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23 Oct 2020

2nd Report on FAIR requirements for persistence and interoperability


FAIRsFAIR has published its 2nd Report on FAIR requirements for persistence and interoperability

One of three in a series, the report builds on the landscaping exercise published in March 2020 and which reviewed and documented the state of FAIR in the European scientific data ecosystem, and identified commonalities and possible gaps in semantic interoperability and the use of metadata and persistent identifiers across infrastructures.

The new report has been written specifically for researchers, data stewards, and service providers, and is a guide to the use of PIDs, metadata, and semantic interoperability.


Key takeaways

  1. A generic solution for achieving FAIR does not exist. Solutions must be adopted and decisions made on a case-by-case basis. The assessment of FAIR data solutions should always start from the user needs but always with respect to the user’s larger research community.
  2. Costs and benefits need to be weighed. Every effort to implement a FAIR principle should balance the required investment and the expected benefits to the scientific community.
  3. Achieving FAIR is a team effort. In order to achieve a FAIR data ecosystem with sustainable PIDs, metadata and semantic artefacts, researchers, data stewards and service providers should work together on technical solutions. 
  4. Interoperability requires the human touch. Achieving Interoperability for both humans and machines requires a large investment, but it has promising benefits. Technology can solve a lot of interoperability problems at a technical level - but this does not solve misunderstandings at the semantic level. Humans still need to communicate with each other, agree on terms and vocabularies, and take advantage of existing frameworks to build cohesion.


Feedback Invited

A final iteration of these guidelines will be published later in the project timeline. Comments and suggestions are being gathered regarding the current version.