Supporting FAIR Data Principles with Fedora

Abstract:  Making data findable, accessible, interoperable, and re-usable is an important but challenging goal. From an infrastructure perspective, repository technologies play a key role in supporting FAIR data principles. Fedora is a flexible, extensible, open source repository platform for managing, preserving, and providing access to digital content. Fedora is used in a wide variety of institutions including libraries, museums, archives, and government organizations. Fedora provides native linked data capabilities and a modular architecture based on well-documented APIs and ease of integration with existing applications. As both a project and a community, Fedora has been increasingly focused on research data management, making it well-suited to supporting FAIR data principles as a repository platform. Fedora provides strong support for persistent identifiers, both by minting HTTP URIs for each resource and by allowing any number of additional identifiers to be associated with resources as RDF properties. Fedora also supports rich metadata in any schema that can be indexed and disseminated using a variety of protocols and services. As a linked data server, Fedora allows resources to be semantically linked both within the repository and on the broader web. Along with these and other features supporting research data management, the Fedora community has been actively participating in related initiatives, most notably the Research Data Alliance. Fedora representatives participate in a number of interest and working groups focused on requirements and interoperability for research data repository platforms. This participation allows the Fedora project to both influence and be influenced by an international group of Research Data Alliance stakeholders. This paper will describe how Fedora supports FAIR data principles, both in terms of relevant features and community participation in related initiatives.

Open research hub | Jisc

“UK research funders and good open scholarship practice requires universities to make sure their digital research outputs are managed, preserved and accessible. 

In response to this we developed open research hub, a fully-managed and interoperable research data platform that specifically meets the needs of UK higher education institutions (HEIs)….

Built in partnership with the UK research sector, open research hub can:

  • Allow you to manage all digital research outputs in one place
  • Help you meet funder policy compliance
  • Support good research practice and the open scholarship (FAIR) agenda
  • Enable your institution to boost and track the impact of all its research
  • Offer secure data storage and management  
  • Save institutions time and money as a national, fully managed shared service
  • Handle the integration of different systems and services for you
  • Archive and preserve research data and other digital objects
  • Scale to your needs…”

Be open about drug failures to speed up research

It can take 20 years or more to get a drug to market, from testing compounds in animals to running late-stage (phase III) clinical trials in thousands of subjects. More than 80% of drugs that are tested in humans fail to demonstrate safety and efficacy1 (see ‘High failure rate’); the rate for Alzheimer’s treatments is estimated at more than 99%2 (see ‘Alzheimer’s drug attrition’).

Yet the data behind these failures are generally not seen by regulators, or considered deeply by anyone outside the company sponsoring the trial. Without this information, learning is unlikely….

Initiatives for private companies to share biomedical data and ideas have expanded in the past decade. Some, such as the Biomarkers Consortium and the Structural Genomics Consortium, bring together many companies and academics to design experiments for the benefit of the community, such as identifying disease markers or characterizing tool compounds to understand how target proteins work. Others ask companies and academic groups to pool data in a common repository. For instance, the Project Data Sphere Initiative is a platform to share de-identified data from people who were enrolled in the control, placebo or even experimental arms of more than 180 cancer trials….

Information that is not shared is arguably the most important: data that failed to meet drug developers’ hopes are most likely to help progress. Large clinical trials are multimillion-dollar experiments to validate a hypothesis that an experimental drug will be effective and safe. Results that go against these expectations must be made available to refine hypotheses and to elaborate alternative ones.

Data from negative research can reveal whether a trial adequately tested the intended hypothesis. …”

RNLI launches an Open Data site! — Esri UK

Open Data and the ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World were hot topics at our Esri UK conference last month. We showcased the power of using The Royal National Lifeboat Institution’s Open Data and The Living Atlas to perform real-world analysis in our opening plenary

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) provides a 24-hour service in the UK and Ireland and have saved over 142,200 lives since 1824.

The RNLI uses ArcGIS to analyse risk which enables them to save more lives through innovation, data analysis, and new technology. The next step to share knowledge is to make their data public, which is why the RNLI have released Open Data.

CCI Sea Ice Dataset Release (Sea Ice Thickness v2.0) | CCI Open Data Portal

The CCI Sea Ice team is pleased to announce the release of their updated version of the sea-ice thickness dataset (v2.0). This dataset includes observations, made by two radar altimeter missions – Envisat and CryoSat-2, on polar Winters between October 2002 and April 2017. This dataset, in comparison to the previous dataset (v1.0), provides a number improvements which include improved sea-ice thickness retrievals from Envisat data, an experimental data record in the southern hemisphere, the delivery of trajectory-based Level 2 products and the availability of freeboard data in Level 2 and 3 products. 

The sea-ice thickness data is open and publicly available via the CCI Data Portal….”

OSF | Badges to Acknowledge Open Practices Wiki

“A “PA” (Protected Access) notation may be added to open data badges if sensitive, personal data are available only from an approved third party repository that manages access to data to qualified researchers through a documented process. To be eligible for an open data badge with such a notation, the repository must publicly describe the steps necessary to obtain the data and detailed data documentation (e.g. variable names and allowed values) must be made available publicly. This notation is not available to researchers who state that they will make “data available upon request” and is not available if requests for data sharing are evaluated on any criteria beyond considerations for compliance with proper handling of sensitive data. For example, this notation is not available if limitations are placed on the permitted use of the data, such as for data that are only made available for the purposes of replicating previously published results or for which there is substantive review of analytical results. Review of results to avoid disclosure of confidential information is permissible….”

Ocean Tool for Public Understanding and Science

“The Ocean Tool for Public Understanding and Science (OcToPUS) is a research initiative at the University of Oxford located at the Department of Zoology and initiated through the Oxford Martin School Programme on Sustainable Oceans ( We aim to support scienti c study, monitoring, policy and decision-making related to the management of the oceans….

OcToPUS relies on established free and open-source geospatial technology to provide interactive access to dynamically updated, multi-dimensional data on the marine environment. A retrospective approach to big data archives allows us to present information on temporal trends and variability in ocean phenomena and to identify hotspots of change in the oceans….”