In the WorldFAIR project, CODATA (the Committee on Data of the International Science Council), with the RDA (Research Data Alliance) Association as a major partner, is working with a set of eleven disciplinary and cross-disciplinary case studies to advance implementation of the FAIR principles and, in particular, to improve interoperability and reusability of digital research objects, including data.
To that end, the WorldFAIR project created a range of FAIR Implementation Profiles (FIPs) between July and October 2022 to better understand current FAIR data-related practices. The report, ‘FAIR Implementation Profiles (FIPs) in WorldFAIR: What Have We Learnt?’, is published this week and available at https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.7378109.
The report describes the WorldFAIR project, its objectives and its rich set of Case Studies; and it introduces FIPs as a methodology for listing the FAIR implementation decisions made by a given community of practice. Subsequently, the report gives an overview of the initial feedback and findings from the Case Studies, and considers a number of issues and points of discussion that emerged from this exercise. Finally, and most importantly, we describe how we think the experience of using FIPs will assist each Case Study in its work to implement FAIR, and will assist the project as a whole in the development of two key outputs: the Cross-Domain Interoperability Framework (CDIF), and domain-sensitive recommendations for FAIR assessment.
We hope this report will be of interest to data experts who want to find out more about the WorldFAIR project, its remarkable and diverse array of Case Studies, and about FIPs. It is important to stress that this report does not set out to give a comprehensive appraisal of the FIPs approach and could not do so. All the WorldFAIR Case Studies have developed an initial FIP, but the process of reflection on practice will continue throughout the project. Each Case Study will complete at least one further FIP, and in some cases more than one, towards the end of the project and this will enrich our understanding of the utility of the approach. At that stage, we intend to be able to incorporate some robust prospective and aspirational considerations, and we need to consider how best to represent this in the FIPs.
The final section of this report looks forward to the development of the Cross-Domain Interoperability Framework (CDIF), and domain-sensitive recommendations for FAIR assessment. On both these counts, we consider that the FIPs approach has helped considerably:
- For the CDIF, through helping refine our initial functional analysis of the requirements for cross-domain FAIR, and—as predicted—helping identify some candidate cross-domain standards.
- For the FAIR assessment recommendations, through demonstrating that the FIPs can provide an empirical basis for such recommendations, reflecting both the current practice, and the aspirations of a given community or research domain.
We welcome feedback from readers and plan to hold a discussion event on report findings and reactions in February 2023.
Visit WorldFAIR online at http://worldfair-project.eu to keep up with our work.
‘FAIR Implementation Profiles (FIPs) in WorldFAIR: What Have We Learnt?’ is Project Deliverable D2.1 for the EC WIDERA-funded project “WorldFAIR: Global cooperation on FAIR data policy and practice”. WorldFAIR is funded by the EC HORIZON-WIDERA-2021-ERA-01-41 Coordination and Support Action under Grant Agreement No. 101058393.