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GO CHANGE Pillar Statement

GO FAIR – towards a ‘GO CHANGE’ agenda

The overall mission of GO FAIR https://www.go-fair.org is to support and coordinate community-led activities in the development of an overarching Internet of FAIR Data and Services. The guidelines for Data FAIR-ness have been recorded as the FAIR principles: https://www.go-fair.org/fair-principles/.

The main vehicles of GO FAIR are bottom up Implementation Networks (IN’s; https://www.go-fair.org/implementation-networks/). These IN’s are a growing and rich variety of disciplinary, interdisciplinary, generic, specific, national and international networks dedicated to the  automatic interoperation of research data. The GO FAIR initiative assists the communities in the IN’s by building connective tools (GO BUILD), to train professional data stewards (GO TRAIN), and to work towards alignment, leverage and synergy (GO CHANGE).

Due to the bottom-up nature of the GO FAIR Initiative, some top down and horizontal governance is important to trace and steer progress. Alignment, balance in portfolio, rules of procedures and persuasion of potentially interesting parties are vital for the sustainability of GO FAIR. The GO CHANGE pillar has been set up to optimize coordination between existing activities and to initiate new activities in making informed choices, compliant with the FAIR guiding principles. This is even more important because of the growing interest in the GO FAIR initiative and the anticipated growth of participation by a variety of actors and stakeholders.

Therefore, the following goals (and values) have been articulated:

  • Open science promotion by all – or as much as possible – parties involved
  • Prevention of fragmentation, foster initiatives towards active defragmentation
  • Promote a culture change in data stewardship and accompanying advocacy
  • Establish a shift in paradigms, packaging and handling of data
  • Advocate new perspectives on data management plans, and the way they are addressed, conceptualised, composed, evaluated and monitored.
  • Design a  reward system for better FAIR data management and stewardship.

In the process of changing perspectives, not only researchers and repositories,  but also research funding organisations and scientific associations and unions have a pivotal strategic role.

The overall purpose of the GO CHANGE Pillar is to provide assistance and guidance in achieving these goals, with priority for the culture change, perceiving data as assets instead of by-products, to transform data management into professional data stewardship enabling interoperability and reuse, to develop new business models and funding for storage and reuse (including OPEDAS), in a concerted and inclusive manner.  

Prerequisites for the success of GO CHANGE are:

  • Partnerships with the key players in the research data arena
  • Funders demanding good data management/stewardship plans in calls for proposals
  • Appreciation for and recognition of the various methodological challenges across disciplines
  • Systematic funding for storage of data sets – enabling long-term FAIR reuse after the end of projects –  upfront included in the budget of a research proposal
  • A shift in assessing and evaluating data management/stewardship, involving PI intuitions in establishing the quality of the data plans.  
  • Preparatory working groups with all parties involved (GO Change Working group)
  • Identification of best practices, developing a GO CHANGE Roadmap, milestones and deliverables.

In the advocacy, guiding and support activities, GO FAIR – GO CHANGE cooperates with and assists several key partners:

This will be done in an effective division of labour. Where other parties provide rules of granting organisations, visions and demands of high level scientists, repositories and data alliances, GO FAIR provides awareness, best practices, models, templates, IT solutions, training and guidance.

Science Europe

Research funders have a pivotal role in discussions and decisions on:

  • the European Open Science Cloud (including the funding of the first phase)
  • Alignment of open implementation strategies
  • Efficiency strategies
  • Ownership of data
  • Standardisation of collection and storage of data
  • A funding and/or ‘reward’ mechanism for data stewardship.

Consequently, a liaison of GO FAIR with the alliance of 45 European Research funders in Science Europe is vital.  

Alignment of Research Data Management Protocols is one of the key elements in a successful Internet of FAIR Data & Services (IFDS).  

Consequently, the GO FAIR Initiative is in line with one of the key projects of the collected research funders in ‘Science Europe’ in:

  • constructing a FAIR Science Agenda
  • taking the driver’s’ seat of designing Open Science policies
  • closing the gap between bottom up data collection initiative and the need for a novel, basic structure in data management (collection and storage)
  • identifying best-practice examples for Open Science among its Members Organizations and come up with ideas of how to foster their Europe-wide implementation.

In the coming years GO FAIR offers advice and – where needed services – to Science Europe members and their partners, in transforming the data management policies into a sustainable system for optimal interoperability and reuse of research data and metadata.

GO FAIR with its pillar GO CHANGE assists the Science Europe Working group on Research Data, developing and advocating a framework for disciplinary research data management protocols, more specifically Domain Data Protocols.

GO FAIR and Science Europe will exchange members of the governance, as observers in the mutual arenas.

In 2018, the following milestones will be anticipated:

  • establishment of common principles for research data management
  • finalisation of core/minimum Data Management Plan criteria, template and guiding questions
  • a set of five domain specific protocols, guidelines, terms of reference and examples for Research Data Management will be presented to the Science Europe Board, the Go FAIR Board and related parties, and a roadmap to describe the other domains and disciplines
  • minimum requirements of Research Data Repositories (with reference to re3data.org) will be described
  • best practices for quality control at Research Performing Organisations (RPOs) and evaluation of Data Management Plans at Research Funding Organisations (RFOs) will be described
  • a discussion on funding of the first phase of EOSC will be started
  • a discussion on – the funding of – sustainable storage of research data will be initiated
  • Science Europe will put Go FAIR on the agenda of the Global Research Council.

Specific challenges in the relationship of Science Europe and GO FAIR need to be addressed shortly:

  • How to involve funders in the GO FAIR ‘IN’ scheme and the Go FAIR governance?
  • How to disentangle country level of participation with – various types of – institutional level
  • Which triage criteria apply to the inclusion of IN’s in the GO FAIR family?
  • How to establish ad attune the mandates and rules of procedures for the “Steering committee’ (the representative and decision-making body of the participating Member states), the“Executive Board” (elected representatives of Ins) and decision makers in RFOs and RPOs .
  • How to productively team up with the European Commission services.

International Science Council

  • The International Science Council (ISC) is the global ‘voice of science’, representing over 200 member states and scientific unions and associations
  • Association of Go FAIR with ISC is important for supporting the GO CHANGE message
  • The liaison will offer endorsement, advocacy, a platform for agenda setting innovations in science policy, and thus in innovative data management.
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ISC and GO FAIR will exchange members of the governance, as observers in the mutual arenas.

In 2018 the following mile stone(s) will be anticipated:

  • ISC will adopt a GO FAIR working group in its multi-annual planning and dovetail the CODATA and WDS activities in the extended alliance
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Specific challenges and opportunities in the relationship between GO CHANGE and the ISC need to be resolved:

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The Research Data Alliance (RDA)

  • The Research Data Alliance has a mission which for a considerable part overlaps with the mission of Go FAIR.
  • RDA is in the process of setting up ‘national nodes’, which show resemblance with the institutional/’country’ set up of GO FAIR
  • RDA and GO FAIR could benefit from combining intellectual and organizational capacity

In 2018 the following milestones will be anticipated:

  • RDA and GO FAIR have established 5 to 10 mutual nodes/offices and develop a plan to roll out experiences
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Specific challenges and opportunities in the relationship between GO CHANGE and RDA

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