11 September 2020

Do you remember the recommendations for “Turning FAIR into Reality” (TFiR)? In 2018 the European Commission expert group on FAIR data delivered an important report with an Action Plan and 27 recommendations, aiming at various stakeholders. FAIRsFAIR took the initiative to measure progress towards implementing these recommendations: where are we now with making research data FAIR?

Through its Synchronisation Force, which seeks dialogue with projects and actors at the interface of FAIR data and the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC), FAIRsFAIR brought together representatives from EOSC Working Groups, European projects and research infrastructures as well as FAIR Champions in a series of virtual workshops from April 29 to June 11, 2020. More than sixty workshop participants have shared what they are doing or have already done to put the FAIR principles into practice, based on the 27 recommendations of the FAIR expert group.

It is very encouraging to see quite some activity with respect to most of the TFiR recommendations. Much of it focuses on implementing the so-called “priority recommendations”, whereas other recommendations still require more attention. The activities are not equally divided over the projects and research infrastructures, which makes good sense, given their various remits. Being able to discuss progress as well as gaps and overlaps with a variety of EOSC stakeholders was a clear benefit of the forum created by the Synchronisation Force over this series of online sessions.

Acknowledging that the workshop inventory is a snapshot in time and our conclusions can only be qualitative, the workshop report is extremely comprehensive and also makes some additional recommendations to the EOSC Executive and Governing Boards. It also recommends a couple of specific actions to fill gaps in the TFiR Action Plan.

Marjan Grootveld, DANS,
FAIRsFAIR Synchronisation Force