Interlinking standards, repositories and data policies: BioSharing WG Recommendations

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Interlinking standards, repositories and data policies: BioSharing WG Recommendations

By Lynn Yarmey

 BioSharing WG - now changed to FAIRSharing Registry: connecting data policies, standards & databases WG

Recommendation Title: FAIRsharing, a registry interlinking standards, data repositories, and policies

Recommendation package DOI:

Group Co-Chairs:

Peter McQuilton, University of Oxford, UK

Simon Hodson, CODATA

Rebecca Lawrence, F1000

Susanna-Assunta Sansone, University of Oxford, UK


This draft report provides a summary of the problems we address and their context, along with a description of the outputs of the joint RDA/Force11 BioSharing Working Group (WG), which was approved at the 6th RDA Plenary (September 2015). This report is currently open for community review until 4 May 2017, a phase of the RDA Recommendation Endorsement Process. 

In line with the objectives, this WG has delivered the following outputs:

  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, through the provision of well described, interlinked, and cross-searchable records on content standards, databases and data policies. Note that this registry, formerly has been rebranded to, in response to user feedback.

The intended target of these outputs are stakeholders in all sectors, those producing and using databases, content standards and data policies, and those who are involved in managing, serving, curating, preserving, publishing or regulating data and/or other digital objects, in particular datasets.

The FAIRsharing registry has already been adopted by a number of stakeholders:

Journals - Springer Nature, Scientific Data, GigaScience, F1000, EMBO Press, BioMedCentral

Funders and funder-owned initiatives - BBSRC, Wellcome Trust's Wellcome Open Research publication platform

Infrastructure - ELIXIR Europe, ELIXIR UK, JISC (UK)

Organisations - Taxonomic Databases Working Group (TDWG), EMBL-Australia Bioinformatics Resource, Cell Migration Standardisation Organisation (CMSO), Clinical Data Interchange Standards Consortium (CDISC)


Research Data Management - University of Cambridge, University of Oxford, Stanford University

A more detailed breakdown of these adopters can be found in the full report.

By mapping the relationships between standards and the databases that implement them, or the policies that recommend them, the FAIRsharing registry enables users to make an informed decision as to which standard or database to use or endorse.

FAIRsharing is maintained at the University of Oxford and is an ELIXIR Interoperability Platform resource. The registry will continue to evolve - as an element within an ecosystem of services - to support and enable the FAIR principles for reproducible research and open science.


As member of the RDA, you can log in to the RDA site and leave a publicly-visible comment on this webpage; this is what this open community review phase is for.

To become an 'adopter', an organization needs to recommend the FAIRsharing registry to their users/community in their guidance, documentations and/or webpages, as appropriate. Contact us at to join our growing community



Output Status: 
Other Outputs (Not official)
Review period start: 
Tuesday, 4 April, 2017 to Thursday, 4 May, 2017
Group content visibility: 
Use group defaults
Primary Domain/Field of Expertise: 
Natural Sciences
PDF icon BioSharingWG-RecommendationReport.pdf324.77 KB

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