For a GO FAIR IN to be started there are three absolute requirements. The IN needs to:
- have defined goals/objectives such as building a component or a service, defining a training curriculum or a data stewardship policy, etc.
- comply with the GO FAIR Rules of Engagement (in special, following the FAIR guiding principles in all developments).
- have enough critical mass to be regarded as thought leaders in the field of expertise: Potential International Community Impact (PICI).
Critical mass is defined here as a sufficient ‘clout’ of the IN group to be respected in the field as a thought-leader community and to act as an attractor of additional partners to join the group. This critical mass is important to guarantee a significant impact of the work of the IN. GO FAIR follows some of the approaches adopted by NSFnet on setting up the internet, in particular the ‘hourglass’ and the ‘lead by example’ approaches. The ‘hourglass’ approach focuses on enforcing standards only where unavoidable in order to guarantee maximum openness and freedom to operate (besides these small number of standards). In order to ensure a significant impact of these few standards in a global interoperability scenario, the ‘lead by example’ approach requires that those adopting the standards have enough critical mass to attract even more followers and, therefore, having more data and services able to interoperate.