Periodic Reporting for period 1 - FAIRsFAIR (Fostering FAIR Data Practices in Europe)
Reporting period: 2019-03-01 to 2020-08-31
Our overall objective is to accelerate the realization of the goals of the EOSC by opening up and sharing knowledge, expertise, guidelines, implementations, new trajectories, courses and education on FAIR matters. FAIRsFAIR seeks to establish a level playing field for European member states (and beyond) when it comes to contributing data to scientific and scholarly communities and re-using data from elsewhere. In this way it contributes to the culture change required for the wide adoption of FAIR practices. We employ the help of many stakeholders to accomplish this. The project consortium is composed in such a way that the implementation of the common scheme, to ensure data development, wide uptake of and compliance with FAIR data principles and practices can be realized by national and European (and beyond) research data providers, and repositories through the EOSC. The partners in the consortium already have direct connections with many stakeholders, and also work in related projects to implement the EOSC. These direct links facilitate the flow of information between stakeholders and domains working on aspects of FAIR and the FAIRsFAIR project.
FAIRsFAIR does not have any discipline-specific preferences. Rather it adopts the concept of a discipline-agnostic basis for all scientific domains and adds discipline-specificity where required. Key to the success of FAIR are trust and sustainability. Researchers must be able to trust the parties on which they increasingly depend for high-quality services, where they create, share, store, retrieve and/or (re)use their data and other research outputs, during and after their projects. This trust often needs to span substantial periods of time. Trustworthy repositories must be able to guarantee the persistence of their data after ten or more years, and need to protect the data entrusted to them against intrusion or corruption. Not only the rights of the researchers need to be clear, also the privacy of research subjects needs to be guaranteed. The authenticity, reliability and quality of data must be made apparent to potential reusers in order to get maximum benefit from a data sharing economy. Sustainable access to research resources implies sustainable software and other environments crucial to the meaning of data, and it implies scalability of procedures, processes and costs to keep and share. These elements are being kept in sight during the FAIRsFAIR project.
Other forms of consultation included two workshops co-located with the RDA Plenary 14 in Helsinki, Finland. One tackling aspects of FAIR semantics, and the other FAIR and interoperable repositories. Focus groups have also been held by WP7, including at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (October 2019), and another at the University of Amsterdam (November 2019).
The development of the programme for the pilot Data Steward strand also got underway as part of the CODATA/RDA Data School (Trieste, August 2019). Related to work implementing and enabling FAIR in repositories two Open Calls were run from July to August 2019. Out of the 73 applications received, 22 Data Repositories were selected to engage in the work. The results of these consultation, pilot, and community engagement activities were used to inform the development of the first sets of reports and recommendations delivered by the project.
On 25 November 2019, in conjunction with the EOSC Symposium, the FAIRsFAIR Synchronisation Force, held the first of three planned workshops in Budapest, Hungary. The second workshop was restructured as a series of eight online sessions running from 29th of April until 11th of June 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A key activity of the Synchronisation Force is to bring together the various projects and actors working in the EOSC and FAIR ecosystems, such as the Working Groups of the EOSC Executive Board, the INFRAEOSC-05 projects, the ESFRI cluster projects, and the FAIRsFAIR European Group of FAIR Champions, in order to share information on the progress of their FAIR-oriented activities and to discuss commonalities and priorities. Furthermore, the workshops are used by the Synchronisation Force to measure the progress towards implementing the recommendations outlined in the Turning FAIR into Reality report (2018). The workshops have scaled from 25 delegates attending the first workshop, to more than 60 representatives attending the online sessions which collectively formed the second workshop.
Furthermore, project members have also submitted successful papers and presentations and sessions at many conferences and symposia e.g. Open Science FAIR 2019, Garr conference 2019, iPRES2019, eScience Symposium 2019, EOSC-hub Week, and Open Repositories 2020.