Enabling FAIR Data across the Earth, Space, and Environmental Sciences (ESES)

So far, the Enabling FAIR Data project has mobilized a community of more than 300 cross-sector leaders to improve data handling across the Earth, Space, and Environmental Sciences (ESES).  By leveraging the FAIR principles, this community is working together to ensure that data, physical samples, and software are treated as first-class research products to open new opportunities for ESES research.

The Enabling FAIR Data Project has reached a significant milestone with the announcement of the Commitment Statement reflecting distinct stakeholder perspectives and roles, and defining the goals for the many communities that collectively support open and FAIR data. 

"Increasingly data sets are stored or made available separately from the actual publication because of their sheer size. But even when data are saved, the ways in which they are stored and catalogued is uneven, making discovery and linking of data sets that should be allied difficult or impossible...

Over the past few years, several organizations have led efforts to address key parts of these problems at a high level, such as the Center for Open Science’s Transparency and Openness Promotion (TOP) Guidelines, the FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Re-usable) Data Principles, and the Data Citation Principles",

                                                                            - read on more on EOS website  

The “Enabling FAIR Data” project aims at developing a set of data management best practices, standards that will connect researchers, publishers, and data repositories in the ESES, to enable FAIR (findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable) data on a large scale.  In this way, the project will accelerate scientific discovery and enhance the integrity, transparency, and reproducibility of this data.

The “Enabling FAIR Data” effort builds on the work of The Coalition on Publishing Data in the Earth and Space Sciences (COPDESS.org), Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP), Research Data Alliance (RDA), the scientific journals, and domain repositories to ensure that well documented data, preserved in a repository with community agreed-upon metadata, and supporting persistent identifiers becomes part of the expected research products submitted in support of each publication. 

HELPING REPOSITORIES BE FAIR ... AS Community-Based Support for Researchers

The action groups of the community built around Enabling FAIR Data project have identified gaps in researcher support and then brought together international experts to develop the needed social and technical infrastructure to streamline researcher workflows:

  • Repository Selection Decision Tree for Researchers [Enabling FAIR Data Community, 2018a] demonstrates the complexity researchers face to find the best possible repository for data.
  • Repository Finder Tool enables identification of FAIR-aligned repositories where research data can be deposited. (A FAIR-aligned repository complies with the goals in the Enabling FAIR Data Commitment Statement specific to scientific repositories.) It was developed by DataCite leveraging the Repository Selection Decision Tree and the re3data international registry of repositories. Usability testing was carried out by the ESIP Usability Cluster and DeveloperTown. Curation of repository records is by the re3data Editorial Board.
  • Author Guidelines for Data [Enabling FAIR Data Community, 2018b] ensures journal data policies are consistent for researchers publishing in ESES journals.
  • Data Management Training Clearinghouse offers centralized access to training materials on FAIR Data Principles and other topics. It was developed by a collaboration between ESIP, the U.S. Geological Survey’s Community for Data Integration, and DataONE. Additional funding was provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Also, in response to the inventory results, a repository cohort has been established in partnership with CoreTrustSeal and the World Data System and supported by the Council of Data Facilitiesto advance the implementation of FAIR principles in ESES repositories.

Frequently asked questions are available with community-generated and -vetted guidance toward open and FAIR data and research products.

MORE ABOUT Advancing FAIR Data in Earth, Space, and Environmental Science HERE

You can read more about the project in a recent article in the journal Science Editor that focuses on the tools and resources that will be helpful to authors: New Author Guidelines Promoting Open and FAIR Data in the Earth, Space, and Environmental Sciences. Do note, this initial push centres on earth sciences, but this is with the intention of extending to other domains in the near future.


For more updates follow @AIMS_Community on Twitter... And, thanks again for your interest!