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RDA FAIR data Working Group launches public consultation on maturity model report

The RDA FAIR Data Maturity Model Working Group has announced its public comment period for the FAIR Data Maturity Model specification and guidelines. The report is available for comment on the EOSC Liaison Platform and closes on the 13th May 2020.

The work is part of an overall process to stimulate uptake and effectively implement FAIR principles through an RDA recommendation in mid-2020. This task is being carried out by the FAIR Data Maturity Model Working Group and started in early 2019. The working group aims to bring together relevant stakeholders from different scientific and research disciplines, the industry and public sector. It will evaluate in particular, assessment criteria and methodologies towards the spread of FAIR principles.

"The EOSC FAIR Working Group is tasked to provide the EOSC Executive Board with recommendations on a framework to assess FAIR data. In a landscape in which many teams are working on FAIR data assessment, the RDA Data Maturity Model WG is performing the essential and difficult task of reaching international agreement on data FAIRness criteria", stated Fran├žoise Genova, Chair of the EOSC FAIR Working Group Metrics and Certification Task Force.

The report defines a set of indicators for various aspects of the FAIR principles, priorities for those indicators and a mechanism for assigning maturity levels to the evaluation of FAIRness based on these indicators.
FAIR data principles aim to create a European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) by maximising data sharing and re-use amongst the scientific community through the adoption of data standards and sharing agreements. This will allow scientists to share information instantly and safely, contributing to a significant step forward in the speed and quality of scientific research across Europe.

As part of the FAIR Data Maturity Model, the working group defined a set of indicators for various aspects of the FAIR principles, priorities for those indicators and a mechanism for assigning maturity levels to the evaluation of FAIRness based on the indicators. These components of the FAIR Data Maturity Model are described in the document that is now open for public comment as a proposed RDA Recommendation.

The indicators have been identified through an extensive period of consultation and testing with the working group members and beyond.

Rather than being yet another evaluation approach, the FAIR Data Maturity Model aims to establish common ground for evaluation approaches so that their results can be made comparable. It is not meant as a "how to", but instead as a way to normalise assessment.

The model proposes the set of indicators, priorities and maturity levels for the evaluation of FAIRness on a general level. In practical application of the model, thematic communities can adapt the model to their specific needs and their expectations about FAIRness of the data resources they produce and manage.

The model may be used during the development of Research Data Management Plans before any data resources have been produced to specify the level of FAIRness that the resources are expected to achieve. It can also be used after the production of data resources to test what the achieved level of the resources is. Data producers, i.e. researchers, and data publishers can use the model to determine where their practices could be improved to achieve a higher level of FAIRness, while project managers and funding agencies can use the model to determine whether the data resources achieve a pre-defined, expected level of FAIRness.

Application of the model in assessment approaches can then lead to increased coherence and interoperability of existing or emerging FAIR assessment frameworks, ensuring the combination and compatibility of their results in a meaningful way.

With several action lines currently in progress to produce the science cloud, you can take part in shaping it through the EOSC liaison platform.

To continue the work on the model and its implementation after the publication of the RDA Recommendation, the working group is investigating the option to establish an RDA maintenance working group.

Interested parties can download the report for consultation and comments.