FAIRSharing Registry: connecting data policies, standards & databases WG

On 8 October 2018, the RDA BioSharing Registry: connecting data policies, standards & databases in life sciences Working Group was renamed to the FAIRSharing Registry: connecting data policies, standards & databases RDA Working Group. This change was approved by RDA Council following interaction with RDA Technical Advisory Board and the Working Group Co-chairs. The group name change reflects the broader constituency and potential user base of the working group recommendation, which goes beyond the biosciences community. A second, extended Request for Comments on the Working Group recommendation was open from 10 October – 10 December 2018 in order to ensure that the community at large, not just the Biosciences communities, had a chance to provide feedback and comments.

After the end of the Request for Comments period, the Working Group incorporated the comments and feedback received into the final version of the recommendation, published in January 2019. The previous version, together with the comments it received during the Requests for Comment period, can also be found on the Recommendations page, after the January 2019 version.

Link to Recommendations page


Group details

Secretariat Liaison: 
Lynn Yarmey
TAB Liaison: 
Paul Uhlir
Case Statement: 
WGs Maintaining deliverables (maintenance group)

FAIRsharing Logo






NEW: "The FAIRsharing Registry and Recommendations: Interlinking Standards, Databases and Data Policies”


These outputs are now ready for community review. Please review them and add your comments before December 10th, 2018.






Page Contents







The outputs of this WG are:

  1. A registry of curated and interlinked records on standards (for identifying, reporting, and citing data and metadata), databases, repositories (and knowledge-bases) and data policies (from journals, publishers, funders and other organizations)
  2. Related recommendations to guide users and the producers of standards and databases to select and describe these resources, or to recommend them in data policies




Through the FAIRsharing WG’s 18 month timeframe, we have built upon the existing BioSharing registry and transformed it into a cross-domain (i.e. not just for the life sciences), searchable network of 1100+ databases, 1000+ data standards, and 110+ journal and funder data policies. This is the FAIRsharing registry, which can be found at https://fairsharing.org.





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.





Plans for RDA P12 Botswana

The FAIRsharing WG will be involved in a number of RDA and pre-RDA sessions.



Monday 5th November



Tuesday 6th November

Wednesday 7th November



Please don't hesitate to contact us on contact@fairsharing.org if you would like to arrange to talk to us at the plenary or to invite one of our representatives to your session.








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 FAIRsharing Record
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) Resource list -
BioMedCentral (BMC) Journal Data Policy Recommendation
EMBO Press Journal Data Policy Recommendation
Elsevier 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 (October 2018):

1. Introducing two new ontologies
All records in FAIRsharing are annotated with a number of ontologies, such as the NCBI taxon for species information (where appropriate) and SWO terms for licensing information. Now, we have split our user-generated domain tags into three fields, a subject/disciplines field, using our new Subject Resource Application Ontology (SRAO), a domains field, using our new Domains Resource Application Ontology (DRAO) and much smaller user-generated tags field. These two ontologies are open and have a CC-BY-SA 4.0 license.


2. Expanding content
Working with the community, we continue to add new records to FAIRsharing. Highlights include our new Chemistry Collection, curated in collaboration with IUPAC, International Virtual Observatory Alliance (IVOA) collection and Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) collection.


Key outputs (March 2018):


1. Content and curation - update
As of March 2018, we have 1168 standards, 1050 databases and 111 policies. Our aim is to ensure quality rather than quantity. A key part of this is working directly with the community, engaging the maintainers of each standard, database and policy to actively update the record for their resource on FAIRsharing. If you have not yet claimed the record for a resource that you help maintain, please head over to the FAIRsharing website and do so.


2. DOIs for Database, Standard and Policy records
Through a collaboration with the British Library and the University of Oxford’s Bodleian Library, we now have DOIs for Database, Standard and Policy records in FAIRsharing. Each record can now be reached using its DOI, e.g.

We will be adding DOIs for our collection and recommendation records in the near future.



3. The FAIRsharing Embeddable Widget
We continue to update the widget and now have a version 1.0 available for implementation. We are working with a number of journal publishers to install the widget on their webpages to represent their data policies in an interactive, responsive table and graph. The widget can be used to represent a FAIRsharing collection or recommendation as either an interactive table or network graph. Many thanks to Scott and the GigaScience team for rolling out the widget on their pages. It can be viewed in-situ here.


Please email contact@fairsharing.org for more information.


4. Website development
Collection Comparison Tool - collections (groups of records related to a project, programme or organisation) and recommendations (groups of records endorsed by a journal publisher's or funder's data policy) can now be compared in a pairwise fashion. This tool allows users to assess the similarity between two collections/recommendations in terms of shared repositories and/or standards, overlapping species and disciplines and more.



Key outputs (June 2017):

After extensive community feedback the BioSharing registry is renamed to be the FAIRsharing registry, to reflect the growth in databases, standards and data policies beyond the life sciences. FAIRsharing will still cover the life sciences, and is a committed ELIXIR core resource, but now also contains information on non-life science resources, across the natural sciences, humanities and social sciences.


Key outputs (March 2017):


1. Growing Adoption - join us!
Our adopters 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 FAIRsharing from their webpages. As you can see from the table, FAIRsharing 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 FAIRsharing WG outputs
The joint RDA/Force11 FAIRsharing 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 FAIRsharing 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 FAIRsharing, 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 (https://FAIRsharing.org/standards), databases (https://FAIRsharing.org/databases) and data policies (https://FAIRsharing.org/policies), also combined in an integrated view across all 3 registries (https://FAIRsharing.org/search)

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 FAIRsharing can help users navigate standards, databases and data policies in the life sciences, and how to use and cite FAIRsharing: https://fairsharing.org/educational

- Recommendations. Standards and/or databases recommended by journal or funder data policy, e.g. PLOS: https://fairsharing.org/recommendation/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: https://fairsharing.org/collection/TDWGBiodiversity






Upcoming Events

These will be listed here shortly





Activities at previous plenaries


RDA 11th Plenary, 21st-23rd March 2018, Berlin, Germany




FAIRsharing was involved in a number of RDA and pre-RDA sessions:





RDA 10th Plenary, 17th-21st September 2017, Montreal, Canada




Sunday 17th September - Monday 18th September



  • Interest Group on Agricultural Data (IGAD) Pre-Plenary meeting - slides available here

Tuesday 19th September

Wednesday 20th September

Thursday 21st September

RDA 9th Plenary, 5-7th April 2017, Barcelona, Spain

Monday 3rd - Tuesday 4th April


Wednesday 5th April


Thursday 6th April


RDA 8th Plenary and IDW, 11-17th September 2016, Denver (USA)

We co-organized and presented at the following sessions:

Activities pre-plenary 8

  • Pre-defined Recommendations: A core-set of resources (databases and/or standards) that have been selected and recommended by relevant groups or organizations. 
  • Wizard Tool (beta): The wizard guides users step-by-step through the resources captured in FAIRsharing. 
  • FAIRsharing Standards Registry Survey: We have just closed our FAIRsharing 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 FAIRsharing 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 FAIRsharing'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, 4-7th June, Berlin, Germany.

Supporting FAIR exchange of chemical data through standards development, IUPAC & CODATA workshop, 16-17th July, Amsterdam, Netherlands - slides here

European Open Science Cloud Pilot All Hands (Mar 8-9, 2018), Pisa, Italy - details

ELIXIR Innovation and SME Forum (Jan 24-25th, 2018), Wellcome Genome Campus, UK - details

RDA EU Data Innovation Forum (Jan 30, 2018), Brussels, Belgium - details

Keynote - International Workshop on Sharing, Citation and Publication of Scientific Data across Disciplines (Dec, 2017), Joint Support-Center for Data Science Research (DS), Tokyo, Japan - FAIRsharing.org - describing and connecting standards, repositories and policies across disciplines - slides here



Invited seminar - NBDC (Dec, 2017), Japan Science and Technology Agency, Tokyo, Japan - FAIRsharing.org - interlinking standards, repositories and policies - slides here




CODATA Data Standards (Nov, 2017), The Royal Society, London, UK



European Open Science Cloud Pilot Data Interoperability Technical Workshop (Oct, 2017), Wellcome Genome Campus, UK - Slides




BioSchemas and Schema.org workshop (Oct, 2018), Wellcome Genome Campus, UK


ELIXIR All Hands Meeting (Mar 21-23, 2017), Rome (IT)


BioSchemas and schema.org 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 FAIRsharing 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 FAIRsharing at the kick-off COST-CHARME workshop on Standards - slides here



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



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



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


Recent Activity

03 Apr 2019

RDA FAIRsharing WG output and adoption: FAIRer Resources for FAIRer Data

Dear RDA colleagues,
Today, in an open access /Nature Biotechnology/ article, *69 authors*
have come together as a community, representing the core *adopters*,
*advisory board members*, and/or key *collaborators* of FAIRsharing
(https://fairsharing.org), a resource launched in 2011 and matured under
the guidance of the *joint Force11 and RDA WG* and it international
userbase community.
The article presents the mission and work of FAIRsharing, and shows the

10 Oct 2018

[question] Re: [rda-biosharing-wg] IMPORTANT NOTICE: New Group mailing list

Dear Sara and Secretariat,
Many thanks for the changes and the notification. Can you please clarify (also to the WG members) if we/they need to register again to the new one. I guess and hope not, but imo it is not clear.
Also, from tracking and provenance shall we assume the messages sent - during these last two years - to the list will remain visible on the (new) WG webpage?
Kind regards
(Sent from my phone)

27 Sep 2018

Updates: WG rename and pre-print publication

Dear RDA WG member,
two updates:
1. RDA has approved the rename on our WG (from BioSharing to FAIRsharing)
3. The co-chairs are in the process of finalizing and submitting the
FAIRsharing WG recommendations for final community feedback; I will
email the list when this is out.
2. See the pre-print on "FAIRsharing, as a cohesive community approach
to the growth in standards, repositories and policies" at
https://doi.org/10.1101/245183 co-authored by stakeholders from

22 Mar 2018

Proposed solution for outputs of this group/possible further work

Dear members of the RDA BioSharing WG,

TAB has been discussing the question of the name of the recommendations from this group, and avenues for further work.

As Susanna indicated yesterday, I agreed to send an email to the group with some proposals for you to consider.

1. Name of the Recommendations

We understand why this has now changed to FAIRSharing, to reflect the expanded scope of the recommendation (undertaken under the FORCE11 banner), and the name of the registry.

22 Mar 2018

Proposed solution for outputs of this group/possible further work

Dear members of the RDA BioSharing WG,

TAB has been discussing the question of the name of the recommendations from this group, and avenues for further work.

As Susanna indicated yesterday, I agreed to send an email to the group with some proposals for you to consider.

1. Name of the Recommendations

We understand why this has now changed to FAIRSharing, to reflect the expanded scope of the recommendation (undertaken under the FORCE11 banner), and the name of the registry.

21 Mar 2018

BioSharing vs FAIRsharing name for the RDA WG - updates to the members

Dear RDA WG members,
A due clarification, as some of you may be confused from this unusual exchange. The discussion has to do with a known pending issue: aligning the name of this WG (BioSharing) with its recommendations and registry, which based on community request has been renamed (to FAIRsharing) to reflect its scope.
I have now had the chance to discuss it with Paul (by email) and in person with Andrew Treolar, TAB chair and here in cc.

21 Mar 2018

Re: [tab][rda-biosharing-wg] Fwd: [rda-biosharing-wg] RDA P11, the WG recommendation, DOIs and more!

Dear Paul,
I believe you have mistakenly sent this to the whole WG list, not just to TAB. There are several inaccurate representation of the facts below, reason why I keep the WG list in cc for transparency and add the secretariat.
In particular the change of the registry name (not of the WG, which - like you correctly point - out was unfortunately declined by TAB) was the result of community feedback and not a last minute rebrand of the RDA WG; however as this is a joint WG with Force11, a full change of name (to align registry and WG) has instead happen there.

16 Mar 2018

RDA P11, the WG recommendation, DOIs and more!

*Dear joint RDA/Force11 WG members, *
*Please find below a few updates from the WG, including where we'll be
at RDA P11, and details about our final WG recommendation. *
*Best, *
*PS Apologies for cross-posting*
**---* *
*1. Plans for RDA P11 Berlin*
Attending: Susanna
FAIRsharing will be involved in a number of RDA sessions:
Wednesday 21st March, Breakout 1 - Joint meeting: IG ELIXIR Bridging
Force, IG BioDiversity Data Integration, WG BioSharing Registry