Delegates from 18 European countries came together to discuss involvement in GO FAIR at a national or regional level
A GO FAIR Country Meeting took place from October 25-26, 2018, in Leiden (The Netherlands). The GO FAIR International Support and Coordination Office (GFISCO) had invited delegates from all over Europe with the aim to shed light on various concepts and relationships surrounding the GO FAIR initiative and to engage in a dialogue about country-specific sets of arguments for joining GO FAIR at a national or regional level or to ‘hold on’ until the time is ripe. Countries represented at the meeting were Austria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK.
Update on GO FAIR so far
The meeting started off with updates on developments of various initiatives. The staff of the GFISCO delivered an update on GO FAIR so far. Their presentation (see below) addressed major questions and common misconceptions in relation to the initiative such as:
- What is FAIR?
- What FAIR is not…
- What is GO FAIR?
- How does GO FAIR relate to the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) and the Internet of FAIR Data and Services (IFDS)?
- How does GO FAIR relate to other FAIR-associated international players?
See below for the presentation slides of the GFISCO (link to pdf file) giving an update on GO FAIR so far:26102018_Country_meeting_GFISCO_staff_presentation
Update on EOSC developments
Next up was a presentation on the latest EOSC developments by Jean-Claude Burgelman, Head of Unit Open Data Policies and Science Cloud at the Directorate General for Research and Innovation of the European Commission. Burgelman emphasized that “GO FAIR is an extremely important parallel track to achieve the EOSC”. For further details, see his presentation slides (link to pdf file) below:2018 GO FAIR EOSC – FAIR overview
Update on the Austrian EU presidency and the EOSC launch
Afterwards, Paolo Budroni, Head of Department of University of Vienna’s Library and Archive Services, gave a talk about the launch of the EOSC Governance Structure which will take place during the Austrian EU presidency. See below for his presentation slides (link to pdf file):About-the-EOSC-Launch-in-Austria
Going FAIR: Status quo of the represented countries
After these updates, the country delegates gave flash presentations on their respective country’s strengths with regards to FAIR Data and Services and planned contribution to EOSC goals. The country delegates moreover pointed out which of their country’s goals towards implementation of a global Internet of FAIR Data & Services could be achieved through the GO FAIR initiative and reported on already existing GO FAIR activities in their country. The slides of the flash presentations (link to pdf file) are available below:FlashPresentations_CountryViews
The flash presentations made obvious that there is a wide range of “phases” – from countries that have “doubts about their role in both EOSC and GO FAIR” to countries that are “ready to GO FAIR”. It was concluded that it is important that GO FAIR should support countries and regions in all phases of their potential interest to become a player in the IFDS at their own speed and from their own perspective.
Getting involved in GO FAIR at a national or regional level
The rapid expansion of GO FAIR Implementation Networks prompted the request in several countries to discuss the establishment of a national or regional ‘support and coordination’ entity. The open and voluntary character of participation in GO FAIR implies maximum freedom to implement such an entity.
In some countries, these might be existing bodies that assume a national support and coordination role. In some cases they may also offer coordination leadership on certain topics or technologies. Countries may decide to have a new legal entity with dedicated personnel, to combine RDA, GO FAIR and possibly CODATA (and EOSC related issues) into one office. Country delegates also considered the option to join forces with several regionally or topically connected countries.
The country delegates discussed that in particular smaller countries may not be able to afford funding substantial coordination efforts. Obviously, small countries will have on average “less to coordinate and support in their country” than larger countries. Therefore, a joint effort of interested countries towards funders to co-support national or regional GO FAIR support and coordination entities was considered as a possibility to substantially speed up the implementation of the EOSC and eventually the IFDS.
For more GO FAIR material including the GO FAIR flyer click here.
Visit the photo gallery for photos taken during the country meeting: