New report on value and utility of FAIR Implementation Profiles (FIPs) available from the WorldFAIR project

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.

WORLDFAIR CHEMISTRY WEBINAR 02: “ WHAT IS A CHEMICAL? APPLYING CHEMICAL DATA TO INDUSTRIAL CHALLENGES

The IUPAC WorldFAIR Chemistry project is delighted to present the second webinar in our series, titled “ What is a Chemical? Applying Chemical Data to Industrial Challenges

This webinar series aims to highlight the status of working with descriptions of chemical substances, databases, and ways to implement FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable) data principles across the chemical enterprise. In this session, we will focus on how chemical data is handled in various applied fields such as drug discovery, dyes, agrichem, and broader Al/ML contexts. Invited speakers will present their flash talks, followed by a panel discussion.

Join us in this collaborative conversation to advance chemical data management in the digital world.

When?

October 13, 2022

12:00 pm – 1:30 pm (EDT)

6:00 pm – 7:30 pm (CEST)

Where?

Virtually via zoom. For registration, please click below

https://bit.ly/FAIRW2

*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 “Global cooperation on FAIR data policy and practice” is funded by the EC HORIZON-WIDERA-2021-ERA-01-41 Coordination and Support Action under Grant Agreement No. 101058393.

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

Regards,

  • Dr. Fatima Mustafa, WorldFAIR Chemistry Project Coordinator
  • Leah McEwen, WorldFAIR Chemistry Project Lead
  • Chair, IUPAC Committee on Publications and Cheminformatics Data Standards

FAIR Implementation Profiles (FIPs) in WorldFAIR: What have we learnt?

Public Workshop in Leiden, as part of the FAIR Convergence Symposium, 12:00-15:30 CEST (10:00-13:30 UTC); two 90-minute sessions with a 30-minute break.

In case you missed the event, you can watch the workshop recording in CODATA Vimeo and check the presentation decks. 

Location: Collegezaal 2, LUMC, and online.

The WorldFAIR project is a major new global collaboration between partners from thirteen countries across Africa, Australasia, Europe, and North and South America. WorldFAIR will advance implementation of the FAIR data principles, in particular those for Interoperability, by developing a Cross-Domain Interoperability Framework and recommendations for FAIR assessment in a set of 11 disciplines or cross-disciplinary research areas.

FAIR Implementation Profiles (FIPs) are an approach, developed by GO FAIR, through which a research community expresses its practices and decisions around FAIR.? The methodology involves a series of questions on how the community makes data and metadata FAIR and what ‘FAIR Enabling Resources’ (FERs) are used. The WorldFAIR project is exploring FIPs with our 11 case studies.

The FIPs consist of a set of questions about practice in relation to each of the FAIR principles and they are supported by an online tool, the FIPs Wizard. One of the potential benefits is the creation, as ‘nanopublications’ of a network of FIPs and FAIR Enabling Resources, coded in RDF and which can be visualised and analysed. With use, the creation of more and more FIPs and FERs will furnish a resource which can potentially give great insights into FAIR practices.

In this workshop we will reflect on the experience and explore our findings. What have we learnt from the process?

PART One: the experience of the Case Studies 

Introduction to WorldFAIR and FIPs; Simon Hodson, CODATA (10 mins)

Presentations from some Case Studies (7.5 minutes each): we have invited 6 of the 11 WorldFAIR Case Studies to present their experiences of developing FIPs.  The other 5 case studies are invited to participate, and to contribute to the discussion.

  1. Chemistry, IUPAC: Leah McEwan (remote), Ian Bruno and Stuart Chalk (onsite)
  2. Nanomaterials: Iseult Lynch and Thomas Exner (onsite)
  3. Social Surveys: Steve McEachern and Hilde Orten (remote)
  4. Agricultural Biodiversity: Maarten Trekels (onsite) and Debora Drucker (remote)
  5. Disaster Risk Reduction: Bapon Fakhruddin and Jill Bolland (remote)
  6. Cultural Heritage: Beth Knazook (onsite)

Each Case study is asked to describe their experience and, in particular, to respond to the following questions:

  1. What have you learnt from the process? 
  2. Has using FIPs helped you describe practices around FAIR in your case studies? 
  3. Has it helped identify any gaps or areas which would benefit from further attention? 
  4. Has the process identified ways in which the FIPs methodology and the tools around it can be improved?
  5. What have you learnt about the FAIRness of your community or domain?  
  6. Have you identified any next steps in response to what you have learnt?

The presentations will be followed by general discussion, of about 50 minutes, in which all Case Studies will be invited to share their experiences, and to which all participants will be invited to contribute.

The discussion will take place either side of a 30-minute break in which refreshments will be available for onsite participants.

Part Two: discussion of experience, findings and next steps.  

Summary of what we have learnt and implications for the Cross-Domain Interoperability Framework (CDIF): Arofan Gregory, CODATA (15 mins), followed by c.45 minutes discussion.

This presentation and the subsequent discussion will respond to the following questions:

  1. How have the outcomes of the FIPs assisted the project in the development of a Cross-Domain Interoperability Framework and recommendations for more domain-sensitive FAIR assessment? 
  2. What commonalities have we identified?  
  3. Has the process helped our identification of components of CDIF and candidate standards?
  4. Have we identified any specific needs in domains that should be part of domain sensitive FAIR assessment?
  5. What are the key findings about FIPs as a methodology?
  6. What improvements would we recommend?

Dagstuhl Workshop “Interoperability for Cross-Domain Research: Machine-Actionability & Scalability”

The “Interoperability for Cross-Domain Research: Machine-Actionability & Scalability” workshop was held at Schloss Dagstuhl from August 28 to September 2, 2022 (https://www.dagstuhl.de/22353). The workshop was the fourth in a series, starting in 2018, exploring the role of metadata standards and the issues around interoperability in the cross-domain sharing and reuse of research data. It was jointly supported by CODATA, the DDI AllianceSchloss Dagstuhl, the Leibniz Center for Informatics, and the EU-funded WorldFAIR project, of which CODATA is the coordinator. With the current interest in the FAIR principles and their application to interdisciplinary research data, the focus of the workshop was on specific approaches which could be employed within large-scale infrastructures spanning domain boundaries.

The workshop involved 23 participants from 10 countries, and included experts from many disciplines and organisations, including infectious disease, the social, behavioural, and economic sciences, environmental science, disaster risk reduction, geographic information science, and others. The work was divided into three groups, looking at different aspects of interoperability: integration of primary and reference data; access to sensitive data; and common approaches to large-scale oceans and disaster data. Several WorldFAIR case studies contributed to these groups. A fourth group looked at how the findings in each area could be combined in a cross-domain interoperability framework, and a fifth looked at the RDF expression of some core data and metadata models. Further information on the workshop themes and the groups’ activity can be found on the workshop wiki.

The workshop was very successful in meeting its agreed goals. One was the production of an initial draft of a cross-domain interoperability framework (CDIF), which is central to the work of the WorldFAIR project and other fora looking at cross-domain interoperability. CDIF is a proposed set of recommended best practices for using a coordinated set of domain-agnostic standards – most often as specific subsets or profiles of those standards – to support a core set of functions for cross-domain FAIR reuse. The group work on specific topics has resulted in a number of planned publications, and one or more collaborative projects between some of the participating institutions. 

The workshop showed that Schloss Dagstuhl’s reputation as a venue for intensive collaborative work is well-deserved. Over the course of this series of workshops, solutions to the problem of cross-domain interoperability have gained a sharper focus, leading to the concrete outputs which will serve as a basis for ongoing work. A fifth workshop in the series, ‘Defining a core metadata framework for cross-domain data sharing and reuse’, is planned for the fall of 2023, as well as a workshop on the application of DDI’s Cross-Domain Integration standard.