Geochemistry Scientific Content Component (Project Milestone)

Prent, Alexander; Wyborn, Lesley; Farrington, Rebecca; Lehnert, Kerstin; Klöcking, Marthe; Elger, Kirsten; Hezel, Dominik NFDI4Earth; ter Maat, Geertje; Profeta, Lucia

WorldFAIR Milestone 6, reported here, specifies work done and being undertaken for Deliverable 5.2 (due month 20), ‘Geochemistry Methodology and Outreach’, which has the following description: “This deliverable will outline the methodology used to develop and update FIPs and promulgate knowledge of them, including publishers to ensure the quality, interoperability and reusability of data in publications”. 

As geochemical data is collected on a diversity of natural and synthetic samples (rocks, sediments, minerals, fossils, meteorites, cosmic dust, fluids, gases, etc), from the Earth or other planetary bodies, there is an incredible range of analytical instruments used and hundreds of analytical techniques applied. This results in a community with many subdisciplines that produce typically ‘long tail’ data – data that are highly specific and small in volume. The community and the data produced are heterogeneous and overlaps of common minimum variables are scarce. 

We conclude that developing a single FAIR Implementation Profile (FIP) for all geochemical data will not be possible; rather, there will need to be multiple linked FIPs for geochemistry subdisciplines and at multiple levels of granularity. As a FIP is underpinned by FAIR Enabling Resources (FERs), many such FERs need to be publicly available or need to be published. By specifying any FER(s) that accompany each FAIR principle within the individual FIP, users of any geochemical dataset/database will have accurate documentation for each FAIR Principles, and thus enhance machine readability.

This Milestone describes progress towards developing a methodology designed to assist in defining the individual FERs required to fully describe the minimum scientific and technical variables used to describe any geochemical analysis. These FERs will enable the generation of multiple FIPs, facilitating published results to be reproduced and shared globally with sufficient metadata to make any geochemical resource FAIR for both humans and machines. 

This Milestone report then discusses how the components of this methodology are being executed in the community, discusses resulting progress towards minimum common variables of samples, discusses how to make best practices for geochemical methods available online and specifies a set of vocabularies published to describe methodologies.

The report is available on Zenodo.

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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:  

‘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. 
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