Moving towards FAIR data

Ms Angeletta Leggio1, Mr Keith Russell2, Dr Richard Ferrers3, Ms Kerry Levett4, Ms Sarah Brown5, Dr Rakesh David6, Dr Maude Frances7, Ms Sharyn Wise8, Dr Christopher McAvaney9, Ms Sharron Stapleton10

1Australian National Data Service, Caulfield East, Australia,

2Australian National Data Service, Caulfield East, Australia,

3Australian National Data Service, Caulfield East, Australia,

4Australian National Data Service, Adelaide, Australia,

5University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia,

6University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia,

7The University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia,

8University of Technology Sydney (UTS), Sydney, Australia,

9Deakin University, Waurn Ponds, Australia,

10Queensland University of Technology (QUT), Brisbane, Australia


a) The Australian National Data Service (ANDS) is committed to making Australia’s research data assets more valuable for researchers, research institutions and the nation. In partnerships with institutions we have been working towards making data FAIR [1] (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable). With the support of three ANDS-funded programs; High Value Collections, Collection Enhancement Partnerships, and Connecting High Value Collections and NCRIS Capabilities, institutions developed collections across a number of disciplines. The aim of these collections was to help promote the strategic aims of the institutions, enhance the usage of data, enable the discovery of rich data, and to make optimal use of Australia’s research data infrastructure and National facilities.

b) This BoF session will showcases six collections and discuss how these institutions, through the projects, moved closer towards data that is FAIR. Presentations will be followed by a wider discussion on the challenges, learnings, and possible solutions in making data FAIR.

BoF duration – 60mins: 

  1. Presentations – 20mins. Six, three-minute lightning talks by each institution on their project.
  • Discussion – 35mins. Open discussion on the journey to making data FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable).

Stream: Managing, publishing and finding data.


  1. Guiding principles for findable, accessible, interoperable and re-usable data publishing version B1.0. Accessed 5 June 2017.


Angeletta Leggio is a Partnerships Programs Manager at the Australian National Data Service and has led a number of the funded programmes, including the Major Open Data Collections, High Value Collections, and currently a number of Data Enhanced Virtual Labs and Domain Research Data Cloud projects. Prior to joining ANDS she worked at various cultural heritage organisations in Australia and overseas, including the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY, Museum Victoria, and the National Library of Australia. Angeletta has a keen interest in collection management, preservation, and digital asset management.

OzNome 5-star Tool: A Rating System for making data FAIR and Trustable

Dr Simon Cox1, Dr Jonathan Yu2

1CSIRO Land and Water, Clayton, Victoria, Australia,

2CSIRO Land and Water, Clayton, Victoria, Australia,


The OzNome initiative is seeking to connect information infrastructures across Australia and enable researchers, industry and key partners to achieve productivity gains around their discovery, access and use of data. While its origins are in earth and environmental data, the intended scope is more comprehensive. Tools and methods developed through OzNome will provide access to existing and emerging trusted, curated and well governed data ecosystems. A key concern in seeking to enhance the connectivity of information infrastructures is to understand the current state of a component data system, in particular considering the lifecycle of data from discovery, access, use and publication. Characterising the current state allows organisations and individuals to understand areas for improving their data collection, publication and connectivity to the broader community and digital ecosystem.

The OzNome team have developed a set of criteria under 14 headings to assess data collection, publication and service provisioning arrangements (see This is based on experience with data services and supply chains, and rating systems and maturity models proposed over the years across different initiatives, e.g. 5* Linked Open Data[1], FAIR[2],[3].

The rating system is implemented as the 5* OzNome Data tool (available at allows users to carry out a self-assessment by classifying the 14 facets into five qualities of data – Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable and Trusted. For each quality, the user assesses the current state of their data offerings and products. They are given a rating out of 5 stars for each quality. In doing the self-assessment, users can also explore ways in which they are able to improve their data collection and how it is accessed by others. This gives data providers graduated targets to improve their data collection and publishing process.

Figure 1: Screenshot of the online OzNome 5* Data self-assessment tool

The 5* OzNome Data tool has been used to evaluate well-known services, such data available via the Australian Soil Resource Information System (ASRIS) (see Figure 2).

Figure 2: Evaluation of the ASRIS Soil Data available as OGC web services

This tool is able to be used to carry out a first pass assessment of current data provisioning arrangements. In this presentation we will provide details how this tool was developed as well as case studies carried out. In particular, we will present a case study carried out in partnership with the Bureau of Meteorology around the Australian Water Resource Assessments web services, which utilised the OzNome 5-star tool to assess current state and provide recommendations for improvement of data provisioning arrangements to enhance the potential uptake and use of their data assets.


  1. 5 Star Linked Open Data,, accessed 16 June 2017
  2. Force11 FAIR Principles,, accessed 16 June 2017
  3.,, accessed 16 June 2017
  4. CSIRO ASRIS Soil Data Services,, accessed 16 June 2017


Dr Simon Cox is a research scientist in CSIRO Land and Water’s Environmental Information Systems research program.He specialises in distributed architectures and information standards for environmental data, focusing on geoscience and water. He leads several international standards activities for the Open Geospatial Consortium and the ISO Geographic Information Technical Committee. He also serves on the steering committee of the Ocean Data Interoperability Platform, on the Australian Government Linked Data Working Group, and on the technical advisory board of the Research Data Alliance.

Development of a framework for F.A.I.R access to Australia’s research outputs

Prof. Virginia Barbour1

On behalf of AOASG and the F.A.I.R. steering group

1Australasian Open Access Strategy Group, Brisbane, Australia,


Lack of access to interlinked and interoperable evidence in research publications and research data currently inhibits national and international research and scholarship, collaboration, and public debate. “Open access” (“OA”), the current term used to denote work that is not behind a paywall means different things to different people. The term is rarely used correctly – i.e. as defined in the Budapest Open Access Statement [1]. For example, OA may be used to mean just free to read in a format that is not interoperable (such as a PDF) and with no indication of associated reuse rights.

Lack of clarity on terminology has become a major impediment to progress in implementation in improving access to research outputs. A different approach is needed.

There is a global movement—including in the USA, Canada, China and in the UK and European Union—of policy, funding and legislative changes to improve the discoverability and impact of their research publications and data. The time is right for Australia to develop a framework for its research outputs that builds on work elsewhere, and which is tailored to the local context.

Furthermore, a new terminology for data has recently emerged – the concept of “Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable” [2]. This terminology could be applied to all research outputs, as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1: Characteristics of a F.A.I.R. research output

The advantages of a F.A.I.R. approach and the differences between free, open and F.A.I.R. are illustrated in Figure 2.

Figure 2: The difference between free, open and F.A.I.R.


In July 2016, under the auspices of the Universities Australia Deputy Vice Chancellors (Research) Committee a working group with a membership that represented universities, funders, government departments, NGOs and industry was convened to develop a statement on access to research outputs. The working group met several times between July 2016 and October 2016. The F.A.I.R. statement was developed following discussions at these meetings.

The F.A.I.R. Access Policy Statement is as follows [3]:

All Australian publicly funded research outputs will be Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable. Access to research outputs will accord with international practices that are well defined, secure and trusted, and delivered through sustainable, fair, and efficient dissemination models. Publicly funded researchers will be expected, supported and rewarded to disseminate their work in such a way that anyone can find and re-use research publications and research data for further research, policy development, innovation, education and public benefit.

The following principles inform the application of this statement:

  • A commitment to the highest standards of excellence, impact and engagement in research practice, including the provision of support for effective and appropriate review processes and reproducibility.
  • Support for a diversity of financially sustainable, transparent and trusted dissemination models in recognition of disciplinary differences.
  • Support for approaches that encourage collaboration and the transfer of knowledge between researchers and users of research in industry, government and the general community.
  • A commitment to disseminate research outputs arising from public funding in a timely and easily accessible way that fosters social, economic, cultural and environmental benefits and promotes the development of human capacities.


From October 2016 to January 2017 the statement was sent for consultation to a range of organisations, both within Australia and globally. The final statement reflects the feedback provided during that consultation process and further discussion among the working group.

The Australasian Open Access Strategy Group (AOASG) is undertaking coordination of the statement. A steering group has been formed and the focus for that group from July to December 2017 will be to advise on next steps for the statement, specifically

  1. targeted outreach nationally and internationally and via the F.A.I.R. website [3] and social media;
  • development of plans for implementation

We will report on the progress of dissemination and the plans for implementation of the statement.


  1. The Budapest Open Access Initiative
  2. Force 11. The FAIR data Principles.
  3. F.A.I.R. Access Policy Statement


Dr Virginia Barbour is the Director of the Australasian Open Access Strategy Group She is based in Brisbane, Australia. She has a long history of working in open access publishing, having joined PLOS in 2004 as one of the three founding editors of PLOS Medicine, finally becoming Medicine and Biology Editorial Director of PLOS in 2014. Her training in publishing was at The Lancet where she worked before joining PLOS.

She studied Natural Sciences at the University of Cambridge, then medicine at UCL and Middlesex Hospitals, London, specializing in haematology. Her DPhil was on alpha globin gene regulation at the University of Oxford. She undertook post-doctoral work at St Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee.

She was Chair of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) from 2012-May 2017. She has been involved in a number of reporting guidelines including CONSORT, PRISMA and TIDieR statements. She is an advisor to a number of publishing and ethics initiatives.

She has a part time joint appointment as Professor between the Office of Research Ethics and Integrity, and the Library, Division of Technology and Learning Services at Queensland University of Technology.

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