Published Versions 2 Vol 2 (1) : 151–157 2019
Helping the consumers and producers of standards, repositories and policies to enable FAIR data
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Abstract & Keywords
Abstract: Thousands of community-developed (meta)data guidelines, models, ontologies, schemas and formats have been created and implemented by several thousand data repositories and knowledge-bases, across all disciplines. These resources are necessary to meet government, funder and publisher expectations of greater transparency and access to and preservation of data related to research publications. This obligates researchers to ensure their data is FAIR, share their data using the appropriate standards, store their data in sustainable and community-adopted repositories, and to conform to funder and publisher data policies. FAIR data sharing also plays a key role in enabling researchers to evaluate, re-analyse and reproduce each other’s work. We can map the landscape of relationships between community-adopted standards and repositories, and the journal publisher and funder data policies that recommend their use. In this paper, we show how the work of the GO-FAIR FAIR StRePo (Standards, Repositories and Policies) Implementation Network serves as a central integration and cross-fertilisation point for the reuse of FAIR standards, repositories and data policies in general. Pivotal to this effort, the FAIRsharing, an endorsed flagship resource of the Research Data Alliance that maps the landscape of relationships between community-adopted standards and repositories, and the journal publisher and funder data policies that recommend their use. Lastly, we highlight a number of activities around FAIR tools, services and educational efforts to raise awareness and encourage participation.
Keywords: Convergence; Data repositories, Data policies, Data standards, FAIR data; FAIR enabling Community standards
Some of the discussion points in this article and the call for action were developed as part of the joint RDA and Force11 working group and the GO-FAIR StRePo IN. We therefore gratefully acknowledge the support provided by the RDA, Force11 and GO-FAIR communities and structures. FAIRsharing is funded by grants awarded to S.-A.S. that include elements of this work; specifically, grants from the UK BBSRC and Research Councils (BB/L024101/1, BB/L005069/1), European Union (H2020-EU.3.1, 634107, H2020-EU., 654241, H2020-EU., 676559), IMI (116060) and NIH (U54 AI117925, 1U24AI117966-01, 1OT3OD025459-01, 1OT3OD025467-01, 1OT3OD025462-01) and the new FAIRsharing award from the Wellcome Trust (212930/Z/18/Z), as well as a related award (208381/A/17/Z). S.-A.S. is funded also by the Oxford e-Research Centre, Department of Engineering Science of the University of Oxford.
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FAIR sharing. Available at:
The FAIRsharing registry and recommendations: interlinking standards, databases and data policies.
Available at:
Including the Metabolomics IN, Chemistry IN, Food-System IN, Personal Health Train IN, as well as the GO-Train pillar, Available at:
SchemaORG. Available at:
Data stewardship wizard. Available at: https//
Examples of the resources recommended by the Wellcome Trust Open Research journal’s data policy.
Available at:
An example (UniProKB), with both a DOI for the record and a publication citation for the resource. doi: 10.25504/FAIRsharing.s1ne3g.
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FAIRassist, the nascent educational component of FAIRsharing:
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Article and author information
Cite As
P. McQuilton, D. Batista, O. Beyan, R. Granell, S. Coles, M. Izzo, ... & S.-A. Sansone. Helping the consumers and producers of standards, repositories and policies to enable FAIR data. Data Intelligence 2(2020), 151–157. doi: 10.1162/dint_a_00037
Peter McQuilton
Peter McQuilton holds a 1st class BSc (Hons) degree in Genetics from the University of Leeds (2000) and a PhD (2004) in Drosophila neurodevelopment from the University of Cambridge. Peter has spent over 15 years working in the fields of bioinformatics, biocuration and data wrangling, first as a genetic literature curator at FlyBase, the premier database on drosophila genes and genomes, and then as part of the Data Readiness Group at the Oxford e-Research Centre. As part of the Data Readiness Group, Peter leads the FAIRsharing project. FAIRsharing is a manually curated, searchable portal of interlinked standards, databases and policies, from all domains.
Dominique Batista
Dominique Batista is a young developer specialized in creating tools and software for scientific researchers and academics. His current activities focus on delivering clean, tested and documented open-source code to help structuring metadata over the Web. Dominique’s side activities focus on producing knowledge and scientific papers as well as representing the team in international conferences. He is passionate about computer (hardware, Web), science (biology and physics), video games and much more.
Oya Beyan
Oya Beyan is a researcher at Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Information Technology and at the Department of Computer Science at RWTH Aachen University. Her research focuses on methods of data reusability and FAIR data, data-driven transformation and distributed analytics. Her area of expertise is in the semantic Web technologies and application of them in health care and life sciences. She actively contributes to the national and international initiatives to enable the adoption of FAIR principles and develops tools and infrastructures supporting FAIR data. With her interdisciplinary background in informatics, medical informatics and sociology, she developed a focus on societal reflections of data-driven change.
Ramon Granell
Ramon Granell is a researcher at the Oxford e-Research Centre currently working as a knowledge engineer with Professor Susanna-Assunta Sansone in the area of data management for biomedical sciences. He applies data analytic techniques to enrich data/publications repositories and platforms utilised under the FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable) principle. Ramon has been working at the Oxford e-Research Centre since 2010, investigating in different areas such as energy analytics and computational linguistics. Before that, he worked at Department of computer Science, University of Oxford. He holds a Computer Science degree and ML master from the Universidad Politecnica de Valencia (Spain).
Simon Coles
Simon Coles is Professor of Structural Chemistry at the University of Southampton and Director of the UK National Crystallography Service. He has promoted open approaches to research and education in Chemistry for many years and is now also Director of the UK Physical Sciences Data-science Service.
Massimiliano Izzo
Allyson L. Lister
Allyson Lister completed a BA (1997) in Biology and Ancient Mediterranean Civilisations from Rice University, an MSc (1999) in Computational Biology from the University of York and a PhD (2012) in Computer Science from Newcastle University. In 1999, she joined the European Bioinformatics Institute as a Software Engineer for UniProtKB, a protein sequence database. In 2006, she joined Newcastle University as a full-time Research Associate while completing her PhD in semantic data integration. Between 2012 and 2014, she also worked for the University of Manchester on various short-term ontology development projects. Allyson moved to the Oxford e-Research Centre in 2015 where she is currently working on the FAIRsharing project.
Robert Pergl
Robert Pergl is an Associate Professor at Department of Software Engineering, Faculty of Information Technologies of Czech Technical University in Prague, Czech Republic, where he founded “Centre for Conceptual Modelling and Implementation”, a group focusing on research, development and applications of methods and tools for ontological engineering, enterprise engineering, software engineering and data stewardship. Robert Pergl is a National Node Committee member of ELIXIR Czech Republic. He is a member of several GO FAIR initiatives and projects and together with Rob Hooft he leads the Data Stewardship Wizard development. Contribution: Leading the authors’ team and authoring process, communications author, copy-editing and quality assurance, Data Stewardship Wizard details.
Philippe Rocca-Serra
Philippe Rocca-Serra, after an engineering degree from University of Rennes, received his PhD in Molecular Genetics from University of Bordeaux. He worked at EMBL-EBI in helping establish the European microarray archive. He has 10 years of practice in data management and has been an active member of several standardization efforts, aiming at promoting open data and open science vision. He is technical coordinator of the ISA project, part of the OBO Foundry editorial board and participates in resource development as part of the OBI project.
Ben Schaap
Hugh Shanahan
Hugh Shanahan is a Professor of Bioinformatics in Centre for Systems and Synthetic Biology and Department of Computer Science at the University of London, His research interests include the analysis of transcriptomic data and the inference of regulatory gene networks; Protein-DNA interactions; expertise is in computational biology and statistics.
Milo Thurston
Milo Thurston is currently one of the developers of BioSharing, as well as working on TeSS in collaboration with colleagues in Manchester. Previously, he developed the OBOE system for managing services to be used by Scratchpads, and prior to that was the Scientific Computing Support Specialist for responsible for server maintenance, software and infrastructure development. His scientific background is in biology and bioinformatics, and he is experienced in Linux system administration; he has a degree in microbiology and genetics from Dundee University, a D.Phil. in virology from Oxford University (supervised by the late Bill Hamilton) and previously qualified as an RHCE. Outside his scientific work he is involved in teaching and research into Historical European Martial Arts, having founded a school in 1999 and subsequently written a modern training manual based on Sir William Hope’s 1707 fencing text. He has taught and competed at martial arts events in the UK, US, Canada, Australia, Sweden, Austria and Germany.
Susanna-Assunta Sansone
Susanna-Assunta Sansone is an Associate Director, Associate Professor and Principal Investigator at the Oxford e-Research Centre, part of the Department of Engineering Science at the University of Oxford. She is one of the authors of the FAIR principles and an active contributor to a variety of community-driven FAIR-enabling efforts. Her group researches and develops methods and tools to improve data reuse, for data transparency, research integrity and the evolution of scholarly publishing:
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