Connecting Data, Institutions and People: FAIR Digital Objects, RDA outputs and the design of the DiSSCo Research Infrastructure

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18 Mar 2021 UTC

Connecting Data, Institutions and People: FAIR Digital Objects, RDA outputs and the design of the DiSSCo Research Infrastructure

18 Mar 2021 - 18:00 to 19:00 UTC

Webinar Recording

Webinar Slides - download below


This webinar will address how the Distributed System of Scientific Collections (DiSSCo) --- a new European Research Infrastructure currently in the preparation phase -- is working towards transforming a fragmented landscape of the natural science collections into an integrated data infrastructure. The talk will provide an overview of the architectural design of DiSSCo, focusing on the adoption of FAIR Digital Object and the incorporation of multiple RDA Group outputs.  It will highlight the benefits of this approach to the goal of connecting data, institutions, and people. This endeavour not only includes the data element, but institutions of varying sizes and capacities, and the people curating, maintaining, and using the collections and the data.





Physical specimens stored and curated as natural science collections in institutions (such as natural history museums, botanical gardens, and herbariums) and the vast amounts of data derived from and linked to these specimens, are crucial resources for multidisciplinary scientific research. To create long-term, sustainable and reliable access to these physical specimens and the associated data, it is necessary to have a global discussion around the design choices for the infrastructure that can ensure that these data can be easily Findable, more Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable (FAIR).  Thus one of the cornerstones of this FAIR data infrastructure is the incorporation of FAIR Digital Objects (FDOs). The decision to use FDO as one of the important building blocks for the infrastructure design was motivated by the outputs of several RDA Interest and Working Groups and various global discussions around FAIR. 


The talk will also mention the global conversation happening around the concept of Digital Specimen (proposed by DiSSCo) and Extended Specimen (proposed by Biological Collections Network in the U.S. BCON) towards a shared vision that connects all information related to a specimen. 


Webinar Recording


If you are a member or Chair of an RDA Working or Interest group and would like to present a Webinar in this series, please contact:




RDA-US - 2021 Webinar Series Highlighting RDA Outputs


Sharif Islam, Ph.D., Data Architect, DiSSCo//Naturalis Biodiversity Center, The Netherlands

Dr. Islam is a Data Architect for DiSSCo (Distributed System for Scientific Collections) -- a new pan-European research infrastructure project to work with European museums and natural science collections to create a data-driven research infrastructure to mobilise, unify and deliver bio - and geo-diversity information. His background is in designing, implementing, and managing various large-scale and distributed mission-critical systems, services, and applications.

File RDA_USA_DiSSCo_Webinar Islam.pptx1.76 MB