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I attended the "Advancing FAIR and Go FAIR in the U.S." workshop in February; the workshop covered topics on how to establish and promote FAIR culture and capabilities within a community. Many of the discussions were synergistic with the CDI activities, so I wanted to share some key points from the workshop with the CDI community. - Sophie Hou

(Logo from the Go FAIR Initiative)

Workshop Info 

Title: Advancing FAIR and Go FAIR in the U.S.  

Date: February 24th to 27th, 2020 

Location: Atlanta, Georgia 


  • Facilitate development of a community of practice for FAIR awareness and capacity-building in the US 
  • Improve understanding of FAIR technologies, and how to teach this to others 
  • Preparation for teaching or supporting FAIR data management and policies for researchers, local institutions, professional organizations, and others 



Overall Summary: 

  • The workshop highlighted that advancing FAIR requires communal effort. 
  • In order to "FAIRify," it is important for a community to first determine its scope, goals, and objectives. 


Key Notes: 

  • FAIR is an acronym from Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable. 
  • Typical challenges that a community could face when working on FAIR include:
    • Knowledge gap
    • Institutional inertia
    • Community relationship building
    • Expanding FAIR capacity
    • Best way to adapt and adopt available FAIR resources
  • The ultimate goal of enabling FAIR is to allow both humans and machines (especially machines) to use digital resources, so that analytics and re-use can be optimized.
    • According to the Go FAIR Initiative (, FAIR can also be understood as Fully AI Ready. In other words, machines are able to know what the digital resources mean. Additionally, the digital resources are as distributed/open as possible, but can also be as central/closed as needed.
  • Implementation of FAIR can be challenging because many concepts in the principles are multifaceted (including social, resource, and technical considerations).
  • In order to advance FAIR, it is important to first establish a good (common) understanding of the FAIR principles.
  • FAIR requires technical and disciplinary resources, but it also requires community support.
    • When implement FAIR, we need to review choices and accept challenges; e.g. who is our "community", and determine what is specific to our "community".
    • FAIR is not a “standard”. The local community context is important and necessary.
  • The Go FAIR Initiative offers a 7-step "FAIRification" process: 
  • Options for conducting a FAIR event/activity with one's community include:
    • Multiple day, experts convening, tutorial/webinar, conference, unconference, hackathon, symposium, sprint, posters, etc.
  • Participants of an FAIR event/actiity might have the following expectations:
    • Share best practices/resources/learn new skills
    • Tackle a problem
    • Learn new concepts/skills
    • Use FAIR as a them to track for other topics
    • Collaborate to create a resource to be shared
    • And more!
  • Once a community has established its version of FAIR, it is important to connect with other communities. Convergence with different communities is key to grow FAIR. 

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