On Jan 24, 2018, a group of founding stakeholders met in the GO FAIR International Support and Coordination Office (GFISCO) to brainstorm about the rationale for, and the construction of a GO FAIR Implementation Network (IN) focusing on assisting other people to render their data and associated services FAIR. The participants discussed many aspects of FAIRification including the pitfalls and particularly the risks to see the FAIR principles being interpreted in a variety of ways, in some cases leading to the use of the acronym FAIR in ways that were not originally intended by the group that created the FAIR principles [Wilkinson et al 2016].
The group agreed that one way to prevent diverging implementation strategies trying to follow FAIR principles would be to join forces with a large group of early adopters from the public and private sectors to jointly develop the pre-competitive elements needed to ensure the most convergent approaches, protocols and standards to make data and services FAIR. The participants also addressed the scope of a potential OPEDAS (Other People’s Data and Services) Implementation Network, including the question whether multiple INs might be needed, and how such INs would relate to other INs in the GO CHANGE, GO TRAIN and GO BUILD pillars of GO FAIR.
After a brief introduction about the recent developments and expanding scope of GO FAIR, the meeting was mostly a free-floating discussion about how an IN could add value, what its scope and limitations would be and what would be common themes that people are interested in and could be seen as largely pre-competitive. The latter is important, because it became clear that the meeting brought together a mix of public and private actors that have already been involved in early Bring Your Own Data (BYOD)’s, FAIRification efforts, repositories, developments of early tooling and, for instance, design of metrics to objectively measure the FAIRness of data, metadata and services.
The group also studied the manifestos of the first two early INs (Metabolomics and the Personal Health Train) and it was concluded that a similar manifesto for the OPEDAS network would be the most effective way to focus thoughts and discussions, and reach a consensus at the end of the day. This discussion also fed into a discussion on the next day (January 25), when over 20 participants met, each representing a developing IN and/or another organisational element of GO FAIR. Meanwhile it was suggested by the community to adopt the ‘IN Manifesto’ as the principal first documented collaboration statement to be applied to each nascent IN, which can then be submitted for approval by the GO FAIR international office (or proxy). The template Manifesto will contain some mandatory text about FAIR principles and the GO FAIR Rules of Engagement, both referenced in each Manifesto to ensure that all signatories of the Manifesto adhere to these principles and rules.
A template was designed for a ‘universal approach to an IN Manifesto’and the template was filled as a first draft for the OPEDAS IN Manifesto.
It was decided to start a single OPEDAS IN and, within that group, discuss the need for sub-IN’s or separate IN’s once this initial group of early movers has kicked off.