BioSharing Registry: connecting data policies, standards & databases in life sciences WG


Group details

Susanna-Assunta Sansone, Rebecca Lawrence, Simon Hodson & Peter McQuilton
Secretariat Liaison: 
Lynn Yarmey
TAB Liaison: 
Paul Uhlir
Case Statement: 

Welcome to the BioSharing WG. Note that the output registry from this working group has re-branded from BioSharing to FAIRsharing in response to adopter feedback.







Page Contents








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


As the RDA 10th Plenary meeting (Montrèal, Canada) programme is now live, we thought it would be a good time to highlight when the BioSharing WG co-chairs will be presenting and/or discussing our work in the BioSharing WG.



Sunday 17th September

- 09:00-18:00 Interest Group on Agricultural Data (IGAD) Pre-Plenary meeting (Day 1)




Monday 18th September

- 09:00-18:00 Interest Group on Agricultural Data (IGAD) Pre-Plenary meeting (Day 2)

- 14:00-18:00 RDA TAB & WG/IG Chairs meeting

Tuesday 19th September

- 11:30-13:00 Interest Group Data Discovery Paradigms

- 14:00-15:30 Interest Group Mapping the landscape

- 16:00-17:30 Joint WG BioSharing, IG ELIXIR Bridging Force

Wednesday 20th September

- 13:30-15:00 Joint IG Active Data Management Plans, IG Domain Repositories







The outputs of this WG will be:

  1. a set of recommendations to guide users and producers of databases and content standards to select and describe them, or recommend them in data policies; and
  2. a curated registry, which enacts the recommendations and assists a variety of end users, providing well described, interlinked, and cross-searchable records on content standards, databases and data policies.

The recommendation detailing the WG output is available here -


This output is ready for community review. Please take a look and add any comments and questions you may have.



The intended target of these outputs are stakeholders in all sectors, producing and using databases, content standards and data policies, and who are involved in managing, serving, curating, preserving, publishing or regulating data and/or other digital objects, in particular datasets. Whether they are researchers, standard/database developers, funders, journal editors, librarians or data managers, the outputs from the BioSharing WG aim to enable end users to understand which standards and databases are mature and appropriate to their use case. By mapping the relationships between standards and the databases that implement them, or the policies that recommend them, the BioSharing registry enables them to make an informed decision as to which standard or database to use or endorse.





FAIRsharing Logo







**Breaking News**

We have rebranded the registry to in response to user feedback, suggestions from members of the advisory board, but also from existing and prospective adopters. The broader name also reflects the fact that the portal has always encompassed standards that are generic (and therefore applicable to all disciplines) and others that are outside bio and life sciences. The FAIRsharing site is now live - All links to BioSharing or records in BioSharing will automatically redirect to the new site.




This use cases-driven WG is a joint effort with Force11 and it is led and constituted by prospective adopters as well as technical implementers, many of whom are also leading and/or actively involved in other relevant RDA IGs and WGs, whose activities this WG complements and with which this WG will work closely. For more details, please refer to our Case Statement, found in the right-hand column.






Through the BioSharing WG’s 18 month timeframe, we have built upon the existing BioSharing registry and transformed it into a searchable network of 800+ databases, 650+ data standards, and 80+ journal and funder data policies in the life, biomedical and environmental science domains.



During this time, the BioSharing portal has been adopted by a number of journal publishers, research data management programmes, community groups and infrastructure, research and funding programmes. These are shown in the table below.







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



Adopter Type Associated BioSharing Record
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) Resource list -
BioMedCentral (BMC) Journal Data Policy Recommendation
EMBO Press Journal Data Policy Recommendation
Faculty of 1000 (F1000) Journal Data Policy Recommendation
GigaScience Journal Data Policy Recommendation
Scientific Data Journal Data Policy Recommendation
Springer Nature Journal Data Policy -
Wellcome Open Research Journal Data Policy Recommendation
ELIXIR Europe$ Infrastructure -
ELIXIR UK Infrastructure -
JISC UK Infrastructure -
Cell Migration Standardisation Organisation (CMSO) Organisation Collection
Taxonomic Databases Working Group (TDWG)* Organisation Collection
EMBL-Australia Bioinformatics Resource Organisation Collection
Clinical Data Interchange Standards Consortium (CDISC) Organisation Collection
FAIRDOM Project Collection
Euro-BioImaging$ Project Collection
IMI eTRIKS Project Collection
NIH LINCS Project Collection
University of Cambridge Research Data Management -
University of Oxford Research Data Management -
Stanford University Research Data Management -


* TDWG RDA Working Group and Biodiversity Data Integration RDA IG

$ Part of RDA GEDE Coordination Group

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






Outputs and timeline


Key outputs (March 2017):


1. Growing Adoption - join us!
Spurred on by our work in the RDA, we have made it clearer who our adopters are. These 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 BioSharing from their webpages. As you can see from the table, BioSharing 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 BioSharing WG outputs
The joint RDA/Force11 BioSharing 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 BioSharing 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 BioSharing, 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 BioSharing can help users navigate standards, databases and data policies in the life sciences, and how to use and cite BioSharing:

- 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:






Activities at previous plenaries

RDA 9th Plenary, 5-7th April, Barcelona (ES)

Monday 3rd - Tuesday 4th April


Wednesday 5th April


Thursday 6th April


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

We co-organized and presented at the following sessions:

Activities pre-plenary 8

1. Pre-defined Recommendations: A core-set of resources (databases and/or standards) that have been selected and recommended by relevant groups or organizations. 

2. Wizard Tool (beta): The wizard guides users step-by-step through the resources captured in BioSharing. 

3. BioSharing Standards Registry Survey: We have just closed our BioSharing 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 BioSharing 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 BioSharing'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 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 BioSharing 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 BioSharing at the kick-off COST-CHARME workshop on Standards - slides here

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

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

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


Recent Activity

11 Jul 2017

Introducing FAIRsharing!!

Dear BioSharing WG members,
There have been a number of changes at BioSharing since our last
communication. In this short email I'll describe and explain what we've
been up to.
First things first, we have rebranded to!
FAIRsharing serves the same information on standards, the databases that
implement them, and the data policies that endorse them, but does so
across all disciplines, rather than solely the life sciences.
This is in response to user feedback, suggestions from members of the

19 Jun 2017

Potential joint session for P10

Dear Chairs of the BioSharing WG,
Following up on the Call for Sessions for the upcoming RDA P10
(, I would like
to initiate a discussion regarding a potential Joint Session between the
BioSharing WG and the Data Discovery Paradigms IG (DDPIG -

22 May 2017

FW: [rda-biosharing-wg] RDA Webinar Tuesday 23rd May, 14:00 CEST, 12 UTC - BioSharing WG output and registry

Hi Landscape Mappers,
Note the webinar from the BioSharing WG tomorrow discussing their ‘mapping the landscape of data standards’ activity.
<***@***.***> on behalf of Pete McQuilton
Date: Monday, May 22, 2017 at 9:32 AM
To: "***@***.***" <***@***.***>
Subject: [rda-biosharing-wg] RDA Webinar Tuesday 23rd May, 14:00 CEST, 12 UTC - BioSharing WG output and registry
Dear WG members,

22 May 2017

RDA Webinar Tuesday 23rd May, 14:00 CEST, 12 UTC - BioSharing WG output and registry

Dear WG members,
This is a gentle reminder of our Webinar tomorrow, where we'll discuss
the BioSharing WG, and our registry mapping the landscape of data
standards, databases and data policies.
More information on the webinar and how to watch it can be found here:
webinar will also be recorded and made available for viewing at a later

04 Apr 2017

BioSharing WG - RDA Recommendation ready for community review

Dear BioSharing WG members,
The recommendation from this joint RDA/Force11 WG is available for
community review/comment here:
More information on the RDA recommendation process can be found here
The report and recommendations therein are available for comment over
the next 4 weeks. We'd like to thank everyone who has been involved in
this WG to date, in particular those who have adopted BioSharing in

31 Mar 2017

BioSharing WG - RDA 9th Plenary Update April 2017

Dear BioSharing WG members,
The joint RDA/Force11 BioSharing WG is coming to the end of its 18 month
time frame, culminating in the upcoming RDA 9th Plenary in Barcelona.
Here is a list of where the WG will feature (with links to separate
session pages):
*Monday 3rd - Tuesday 4th April*
Interest Group on Agricultural Data (IGAD) Pre-RDA meeting

EUDAT Semantic Working Group Workshop

*Wednesday 5th April*
11:30-13:00 Breakout 1 - What's Happened in the Life Sciences - joint
BioSharing WG & ELIXIR Bridging Force IG

02 Mar 2017

BioSharing WG updates

Dear BioSharing WG members,
The joint RDA/Force11 BioSharing WG is coming to the end of its 18 month
time frame, but will remain activity in the RDA community as part of the
RDA ELIXIR Interest Group (also because BioSharing is a resource of the
ELIXIR ecosystem), and contributing to Force11 activities.
Here three key updates.
*1. Our RDA/Force11 WG - output in progress and newsletter*
We are currently preparing our output package to put it forward for
recommendation by the RDA; we will share it for the community review in

04 Nov 2016

Interoperability standards - review for the Wellcome Trust

Dear BioSharing WGs members,
given the relevance of the topic, I would like to flag a review we have
done for the Wellcome Trust
*"Interoperability Standards - Digital Objects in Their Own
part of a set of reports just released on related topics:’re-doing

13 Sep 2016

See you in Denver!

Dear BioSharing WG members,
We have just over 6 months left for this working group to run. With this
in mind, we're presenting the many outputs of this working group in a
number of sessions in the upcoming 8th RDA plenary in Denver, CO.
Here is a full list of the sessions in which we'll be presenting:
Thursday 15th September:
- Session 2 - 2-3:30pm - The data diversity problem in biomedicine,
a joint session among IG Elixir Bridging Force, WG Biosharing,WG Data
Type Registries,WG Metadata Standards Catalog