their ancestors their movements and migrations and the frequency of their family name in the genealogy. By agreeing to provide their data to the CopaQ project, participants will receive information that goes beyond the filial links present in the genealogy.

Aim of the project

Ultimately, the goal of this project is to share the data from the CopaQ platform with the scientific community. The data you will have provided will be used by several researchers to carry out studies in various fields ranging from population genetics to social sciences and evolutionary biology. Of course, this will always be done under the supervision of a recognized research ethics committee and with respect for the confidentiality of your data. The researcher who wishes to access your coded data will have to submit a project to a data access committee which, if it deems the project ethically and scientifically acceptable, will transmit the requested data to the researcher in a secure manner. The researchers will also have to commit to sharing the progress of their work with participants in an accessible form.

As CopaQ is a citizen science project, your participation is central to its success. We count on you to provide us with your data and in exchange, you can count on us to provide you with quality, popularized and relevant information that goes beyond what you initially received, completely free of charge.