FORCE11-RDA FAIRsharing Working Group

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The joint Force11 and RDA FAIRsharing WG' has delivered:

  1. FAIRsharing - A registry of curated and interlinked records on standards (for identifying, reporting, and citing data and metadata), repositories, and journal publisher and funder data policies in all disciplines.

  2. Recommendations to guide users and the producers of these resources to select and describe them, facilitating discovery, adoption and reuse, or to recommend them in data policies.

In 2019 these outputs were formally adopted by the RDA.

FAIRsharing is already adopted and recommended by a growing numbers of funding agencies, standards organizations, librarians, infrastructure providers and scholarly publishers, from academia, industry and governmental bodies, and actively works with a growing international user base and collaborators.

Many activities are still ongoing and related to several aspects of making FAIR a reality.

Please don't hesitate to contact us on if you would like to arrange to talk to us at an upcoming meeting or collaborate with us.



Page Contents


We are gaining new adopters all the time. To see the most up-to-date version of this table, please see our communities page.

Want to join our growing list of adopters and collaborators? Contact us here.


Outputs and timeline


Key outputs (May 2019):


1. The FAIRsharing RDA/Force11 joint WG recommendation is accepted by the RDA council. See the top of the page for more details.


2. The FAIRsharing GO-FAIR StRePo group is now active. This group, spread across the three pillars of GO-FAIR (GO CHANGE, GO BUILD and GO TRAIN) is set up to map the landscape of Standards, Repositories and data Policies and relate them to FAIR indicators, data management templates and more. Further information can be found on the FAIR StRePo site.

Key outputs (October 2018):

1. Introducing two new ontologies
All records in FAIRsharing are annotated with a number of ontologies, such as the NCBI taxon for species information (where appropriate) and SWO terms for licensing information. Now, we have split our user-generated domain tags into three fields, a subject/disciplines field, using our new Subject Resource Application Ontology (SRAO), a domains field, using our new Domains Resource Application Ontology (DRAO) and much smaller user-generated tags field. These two ontologies are open and have a CC-BY-SA 4.0 license.


2. Expanding content
Working with the community, we continue to add new records to FAIRsharing. Highlights include our new Chemistry Collection, curated in collaboration with IUPAC, International Virtual Observatory Alliance (IVOA) collection and Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) collection.


Key outputs (March 2018):


1. Content and curation - update
As of March 2018, we have 1168 standards, 1050 databases and 111 policies. Our aim is to ensure quality rather than quantity. A key part of this is working directly with the community, engaging the maintainers of each standard, database and policy to actively update the record for their resource on FAIRsharing. If you have not yet claimed the record for a resource that you help maintain, please head over to the FAIRsharing website and do so.


2. DOIs for Database, Standard and Policy records
Through a collaboration with the British Library and the University of Oxford’s Bodleian Library, we now have DOIs for Database, Standard and Policy records in FAIRsharing. Each record can now be reached using its DOI, e.g.

We will be adding DOIs for our collection and recommendation records in the near future.



3. The FAIRsharing Embeddable Widget
We continue to update the widget and now have a version 1.0 available for implementation. We are working with a number of journal publishers to install the widget on their webpages to represent their data policies in an interactive, responsive table and graph. The widget can be used to represent a FAIRsharing collection or recommendation as either an interactive table or network graph. Many thanks to Scott and the GigaScience team for rolling out the widget on their pages. It can be viewed in-situ here.


Please email for more information.


4. Website development
Collection Comparison Tool - collections (groups of records related to a project, programme or organisation) and recommendations (groups of records endorsed by a journal publisher's or funder's data policy) can now be compared in a pairwise fashion. This tool allows users to assess the similarity between two collections/recommendations in terms of shared repositories and/or standards, overlapping species and disciplines and more.



Key outputs (June 2017):

After extensive community feedback the BioSharing registry is renamed to be the FAIRsharing registry, to reflect the growth in databases, standards and data policies beyond the life sciences. FAIRsharing will still cover the life sciences, and is a committed ELIXIR core resource, but now also contains information on non-life science resources, across the natural sciences, humanities and social sciences.


Key outputs (March 2017):


1. Growing Adoption - join us!
Our adopters are now listed in a table on our communities page, and here on the RDA WG page. Our adopters are not individuals, but organizations or projects that in turn serve individual researchers and other stakeholders. To be an adopter, a resource/group/organisation needs to use BioSharing in their work in some way (e.g. to inform their data policy or by creating and linking to a collection), and link back to FAIRsharing from their webpages. As you can see from the table, FAIRsharing has a growing diverse list of adopters, but we're always keen to add more, so please do spread the word and let us know if you think we have missed someone off our list.


2. RDA/Force11 FAIRsharing WG outputs
The joint RDA/Force11 FAIRsharing WG is coming to the end of its 18 month time frame, but will remain an activity in the RDA community as part of the RDA ELIXIR Bridging Force Interest Group. We are currently preparing our output package for consideration by the RDA (watch this space!) This is an important step as it will increase the visibility of FAIRsharing outside of the life/biomedical/environmental science domains and encourage cross-domain and discipline collaborations.


We feature in two sections of the March 2017 RDA newsletter.



3. Content and curation - update
As of March 1st 2017, we have 674 standards and 841 databases and 94 data policies. Aiming for quality, accuracy and consistency, we have manually reviewed every single record in FAIRsharing, checking every field and relationship link. This means every record has been manually assessed within the last year. We are now in the process of contacting the maintainers and contacts for each record to ensure they are aware of this update and have added all they can to their record(s).


Key outputs (August 2016):

BioSharing is now an:


1. Informative resource
A web-based, searchable portal of 3 interlinked registries, containing both in-house and crowdsourced manually curated descriptions of standards (, databases ( and data policies (, also combined in an integrated view across all 3 registries (

Every standard and database record is annotated with a tag indicating the readiness of that resource for implementation or use (status checked with the community). Currently we have 4 indicators, that can be found in the top left of each record card (Grid view) or in the column on the right (Table view): R - ready; Dev - in development; U - status uncertain; D - deprecated. These tags also assist the Educational side, below.


2. Educational resource


From the homepage user can access the:


- Educational section. A collection of over 40 frequently asked questions that cover the whats and whys of standards, how FAIRsharing can help users navigate standards, databases and data policies in the life sciences, and how to use and cite FAIRsharing:

- Recommendations. Standards and/or databases recommended by journal or funder data policy, e.g. PLOS:

- Collections. Standards and/or databases grouped by domain, species or organization, e.g. see the Biodiversity Standards, a group linked to the RDA IG:






Upcoming Events

These will be listed here shortly





Activities at previous plenaries

RDA 12th Plenary, 5th-7th November 2018 Botswana

The FAIRsharing WG was involved in a number of RDA and pre-RDA sessions.



Monday 5th November



Tuesday 6th November

Wednesday 7th November



Please don't hesitate to contact us on if you would like to arrange to talk to us at the plenary or to invite one of our representatives to your session.








RDA 11th Plenary, 21st-23rd March 2018, Berlin, Germany




FAIRsharing was involved in a number of RDA and pre-RDA sessions:





RDA 10th Plenary, 17th-21st September 2017, Montreal, Canada




Sunday 17th September - Monday 18th September



  • Interest Group on Agricultural Data (IGAD) Pre-Plenary meeting - slides available here

Tuesday 19th September

Wednesday 20th September

Thursday 21st September

RDA 9th Plenary, 5-7th April 2017, Barcelona, Spain

Monday 3rd - Tuesday 4th April


Wednesday 5th April


Thursday 6th April


RDA 8th Plenary and IDW, 11-17th September 2016, Denver (USA)

We co-organized and presented at the following sessions:

Activities pre-plenary 8

  • Pre-defined Recommendations: A core-set of resources (databases and/or standards) that have been selected and recommended by relevant groups or organizations. 
  • Wizard Tool (beta): The wizard guides users step-by-step through the resources captured in FAIRsharing. 
  • FAIRsharing Standards Registry Survey: We have just closed our FAIRsharing Standards Registry survey, where we have assessed your needs for a registry of data/content standards in the life, environmental and biomedical sciences. We have had over 530 responses. We're now analysing the survey and will shortly publicize an executive summary of the results, along with the raw data.

Activities at Plenary 7

Where we presented

Activities pre-plenary 7

To prioritize FAIRsharing registry's content and capabilities, in a way most appropriate to your needs, we have run a 10 questions survey and received 530 replies!

Here you can see a 3 slides update on our progresses to date.

Activities at RDA Plenary 6


Thank-you for your feedback at the 6th Plenary meeting in Paris. It was great to catch up with everyone and to hear about the innovative and challenging work everyone is doing. If you didn’t manage to catch us at the meeting, our slides and our leaflet are available on Slideshare, as follows:

Where we presented

Activities pre-RDA plenary 6 

Help us prioritize improvements to FAIRsharing's capabilities as a Standards Information Resource, in a way most appropriate to your needs. ​Take a few minutes to answer few questions, please!

Activities at RDA Plenary 5

Activities at RDA Plenary 4

Activities at RDA Plenary 3


Events we have attended and presented at

ELIXIR FAIR Core Data Resource Workshop (13th May, 2019), EMBL-EBI, Hinxton, UK.

12th International Society for Biocuration (7th-10th April, 2019), Cambridge, UK.

ELIXIR Interoperability Face-2-Face Meeting (1st-2nd April, 2019), Stansted Airport, UK.

EOSC-Life Kickoff Meeting (20th-21st March, 2019), Amsterdam, NL.

RDA UK Workshop (18th January 2019), London, UK.

GO-FAIR IN Coordination Meeting (14th-17th January 2019), Leiden, NL.

ELIXIR UK All Hands Meeting (27th-29th November), Birmingham, UK.

ELIXIR All Hands Meeting (4th-7th June 2018), Berlin, Germany.

Supporting FAIR exchange of chemical data through standards development, IUPAC & CODATA workshop, 16-17th July, Amsterdam, Netherlands - slides here

European Open Science Cloud Pilot All Hands (Mar 8-9, 2018), Pisa, Italy - details

ELIXIR Innovation and SME Forum (Jan 24-25th, 2018), Wellcome Genome Campus, UK - details

RDA EU Data Innovation Forum (Jan 30, 2018), Brussels, Belgium - details

Keynote - International Workshop on Sharing, Citation and Publication of Scientific Data across Disciplines (Dec, 2017), Joint Support-Center for Data Science Research (DS), Tokyo, Japan - - describing and connecting standards, repositories and policies across disciplines - slides here



Invited seminar - NBDC (Dec, 2017), Japan Science and Technology Agency, Tokyo, Japan - - interlinking standards, repositories and policies - slides here




CODATA Data Standards (Nov, 2017), The Royal Society, London, UK



European Open Science Cloud Pilot Data Interoperability Technical Workshop (Oct, 2017), Wellcome Genome Campus, UK - Slides




BioSchemas and workshop (Oct, 2018), Wellcome Genome Campus, UK


ELIXIR All Hands Meeting (Mar 21-23, 2017), Rome (IT)


BioSchemas and workshop (Mar 6-8, 2017), Wellcome Genome Campus, Cambridge (UK)



International Digital Curation Conference - DMP workshop (Feb 2017), Edinburgh, Scotland (UK)



ELIXIR Interoperability Platform (Jan 2017), Amsterdam (NL)



NIH BD2K All Hands (Dec 2016), DC (USA)



NETTAB/CHARME workshop (Oct 25-26, 2016) Rome (IT) - Reproducibility, standards and SOP in bioinformatics - slides here



ECCB (Sept 6, 2016) The Hague (NL) ELIXIR talk 11 - The FAIRsharing registry: mapping the landscape of standards and database resources in the life sciences - slides here



CHARME workshop - (June 22, 2016) Warsaw (PL) - a presentation on FAIRsharing at the kick-off COST-CHARME workshop on Standards - slides here



ISB2016 Conference - Geneva (CH) where we presented a poster on the FAIRsharing database registry (Tuesday 12th April) and ran a workshop on FAIRsharing, community curation and the BioDBcore guidelines (Wednesday 13th April)



UKON2016 Conference - Newcastle (UK) for a short talk on FAIRsharing on Thursday 14th April



FORCE2016 Conference - Portland (OR) at the Propelled by FORCE session on Tuesday April 19th at 10am


Group Events
Working Group Participation