Cross-Domain Interoperability Framework

The Cross-Domain Interoperability Framework (CDIF) is an emerging idea for a set of guidelines around domain-agnostic standards for supporting the implementation of interoperability and reusability of FAIR data, especially across domain- and institutional boundaries.

The FAIR Digital Object Framework (FDOF) proposes a protocol to enable applications to find data and metadata objects of interest, and to locate their metadata schemas such that the data can be acted upon. As such, the FDOF could provide an important basis for machine actionability, but it does not by itself guarantee interoperability. The Cross-Domain Interoperability Framework would provide a list of standards in a range of functional roles to support the next level of interoperability, but giving domains the “lingua franca” against which to map domain-specific standards and ontologies. Such standards as Schema.org, DCAT, SKOS, PROV-O, DDI-CDI, and I-ADOPT are being suggested. The functional roles include the description of units and measurements, the relation of variables to concepts and consistent descriptions of data structure.

The work around the Cross-Domain Interoperability Framework is based on practical use-cases, and has been slowly growing out of various activities conducted under CODATA’s Decadal Programme and in partnership with the DDI Alliance at a series of Dagstuhl Workshops and the development of DDI’s Cross-Domain Integration specification. It is still in early stages, but reflects an emerging consensus among many of the participants in this endeavour.

WorldFAIR provides an opportunity to take this work forward and to test and refine it with the WorldFAIR case studies and on the basis of information gathered through the FIPs exercises.

The output will be a set of detailed recommendations and specifications for the CDIF, building on previous work, the WorldFAIR case studies and extensive wider community consultation.

‘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.