On June 7, FAIRsFAIR offered a workshop at the 16th International Conference on Open Repositories (OR2021). The 90-minute workshop was proposed as a joint endeavor of WP3 (Policy & Practice) and WP4 (Certification), aimed at repository managers, research data librarians and data stewards. The workshop tackled the subject of how repositories can increase their FAIR share, building upon last year’s workshop at OR2020. Several tools developed in the FAIRsFAIR project were discussed and trialed by the 112 attendees, with the goal to increase their understanding of what their services need to become more FAIR-enabling and how they can be “Open for all”.

The first half of the workshop was dedicated to the FAIRsFAIR repository support programme. The audience was introduced to the content of the programme, the achievements so far, and the timeline for still outstanding support steps. A unique aspect of this workshop was the presence of two speakers from supported repositories. Peter Sutton-Long from Apollo and Rudolf Dimper from ESRF both provided lightning talks on their experiences with the repository support program. Both elaborated on the factors that lead their repositories to pursue certification: “Having a concrete community request for a trustworthy repository was a strong incentive working towards certification. We’re far more confident now." (Peter Long-Sutton, Apollo). "For our repository trust, reproducibility and actual reuse were main drivers for certification. FAIRsFAIR support was extremely useful for us” (Rudolf Dimper, ESRF). Complementary to their perspectives, Olivier Rouchon (CINES) touched on some of the insights FAIRsFAIR has gained from the project, such as the importance of tailored support and reviewer availability. 

The interactive discussion part using mentimeter started by understanding our audience. We learned the audience consisted of a large variety of roles and locations, which translated to a very broad spectrum of perspectives and greatly appreciated inputs. Next, the audience was introduced to the specific tools used in the repository support program: the roadmapping exercise and stakeholder mind map, and the preservation policy planning worksheet. Attendees got the opportunity to share their opinions on these tools and give suggestions for additional guidance material that would make them more useful. Ideas included publishing some examples to allow for some peer comparisons and create checklists that help repositories evaluate if certification is a suitable option for them. These inputs will be incorporated in the FAIRsFAIR deliverable on the repository support programme, which will appear later this summer.

After the break, for the second part of the workshop the audience was introduced to the FAIRsFAIR data assessment tools FAIR-Aware and F-UJI. The FAIR-Aware tool is an online self-assessment tool aimed at researchers and data stewards to increase their awareness and understanding of the FAIR data principles. Given the collaboration necessary between researchers and repositories to make a dataset FAIR, repository managers are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the tool and discover what choices researchers might make in terms of choosing a repository and understand how their repositories can help. The other data assessment tool developed by FAIRsFAIR is F-UJI, an automated data assessment tool aimed to evaluate datasets using specific FAIRsFAIR metrics. Providing a API and a human-friendly graphical user interface for assessing datasets, this tool offers repositories a great way to gain insight in the current level of FAIRness of their datasets. Other stakeholders can also use the graphical user interface to learn more about how the FAIR assessment metrics apply to a specific dataset. After the short introductions, attendees were given the time to explore these two tools for themselves and communicate their opinions and suggestions once again. As both of these tools are continuously developing, the given feedback was very useful and will be incorporated into the tools by the respective development teams. Attendees shared their user experiences, and nearly 75% of the returned feedback showed an interest to use these tools in personal training.

The workshop ended with some future outlooks and insight into some other outputs from FAIRsFAIR Work Packages 3 and 4 that repository managers might make use of, such as the repository support webinar series and the working paper “FAIR + Time: Preservation for a Designated Community”. Armed with these different resources, we hope to have facilitated attendees in increasing their repositories’ FAIR share.

We would like to thank all attendees for their input, as well as our guest speakers Peter Sutton-Long (Apollo) and Rudolf DImper (ESRF) for providing such a unique perspective for the audience. We thank Iryna Kuchma from EIFL for inviting us to present this workshop and moderating during the event. 

Click here to access a recording of the session. 

Click here to download the slide presentation.