CBGP co-authored paper about FAIR data publishing espoused by the Leaders of the G20 Nations

CBGP Informatics Group Leader Mark Wilkinson was lead author on the publication of the FAIR Data Principles in the Nature Publishing Group’s Scientific Data journal. These principles for open scholarly data publishing were supported by the G20 Nation Leaders in the final communique from their summit last week in China.


On the 4-5 of September, 2016, the G20 Leaders convened a Summit in Hangzhou, China.  In their final communique[1], they address the need for innovation, acknowledging that this requires efficient communication of knowledge internationally.  As a means to achieve this, they espouse the FAIR Data Principles of findability, accessibility, interoperability, and reusability:


“We support effort to promote voluntary knowledge diffusion and technology transfer on mutually agreed terms and conditions. Consistent with this approach, we support appropriate efforts to promote open science and facilitate appropriate access to publicly funded research results on findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable (FAIR) principles.” [Point #12]


The FAIR Data initiative is an open movement by an international group of stakeholders, including researchers, funding agencies, biotechnology companies, and scholarly publishers, who all have an interest in improving the (re-)usability of scholarly data.  FAIR was conceived by, and continues to be spearheaded by, Dr. Barend Mons at the Leiden University Medical Center and Leiden and Dutch TechCenter for Life Sciences.  



The FAIR Principles were formally published in March, 2016 as a Comment article in Scientific Data [2], with CBGP Informatician Mark Wilkinson as lead author. Since that time, the FAIR principles have been adopted by a range of national and international organizations, including the American NIH [3], the European Commission [4], and the multi-nationally-funded FAIR-DOM project [5], and have been recommended by the High Level Expert Group advising the European Open Science Cloud as a future requirement to obtain EC research funding [6].


Part of the plan currently being drafted by the CBGP Strategic Planning Committee includes taking advantage of our role as leaders in FAIR Data publishing - both conceptually and technically - to prepare ourselves for these new requirements.  This will ensure that they cause minimal disruption to CBGP researchers when they come into-force, and will drive our competitiveness as project leaders on H2020 and ERC projects in the future.


The recognition of FAIR by the leaders of the G20 nations gives us confidence that, in the near future, we will achieve the transparent sharing and reuse of scientific data on a global scale, to the betterment of all scholarly endeavours!


[1] http://www.g20.org/English/Dynamic/201609/t20160906_3396.htmlhttp://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_STATEMENT-16-2967_en.htm

[2] http://www.nature.com/articles/sdata201618

[3] http://jamia.oxfordjournals.org/content/22/6/1114

[4] http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/en/TXT/?uri=CELEX:52016DC0178

[5] http://fair-dom.org/about-fairdom/funders/

[6] https://www.eudat.eu/sites/default/files/HLEG%20EOSC%20first%20Report.pdf