Population Health Data Implementation Guide (Deliverable 7.1)

Gregory, Arofan; Todd, Jim; Amadi, David; Greenfield, Jay; Muyingo, Sylvia; Tomlin, Keith

One of the key requirements for FAIR data reuse is that the user of a FAIR data resource understands the exact nature of the data. The FAIR principles talk about the kinds of metadata needed to describe data, but it is necessary for implementers to understand how these metadata can be provided, to effectively realise FAIR within their systems. This implementation guide describes the way all aspects of the data are made available for use, both within and from outside the INSPIRE Network community, using standard metadata to describe the data. This is an exploration of how generic standards can be used to express the agreed community metadata set. The INSPIRE platform supports network studies using population health data to stand up their own instances of a common data model called the OMOP CDM. The WorldFAIR project is an exploration to facilitate a better understanding of what is needed for data infrastructures to provide data in line with the FAIR principles within and across domains.

The types of metadata used in INSPIRE are aligned as much as possible with existing and popular models common in the public health domain. Primary among these are the standards (and tools) coming from OHDSI (Observational Health Data Sciences and Informatics), notably their OMOP Common Data Model (CDM). This suite of products addresses the definition of specific concepts and their semantics, standard (primarily medical) classifications, and the mechanism for selecting data from among those available to produce a specific cohort for analysis. These standards are common within the public health domain internationally, and INSPIRE has chosen to use them to reduce the significant cost of developing tools for many aspects of data and metadata management and use.

FAIR demands that we provide data in a useful way to those who may not be familiar with the community tools and standards used by INSPIRE. More generic standards are thus needed to support this broader community. It is significant that members of the OHDSI community have already looked at how Schema.org – developed and supported by many popular search engines, Google foremost among them – can be used in combination with the OHDSI OMOP CDM to describe data resources. Here, INSPIRE builds on that work to describe how INSPIRE data resources, specifically, can be documented in a way which will be maximally accessible to users both within the community and external to it.

One critical part of the overall information set provided by standard FAIR metadata is a description of the experiment for which the data was used, and the protocol employed in the selection and analysis of the data. This aspect of the metadata description is a major focus of the implementation guide, and one for which Schema.org would seem to be well-suited.

WorldFAIR WP (Work Package) 07 is one of eleven domain-specific case studies being undertaken by the WorldFAIR project, with the domain-specific practices being analysed across these domains in WP02. Early indications from WP02 suggest that Schema.org is one of the standards which will be recommended as part of the Cross-Domain Interoperability Framework (CDIF). This implementation guide contributes to an understanding of exactly how Schema.org fits into the description of domain data. 

While some open questions remain, the implementation guide has achieved its primary goal of showing how standards such as Schema.org can be used within the public health domain to provide a complete set of the information needed for FAIR data use across and within domain boundaries.

The report is available on Zenodo.

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WorldFAIR Project webinar series announced

The WorldFAIR Project is launching a webinar series aiming to promote and discuss all published and upcoming deliverables and project outputs.

The webinars will run from May 2023 to May 2024. They are free to attend.

Please note all webinars will be recorded and uploaded on the WorldFAIR YouTube channel and website.

The following webinars are currently confirmed – more dates will be added soon, so stay tuned!

TopicDate/timeDescriptionSpeakersRegistrationWebinar recording
WorldFAIR Project: Introduction to the WorldFAIR webinar series. 26 May, 13:00 – 14:00 UTCThis webinar ran by WP14 will present the WorldFAIR project and give an overview of the work carried out by the WPs in the context of EOSC and the international data landscape.Ari Asmi (RDA AISBL Director), Hilary Hanahoe (RDA Secretary General), Javier López Albacete (Policy Officer, EC)Register hereTBC
WorldFAIR Output Webinar Series: Overview of the projects first round of disciplinary reports: Updates from the Social Surveys and Cultural Heritage.14 June 2023,
08:00 – 09:00 UTC
This webinar will present the following deliverables completed by WP6 and WP13 respectively:

– Cross-national Social Sciences survey FAIR implementation case studies (6.1)
– Cultural Heritage Mapping Report (13.1)
Steven McEachern (WP6), Beth Knazook (WP13)Register hereTBC
WorldFAIR Output Webinar Series: WorldFAIR FAIR Implementation Profiles (FIPs), the Cross-Domain Interoperability Framework (CDIF) – and more. (v1)28 June 2023,
13:00 – 14:00 UTC
WP2 will provide an update on D2.1 and the FAIR Implementation Profiles as well as about the engagement with the Case Studies on their data, identification of ‘interoperability interfaces’ and the implications for the Cross-Domain Interoperability Framework (CDIF).  Simon Hodson, Arofan Gregory (WP1, WP2)Register hereTBC
WorldFAIR Output Webinar Series: Overview of the projects first round of disciplinary reports: Updates from Chemistry and Nanomaterials. 13 September 2023, 14:00 – 15:00 UTCThis webinar will present the following deliverables completed by WP3 and WP4 respectively:

– Digital recommendations for Chemistry FAIR data policy and practice (3.1)
– Nanomaterials domain-specific FAIRification mapping (4.1)
Leah Rae McEwen, Fatima Mustafa, Ian Bruno, Stuart Chalk (WP3); Iseult Lynch (WP4), more speakers TBCRegister hereTBC
WorldFAIR Output Webinar Series: Overview of the projects first round of disciplinary reports: Updates from Biodiversity and Agriculture 20 September 2023, 13:00 – 14:00 UTCThis webinar will present the following deliverables completed by WP9 and WP10 respectively:

– Data standard for sharing ecological and environmental monitoring data documented
for community review (9.1)
– Agriculture-related pollinator data standards use cases report (10.1)
Joe Miller (WP9); Debora Pignatari Drucker, Maarten Trekels, Quentin Groom (WP10)Register hereTBC
WorldFAIR Output Webinar Series: Overview of the projects first round of disciplinary reports: Updates from Population Health and Urban HealthOctober 2023, date TBCThis webinar will present the following deliverables completed by WP7 and WP8 respectively:

Population Health Data Implementation Guide (7.1)
Urban Health Data – Guidelines and Recommendations (8.1)
Jim Todd (WP7); Ana Ortigoza (WP8)TBCTBC
WorldFAIR Output Webinar Series: Overview of the projects first round of disciplinary reports: Disaster Risk Reduction Updates15 November 2023, 20:00 – 21:00 UTCThis webinar will present the following deliverables completed by WP12:
– Disaster Risk Reduction Case study report (12.1)
– Disaster Risk Reduction Domain-specific FAIR vocabularies (12.2)
Jill Bolland, Bapon Fakhruddin T+T (WP12)Register hereTBC
WorldFAIR Output Webinar Series: Overview of the projects first round of disciplinary reports: Cultural Heritage and Social Surveys updates v2This webinar will present the following deliverables completed by WP13 and WP6 respectively: Cultural Heritage Recommendations (13.2) Cross-national Social Sciences survey best practice guidelines (6.2)Steven McEachern (WP6), Beth Knazook (WP13)TBCTBC

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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.  

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