Let’s talk about FAIR mappings! Towards common practices for sharing mappings and crosswalks

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11 Jun 2023

Let’s talk about FAIR mappings! Towards common practices for sharing mappings and crosswalks

Submitted by Yann Le Franc

Meeting objectives: 


Click here for the collaborative session notes


Mappings and crosswalks are essential for the interoperability of heterogeneous information systems both within and across domains. A growing number of mappings are continuously developed in various groups in RDA and communities outside of RDA. These mappings can have different purposes such as, harvesting and harmonising (meta)data from various sources where there are differences in how the information is encoded; converting from one file format to another while preserving the relevant information content; traversing a graph of linked data where the nodes represent concepts and relationships from heterogeneous knowledge models.

To reach the full potential of these mappings for interoperability, it is necessary to share them in a machine actionable format and in essence to make them FAIR. Mappings can be modelled and encoded in many different ways, ranging from specific file formats, to formal knowledge representation languages, to executable software tools. The session is organised in such a way that any IG or WG working with mappings would be able to give short presentations to explain their approach and usage to feed the discussions. The organisers of the session will send a broad invitation to the various RDA groups for contributions.

The main objective of this session is to bring together the participants of the various RDA IGs and WGs which worked or are working with mappings and crosswalks to discuss how the mappings should be made FAIR and to align the various practices. Through these discussions, we aim at identifying the various types of mappings, existing models to share them and to possibly converge toward the creation of a dedicated IG or WG which would federate the various IGs and WGs dealing with mappings. 

Meeting agenda: 

Leading up to the session, the organisers will reach out to RDA groups and call for participants to contribute additional flash talks on their activities to support an inclusive discussion with wide representation across regions and disciplines. The agenda for this session is as follows:

  • Welcome and introduction: why this session? (10 minutes)

  • Mappings in context: What are mappings and what do they look like? (40 minutes)

    • Short presentations and flash talks

  • FAIR mappings: What is specific to mappings with regards to FAIR? (25 minutes)

    • Presentation: What’s up with FAIR mappings? (5 minutes)

    • Discussion (20 minutes)

  • Open discussion: Where do we go from there? (15 minutes)

Type of Meeting: 
Working meeting
Short introduction describing any previous activities: 

The BoF session is inspired by the ongoing work of the FAIR Impact and FAIRCORE4EOSC projects, the EOSC Semantic Interoperability Task Force of the EOSC Association and several IGs and WGs in which the organisers identified activities and outputs relevant to mappings such as Open Science Knowledge Graph IG , Brokering Framework Working Group, RDA/CODATA Materials Data Infrastructure & Interoperability IG, Research Metadata Schemas WG, Metadata Standards Catalog WG, Data Type Registries (DTR) WG, the Vocabulary Services IG and certainly many more.

BoF applicant serving as contact person: 
Meeting presenters: 
Yann Le Franc, Wolmar Nyberg Åkerström, Tommi Suominen, Nicolas Matentzoglu, Joonas Kesäniemi
Avoid conflict with the following group (1): 
Avoid conflict with the following group (2): 
Contact for group (email): 
Driven by RDA Organisational Member: 
Please indicate at least (3) three breakout slots that would suit your meeting.: 
Breakout 2
Breakout 3
Breakout 4