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

The FAIRsharing WG RDA Recommendation is now available:
"The FAIRsharing Registry and Recommendations: Interlinking Standards, Databases and Data Policies”

We are very proud of our progress in this WG and would like to thank everybody who has contributed to this successful output. One of only twelve outputs to be recommended by the RDA to date.

As the 18 month lifespan of this WG has passed (a limited WG lifespan is a condition of RDA WGs), this WG is now in 'maintenance mode'. We are still active and able to fully participate in RDA Plenaries etc., and are open for new adoptions and collaborations. Please contact us if you would like to become an adoptor or collaborator, or would simply like to get in touch.

RDA P14 Helsinki - where will we be?

We are delighted to attend Plenary 14 and look forward to talking with many of you about FAIR digital objects across domain.

We will be presenting in the following pre-meeting workshops and RDA sessions:

Tuesday 22nd October

  • Building the data landscape of the future: FAIR Semantics and FAIR Repositories (link to follow)

  • Wednesday 23rd October

  • Breakout 3 - 16:30-18:00 - Criteria for repository selection

  • Friday 25th October

  • Breakout 6 - 09:00-10:30 - The challenging FAIRisation route: how could assessment help?
  • Breakout 7 - 11:00-12:30 - Access to Human Data Makes a Difference
  • Breakout 7 - 11:00-12:30 - Metadata for FAIR Data
  • Breakout 8 - 16:00-17:30 - Reuse and adoption of standards and RDA outputs in the agrifood community

  • Page Contents

  • WG outputs
  • Our Adopters (to date)
  • Key outputs
  • Upcoming Events
  • Activities at Previous Plenaries (with links to slides)
  • Events we have attended and presented at (with links to slides)

  • 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). This cross-domain registry, called https://fairsharing.org, currently contains manually curated records for over 1000 databases, 1000 standards, and 100 journal publisher and funder data policies.
    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. These are outlined in this WG's RDA recommendation.

    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.


    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

    For an up-to-date list of adopters, plus information on our funded and non-funded activities, please see the FAIRsharing website community page.

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

    Outputs and timeline


    Key outputs (May 2019):


    1. The FAIRsharing RDA/Force11 joint WG recommendation is accepted by the RDA council. See the top of the page for more details.

    2. The FAIRsharing GO-FAIR StRePo group is now active. This group, spread across the three pillars of GO-FAIR (GO CHANGE, GO BUILD and GO TRAIN) is set up to map the landscape of Standards, Repositories and data Policies and relate them to FAIR indicators, data management templates and more. Further information can be found on the FAIR StRePo site.


    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 12th Plenary, 5th-7th November 2018 Botswana

    The FAIRsharing WG was 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.

    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 FAIR Core Data Resource Workshop (13th May, 2019), EMBL-EBI, Hinxton, UK.

    12th International Society for Biocuration (7th-10th April, 2019), Cambridge, UK.

    ELIXIR Interoperability Face-2-Face Meeting (1st-2nd April, 2019), Stansted Airport, UK.

    EOSC-Life Kickoff Meeting (20th-21st March, 2019), Amsterdam, NL.

    RDA UK Workshop (18th January 2019), London, UK.

    GO-FAIR IN Coordination Meeting (14th-17th January 2019), Leiden, NL.

    ELIXIR UK All Hands Meeting (27th-29th November), Birmingham, UK.

    ELIXIR All Hands Meeting (4th-7th June 2018), 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

    29 Aug 2019

    RDA 14th plenary - Updated notification of acceptance for plenary sessions

    Dear all, we would like to inform you that the session 

    The challenging FAIRisation route: how could assessment help?

    has been moved from breakout 8 to breakout 6 (25th October - Day 3 - 09:00, 10:30) as there was a clash identified with the original scheduling.

    We look forward to seeing you in Helsinki!
    RDA Secretariat

    02 Jul 2019

    Re: [rda-fairsharing-wg][rda-data-policy-standardisation-ig] Request: Biomedical Data License review

    Sending also to this lists which I think is relevant.
    ONE WEEK TO GO, DEADLINE 8 JULY! Call for Presentations and Posters: CODATA 2019 Beijing
    REGISTRATION OPEN: CODATA 2019 Beijing , Towards next-generation data-driven science: policies, practices and platforms, 19-20 September
    June 2019 Publications in the CODATA Data Science Journal
    Stay in touch with CODATA:
    Stay up to date with CODATA activities: join the CODATA International News list

    25 Jun 2019

    Request: Biomedical Data License review

    Dear RDA community,

    On behalf of one of my colleagues at NTNU (The Norwegian University of Science and Technology), I would like to ask for feedback on a draft for a Biomedical Data License which is coordinated by HUNT data center https://www.ntnu.edu/mh/huntcloud/. See below for the full request.

    I am a new member of RDA, and I do apologize if these groups are not the most suitable. Any suggestions of other groups or communities (also outside RDA) that would be relevant to contact are highly appreciated.