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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 

Goals: 

  • 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 

Link: https://www.sdsc.edu/services/data_science/research_data_services.html  

 

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 (https://www.go-fair.org), 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: https://www.go-fair.org/fair-principles/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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