Allyson is the FAIRsharing Content & Community Lead at the Oxford e-Research Centre, Department of Engineering Science, University of Oxford. She is responsible for data curation and quality within FAIRsharing as well as for interactions and engagement with our community of users and stakeholders. She has a B.A. in Biology from Rice University, moving into data science via a Master's degree in Bioinformatics from the University of York and a PhD in Computer Science from Newcastle University, where she studied data integration in the context of semantics and ontologies. She started her career at the European Bioinformatics Institute with the UniProt group, and has worked both for Newcastle University and the University of Manchester before moving to FAIRsharing in Oxford in 2015.
As the RDA/EOSC Future Domain Ambassador for standards, repositories and policies, I will focus on enriching the relationships among these resources through the development of a FAIRsharing Community Curation Programme. This programme will draw upon the collective domain expertise within the RDA and EOSC to build a network of community curators who will “champion” their domain of interest, and who will:
- promote these resources across research areas by enriching their descriptions within FAIRsharing;
- gain attribution and a support network;
- provide feedback on training material;
- improve the discoverability of new resources / crosswalks of existing standards developed by RDA groups;
- help EOSC Future’s ESFRI clusters make their data standards more visible within FAIRsharing, and more accessible to EOSC information aggregators; and
- ensure FAIRsharing, a RDA-contributed element of the EOSC ecosystem, continues to meet the needs of its diverse EOSC stakeholders and research communities.
There is clear interest from the community in becoming community curators, and a pilot programme has begun. As an RDA / EOSC Future Domain Ambassador, I will formalise this programme for the benefit of the RDA, EOSC and the wider community.
To turn FAIR into reality, both technical and social aspects need to be considered. While there has been a lot of focus on the technical aspects of implementing FAIR (and FAIRsharing is an important part of that), it is the social aspects that are the most interesting for me. Improvements in the uptake and understanding of FAIR require domain experts that are skilled communicators and who can strengthen ties among stakeholders and communities. Such social skills are key to promoting the adoption and use of community practices and outputs from RDA groups and EOSC projects. A key function of my ambassadorship is to utilise our FAIRsharing Community Curation Programme and my engagement in RDA, EOSC projects and ESFRIs as well as a broad range of other initiatives to help promote these outputs and increase community ties.
FAIRsharing is a RDA WG and an endorsed output, a ‘de facto’ element of the EOSC ecosystem recommended by many EOSC formal reports, and a recommended interoperability resource within ELIXIR. Communication is central to my work as FAIRsharing Content and Community Lead. The FAIRsharing community network allows me to access the expertise of a number of stakeholders across the research life cycle, including EOSC knowledge providers (e.g. OpenAIRE, DataCite), EOSC clusters (e.g. EOSC-Life, ESCAPE), researchers, data stewards, trainers, librarians, policymakers, publishers, resource and infrastructure and tool developers and curators.
I am in the unique situation of being a cross-domain expert for FAIR data and open science, rather than being tied to a single domain. Alternatively, you could say that my ‘domain’ are those resources that, when viewed as a network of interconnected nodes, provide a view of the FAIR ecosystem that is a vital part of collaboration and communication.
Through the ambassadorship, I have launched the FAIRsharing Community Curation Programme, which which promotes and utilises the FAIRsharing community to further enhance and consolidate FAIRsharing to the benefit of the broader community, extending EOSC’s message of open science and community across all disciplines. This programme focuses on two main outputs: the enrichment of the resource landscape via FAIRsharing curation, and the production of associated educational material. In return, the programme curators gain attribution and expertise, as well as networking with a community of like-minded experts.
Twitter (@allysonlister) and ORCID (0000-0002-7702-4495).
Allyson's profile on the EOSC Future grants platform
Allyson's RDA profile on the RDA website
Background information: EOSC Future open call programme
Promotion and Networking:
- November 2022: EDDI22 FAIRsharing Community Curation: Mapping the Social Sciences Resource Landscape (slides)
- November 2022: EOSC Symposium: Making Data Policies FAIR (slides); FAIRsharing: curating resource relationships and building community engagement (slides)
- September 2022: Research Data Management in Cardiovascular Science Conference by the German Society for Cardiology (DGK), presentation on The FAIR Principles: Good Scientific Practice.
- September 2022: ECCB 2022, FAIRsharing: discover and curate an ecosystem of research standards and databases (slides)
- June 2022: FAIR Data Podcast June 8 2022 Episode (episode link)
- November 2022: National Biodiversity Network (NBN) Conference, FAIRsharing: curating an ecosystem of databases, standards and policies to enable FAIR data and explore community relationships (slides)
- November 2022: UK Reproducibility Network (UKRN) ReproducibiliTea presentation on FAIRsharing: Discover and curate an ecosystem of research standards and databases (tweet, recording, Oxford news item)
- October 2022: UK Reproducibility Network (UKRN) FAIR data in the life sciences: beyond theory (recording, slides)
Relevant RDA groups
I am an active member within the RDA and EOSC projects that RDA is also a partner in, through the following roles:
- Co-chair of RDA FAIRsharing WG and its outputs: (i) FAIRsharing, a curated, informative and educational resource on thousands of data and metadata standards, inter-related to repositories and data policies, and (ii) a set of recommendations that guide consumers to discover and select these resources with confidence, and producers to make their resources more discoverable, widely adopted and cited.
- Co-chair of the RDA Data Repository Attributes WG, which works with stakeholders and existing initiatives to deliver a highly consensual list of data repository attributes, to greater benefit to the researchers and those working in the research life cycle.
- I am a member of a number of RDA groups related to data, metadata, and software management.
My role as the FAIRsharing Content and Community Lead, and my resulting participation in a number of cross-disciplinary projects and community activities both within and outside the RDA and EOSC space, enable me to:
- engage and collaborate with a large international network of stakeholders, involved in all phases of the research life cycle, influencing and contributing to policies, best practises and practical implementations; and
- advocate and enact many RDA-recommended outputs, especially those around data policy standardisation, citation, repository trustworthiness, standards cross-walks, and professionalising data stewardship.
- Launch of the FAIRsharing Community Curation Programme (homepage, blog)
- Alignment of three initiatives resulting in new metadata fields for FAIRsharing policy records. Through a collaboration with Joy Davidson (DCC), we have aligned the FAIRsharing data model, the FAIR Data Policy Checklist, and the RDA Developing a Research Data Policy Framework for All Journals and Publishers. Documentation and joint news releases (DCC, FAIRsharing) on this collaboration are available.
Promotion and further development of terms4FAIRskills, now an OBO Foundry ontology being integrated into the FAIRplus FAIR Cookbook and Dataset Maturity Model projects, and exploratory work with SKILLS4EOSC and ELIXIR TeSS. This ontology is designed to describe the skills and competencies required for making data FAIR, and can be used to tag training material, job advertisements and CVs among other use cases.
Back to the Domain Ambassador Programme
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