WorldFAIR: Global cooperation on FAIR data policy and practice – workshops introduce wide range of research domains to FAIR Implementation Profiles

The WorldFAIR project held a series of successful workshops between July and October 2022 to introduce and complete FAIR Implementation Profiles (FIPs) with eleven case study work packages.  This process culminated in a plenary meeting of the WorldFAIR case studies, “FIPs in WorldFAIR: What have we learnt?” which took place as part of the FAIR Convergence Symposium in Leiden on 25 October 2022.
 
The WorldFAIR project is a major global collaboration between partners from thirteen countries across Africa, Australasia, Europe, and North and South America.  WorldFAIR advances 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 eleven disciplines or cross-disciplinary research areas.
 
The WorldFAIR case studies have been carefully chosen to provide maximum impact. The objective of each case study is to develop an interoperability framework for their discipline or interdisciplinary research area. They are clustered in connected groups in order to maximise scope while retaining a critical mass of activity and allowing learning and cross-fertilisation of ideas. Collected from CODATA and RDA activities and partnerships, the case studies include leading organisations in a range of research areas, supporting the creation of outputs with global impact.
 
The FIPs approach consists of a set of questions about practice in relation to each of the FAIR principles.  It is supported by an online tool, the FIPs Wizard. One of the potential benefits of this approach is the creation, as ‘nanopublications’ of a set of FIPs and FAIR Enabling Resources, coded in RDF, which can be read by machines, visualised, and analysed. With use, the creation of more FIPs and FERs will furnish a resource which can potentially give great insights into FAIR practices.
 
At our plenary workshop during the FAIR Convergence Symposium, six of the case studies presented and reflected on the process of constructing their FIP, specifically what they learned from the process; whether using FIPs helped describe practices around FAIR; whether the FIP helped identify any gaps or areas which would benefit from further attention; ways in which the FIPs methodology and the tools around it can be improved; and the identification of next steps.  Arofan Gregory (CODATA) then reflected on the implications of these observations for our work on the Cross-Domain Interoperability Framework, a major output of WorldFAIR.

We are grateful to Leah McEwan, Ian Bruno and Stuart Chalk (Chemistry); Iseult Lynch and Thomas Exner (Nanomaterials); Steve McEachern and Hilde Orten (Social Surveys); Maarten Trekels and Debora Drucker (Agricultural Biodiversity); Bapon Fakhruddin and Jill Bolland (Disaster Risk Reduction) and Beth Knazook (Cultural Heritage) for their insights.
 
WorldFAIR forms the core of CODATA’s contribution to the International Science Council (ISC) Action Plan Project 2.1, Making Data Work For Cross-Domain Grand Challenges.  WorldFAIR runs for 24 months from 1 June 2022 and is funded by the European Commission through its Horizon Europe Framework Programme, project call HORIZON-WIDERA-2021-ERA-01-01, grant agreement 101058393. Project website: https://worldfair-project.eu.  

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.

EMBRAPA

The Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa)

The Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa) was established by the country’s federal government in 1973 to develop the technological foundation for a genuinely tropical model of agriculture and animal farming. The initiative has been tasked with providing Brazil with food security and a leading position in the international market for food, fiber and energy. Embrapa today is one of the largest agricultural research corporations of the world, with half a century of contributions focused on innovation, efficiency, sustainability and social inclusion.

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?

“What is a chemical?” IUPAC-Worldfair webinar

Webinar “What is a Chemical? Handling Chemical Data Across Disciplines” on 2022-09-22 tackled key issues of research data interoperability in global interdisciplinary context. This webinar was organised jointly by the IUPAC and the WorldFAIR project.

“What is a chemical” might sound trivial, but making data of chemicals interoperable and understandable in all fields of science where they are relevant is far from it. The webinar included presentations of experts from different sciences, presenting their own understanding on chemicals and their presentation in research data.

The recording of the webinar is available in the IUPAC Youtube channel:

This twitter thread posits some of the key findings and observations in the webinar:

‘Global cooperation on FAIR data policy and practice’ (WorldFAIR) has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon Europe project call HORIZON-WIDERA-2021-ERA-01-01, grant agreement 101058393. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union. 

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.  

Worldfair press release

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 eleven disciplines or cross-disciplinary research areas.

Colleagues were welcomed to this European Commission-funded project by Marta Truco Calbet, Project Officer, Research Executive Agency; and Javier Lopez Albacete from the EC’s Open Science Unit.  Project coordinator, CODATA and key partner, the Research Data Alliance outlined project governance and administration, before each of the case studies from a range of domain-specific and cross-domain research areas introduced their work package team and aims.

Logo

The WorldFAIR case studies have been carefully chosen to provide maximum impact. The objective of each case study is to develop an interoperability framework for their discipline or interdisciplinary research area. They are clustered in connected groups in order to maximise scope while retaining a critical mass of activity and allowing learning and cross-fertilisation of ideas. Collected from CODATA and RDA activities and partnerships, the case studies include leading organisations in a range of research areas, supporting the creation of outputs with global impact.

Simon Hodson
Simon Hodson, CODATA Executive Director

Encouragingly, the case studies began to identify connections points across work packages straight away.  CODATA Executive Director Simon Hodson, said, “The keystone recommendation of the Turning FAIR into Reality report, and perhaps the most challenging, is Recommendation Four, which calls for the development of interoperability frameworks, based on standards, for established domains and, in particular, for emerging cross-domain research areas of global importance. The WorldFAIR project offers a fantastic opportunity to explore how this may be done—and implemented—in a range of research fields. We are particularly excited that this project will enhance the European Research Area by taking a genuinely global approach and, exceptionally, includes institutions in countries generally outside the scope of EU funding. This is farsighted thinking on the part of the European Commission and leverages the strengths of CODATA and RDA, two organisations with international missions and reach.”

This work will form the core of CODATA’s contribution to the International Science Council (ISC) Action Plan Project 2.1, Making Data Work For Cross-Domain Grand Challenges. WorldFAIR will run for 24 months from 1 June 2022 and is funded by the European Commission through its Horizon Europe Framework Programme, project call HORIZON-WIDERA-2021-ERA-01-01, grant agreement 101058393.