The worldfair project’s cross-domain interoperability framework

22 March 2023

The WorldFAIR Project was delighted to welcome sixty-two highly engaged participants to the hybrid workshop, ‘The WorldFAIR Project’s cross-domain interoperability framework’ in Göteborg on 20 March 2023.

The goal of this event was to describe the reasoning behind the development of the Cross- Domain Interoperability Framework (CDIF), to give a detailed picture of how it is currently envisioned and what activities, functions, and standards it will encompass, and to provide a current status of the work.

The EC-funded WorldFAIR project is coordinated by CODATA, with RDA as a major partner, and will produce an initial draft of the CDIF recommendations. Building on WorldFAIR, and other expert communities, a Working Group and Advisory Group have been established to oversee the development of CDIF. It is expected that CDIF will persist beyond
the scope of the initial WorldFAIR Project, and include not only the eleven domain case studies, but also other interested communities. Efforts will be made to align with major global initiatives and infrastructures addressing data interoperability (such as EOSC, ARDC, UNECE Modern Statistics).

The first part of the workshop focused on the functional drivers and requirements for defininga set of activities to support the FAIR principles, and showed the organisational and system dynamics which make CDIF necessary. The development process and questions around the organisation of the work were also described. The draft of CDIF that was presented identifies activities and information implicit in adherence to and support for the FAIR principles. CDIF is built on top of the generic foundation provided by the FAIR Digital Object Framework, to address interoperability at the level of applications rather than exchange protocols. CDIF reflects the granular needs for domain metadata being expressed in broadly understood terms where possible, supplemented by domain-specific semantics where absolutely required.

The second part of the workshop showed how these research and data requirements can be translated into system functions and services, and how these can be supported through the use of existing standards and specifications for the needed information. These include specifications such as DCAT,, DDI-CDI, SKOS/XKOS, SSSOM, OGC
Observations & Measurements/I-PROV, etc. Specific features of the standards and how they can be used in combination were addressed, although not at a technical level. Feedback from participants was elicited, and their input collected helps inform the ongoing development work.

The slides are available in Zenodo here and the recording is available here.

Presentation: WorldFAIR context, progress, FIPs and CDIF, presentation, Simon Hodson

Presentation: Vision for CDIF and its role as a cross-domain lingua franca, presentation, Arofan Gregory

Presentation: Functional breakdown and high level recommendations in CDIF, current status and planned work, presentation, Arofan Gregory

Presentation: WorldFAIR Vision Paper ‘Arise FAIR Sun’, Simon Hodson


Cross-Domain Interoperability Framework (CDIF) Working Documents

WorldFAIR CDIF Vision Paper: Arise FAIR Sun, draft for comment

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Deliverable 11.1 is now available: ‘An assessment of the Ocean Data priority areas for development and implementation roadmap’

A new publication is now available from the WorldFAIR project: ‘An assessment of the Ocean Data priority areas for development and implementation roadmap’, produced by Pier Luigi Buttigieg, Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, and leader of the project’s ocean science case study work package. 

After an introduction to the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO’s Ocean Data and Information System (ODIS), the report summarises an evaluation of FAIR Implementation Profiles and FAIR Enabling Resources compiled from across WorldFAIR case studies. It then synthesises supplementary insights obtained through a survey distributed across project partners, and identifies a pathway to implement sustainable cross-domain (meta)data flows to inform and support the current development of the Cross-domain Interoperability Framework (CDIF), a major output of WorldFAIR. 

The WorldFAIR case studies on biodiversity, disaster risk reduction, chemistry, and cultural heritage were identified as focal points to bridge with ODIS, being complementary to the strategic priorities of marine science and sustainable ocean management and offering clear socio-technical interfaces compatible with ODIS’s own interoperability approaches. The high-level roadmap in this report outlines the general approach that will be pursued in the remaining tasks in the ocean science case study.  

In summary, this report draws from current data practices insight from the international, multi-domain WorldFAIR consortium to identify the most viable routes to establish and sustain cross-domain data interoperability.

The report is openly available on Zenodo.

Deliverable 13.1 Cultural Heritage Mapping Report: Practices and Policies supporting Cultural Heritage image sharing platforms

Deliverable 13.1 Cultural Heritage Mapping Report: Practices and Policies supporting Cultural Heritage image sharing platforms outlines current practices guiding online digital image sharing by institutions charged with providing care and access to cultural memory, in order to identify how these practices may be adapted to promote and support the FAIR principles for data sharing. It looks closely at the policies and best practices endorsed by a range of professional bodies and institutions representative of Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums (the ‘GLAMs’) which facilitate the acquisition and delivery, discovery, description, digitisation standards and preservation of digital image collections. The second half of the report further highlights the technical mechanisms for aggregating and exchanging images that have already produced a high degree of image interoperability in the sector with a survey of six national and international image sharing platforms: DigitalNZDigital Public Library of America (DPLA), EuropeanaWikimedia CommonsInternet Archive and Flickr. This report will be a valuable resource in producing recommendations for aligning existing professional practice in the sector with the FAIR principles – a key milestone for the case study.

The report concludes with some thoughts on the position of the Digital Repository of Ireland (DRI) as an image sharing platform within this landscape, as a stewarding repository for both cultural heritage organisations in Ireland seeking to preserve and make accessible their collections as well as research projects curating, examining, preparing and delivering cultural heritage data for reuse. At the end of the WorldFAIR project, the DRI will aim to have tested and implemented recommendations that align established collections delivery mechanisms to facilitate the use of cultural heritage images as research data, improving the findability, accessibility, interoperability and reusability of Ireland’s visual cultural memory.

The report is available on Zenodo.

What is a Chemical? Innovation in Chemical Descriptions” Webinar – 17/2/23

The IUPAC WorldFAIR Chemistry project is pleased to invite you to attend the fourth webinar of our series titled “What is a Chemical? Innovation in Chemical descriptions”. We are focusing on innovations and creative approaches to chemical description, particularly those that address chemicals in complex systems: such as reactions, multiple-component systems/mixtures, complexes, composites, formulations, and using these in different computational settings, representation services, tools, and mechanisms. 

To Register:

The webinar series highlights the current status of working with descriptions of chemical substances, development of digital tools to transform chemical data notation into digital entities, and ways to implement FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable) data principles across the chemical enterprise.

This webinar will last for 90 min, and we have invited 5 guest speakers to present their perspectives on the use of chemical substance notation” in their field within a 5 min flash presentation for each speaker. This will be followed by a panel discussion. Check out the flyer attached!

*IUPAC is the world authority on chemical nomenclature, terminology, and standardized methods of measurement, and is engaging in a concerted effort through collaboration with the broader chemistry and data science communities to translate a range of assets and activities into the digital domain.

**WorldFAIR Chemistry is one of several case studies in the global WorldFAIR initiative directed by CODATA and the Research Data Alliance to connect diverse activities across disciplines and geographies.

WorldFAIR @ rDA’s 10 Year Anniversary: Image sharing systems and practices in Cultural Heritage

In 2023 the Research Data Alliance is celebrating its 10th Anniversary. We’re excited to commemorate this important milestone with our community by organising a series of international and regional events and activities dedicated to a specific theme related to research data management of relevance to the RDA community.

As part of this event series, WorldFAIR Work Package 13 (WP13) presents their landscaping report identifying how Cultural Heritage institutions engage with FAIR (examining formats and image delivery technologies).

This workshop will aim to have a community discussion around this report.

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webinar series organised by the European Partnership for the Assessment of Risks from Chemicals (PARC)

As part of its openness and FAIRness mission, PARC orgineses a series of webinars open to all with an interest in FAIR data and FAIR tools / models / software. Speakers are from across the spectrum including from INQUIRE, WorldFAIR, MACRAME, NanoSolveIT and more.

Webinars are held every other Thursday 4-5 CET – around 45 minutes presentation + 15 minutes discussion.

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New Paper: WorldFAIR Chemistry – Making IUPAC Assets FAIR

“Having chemical terminology and data available in the digital environment using standard file formats and standard identifiers will increase accessibly and interoperability of data by both humans and machines.”

Most of us as chemists are very familiar with the contributions of IUPAC for more than 100 years in nomenclature, terminology, and standardized chemical methods; however, we may be less familiar with other activities and projects that IUPAC is involved in. With the growing attention on Open Science and FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable) data, do you know that IUPAC is increasing its efforts in translating existing standards into digital formats?Having chemical terminology and data available in the digital environment using standard file formats and standard identifiers will increase accessibly and interoperability of data by both humans and machines. An example of these digital standards is the International Chemical Identifier (InChI), which is a unique representation of many layers of chemical information such as chemical formula, structure, and stereochemistry which results in a barcode like identifier of a particular substance.

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WorldFAIR Project (D6.1) Cross-national Social Sciences survey FAIR implementation case studies

McEachern, Steven; Orten, Hilde; Thome Petersen, Hanna; Perry, Ryan

This report provides an overview of the data harmonisation practices of comparative (cross-national) social surveys, through case studies of: (1) the European Social Survey (ESS) and (2) a satellite study, the Australian Social Survey International – European Social Survey (AUSSI-ESS). To do this, we compare and contrast the practices between the Australian Data Archive and, the organisations responsible for the data management of ESS and AUSSI-ESS. 

The case studies consider the current data management and harmonisation practices of study partners in the ESS, including an analysis of the current practices with FAIR data standards, particularly leveraging FAIR Information Profiles (FIPs) and FAIR Enabling Resources (FERs). 

The comparative analysis of the two case studies considers key similarities and differences in the management of the two data collections. Core differences in the use of standards and accessible, persistent registry services are highlighted, as these impact on the potential for shared, integrated reuse of services and content between the two partner organisations.

The report concludes with a set of recommended practices for improved management and automation of ESS data going forward—setting the stage for Phase 2 of WorldFAIR Work Package 6—and outlines the proposed means for implementing this management in the two partner organisations. These recommendations focus on three areas of shared interest:

  1. Aligning standards
  2. Establishing common tools
  3. Establishing and using registries

in order to advance implementation of the FAIR principles, and to improve interoperability and reusability of digital data in social sciences research. 

The full report is available on Zenodo.

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Webinar: Making the Invisible, Visible: Race, Racism, and Health Data Lessons From Latin American Countries

This panel brings together activists, academics, decision-makers, and representatives of social movements from Latin America to discuss the use, availability, and barriers to collecting race and ethnicity data in national census, health information systems, and vital statistics, and implications for documenting racial/ethnic health inequities in the region. The event marks the release of the data brief “Making the Invisible, Visible: Race, Racism, and Health Data, Lessons from Latin American countries” and the official launch of the newly CIHR-funded PAN-DIASPORA project (Pan-American Data Initiative for the Analysis of Population Racial/Ethnic Health Inequities).

PAN-DIASPORA is a collaborative research initiative designed to examine the availability, quality and scope of data collected and used on racial/ethnic inequities in urban areas in the Pan-American region, including Brazil, Colombia, Canada, and the United States. Using available national census data, health surveys and health surveillance systems and vital statistics registries, and situated within intersectional and structural racism frameworks, the PAN-DIASPORA project will contribute to discussions regarding the use of these data sources for the accurate documentation of racial health inequities, the creation of measures designed to describe the conditions in which marginalized racial/ethnic groups are embedded, and the development of policy action to mitigate and eliminate racial health inequities in the region.

This project is a partnership between the Ubuntu Center on Racism, Global Movements, and Population Health Equity at Drexel University (US), McGill University (Canada), the Institute of Collective Health at the Federal University of Bahia (Brazil), the University of Toronto (Canada), the School of Government at Universidad de los Andes (Colombia), Johns Hopkins University (US), Pedro Kouri Institute (Cuba), and the SALURBAL Project at the Urban Health Collaborative at Drexel University (US).