Enabling FAIR Vocabularies for Interoperability in Cross Domain Research in Australia

Dr. Steve  McEachern1, Dr. Simon Cox2, Mr. Rowan  Brownlee3, Dr. Lesley Wyborn3, Dr. Adrian Burton3, Dr. Megan Wong4

1Australian Data Archive (ADA), Australian National University, Canberra, Australia
2CSIRO, Clayton, Australia
3Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC), Canberra, Australia
4Centre of eResearch and Digital Innovation (CeRDI), Federation University, Ballarat, Australia

In September 2020, ANU hosted an Australian node of the international CODATA Dagstuhl workshops oriented around the theme of controlled vocabularies and vocabulary services. The focus of the workshop was to develop and pilot the technical and administrative services necessary to publish FAIR vocabularies, in particular to implement the “Ten Simple Rules for making a vocabulary FAIR” (Cox et al. 2021). Participants worked collaboratively to assess the guidelines, and to develop a pilot implementation of the process with a set of predetermined vocabularies. The pilots were oriented around examples from the social science and health domains, drawing on experiences and capability of project participants from the environmental science community, where the process has been reasonably well established.

This BoF will start with short presentations to communicate key findings of the workshop, and feedback from organisations that made vocabularies available for piloting during the workshop.

This will be followed by discussion to begin development of a roadmap for broadening application of FAIR principles for vocabularies across Australian research domains.

The discussion will focus on three broad areas:

  1. best practices guidelines for governing and managing FAIR vocabularies;
  2. draft specification for a FAIR vocabulary technical framework, aligned to the needs of both human and machine users; and
  3. best practices and workflows for the adoption of FAIR vocabularies established under the governance and technical arrangements in areas 1 & 2.


Steve McEachern is Director and Manager of the Australian Data Archive at the Australian National University, where he is responsible for the daily operations and technical and strategic development of the data archive. He has high-level expertise in survey methodology and data archiving, and has been actively involved in development and application of survey research methodology and technologies over 15 years in the Australian university sector. Steve holds a PhD in industrial relations from Deakin University, as well as a Graduate Diploma in Management Information Systems from Deakin University, and a Bachelor of Commerce with Honours from Monash University.


Oct 11 2021


2:10 pm - 3:40 pm

Local Time

  • Timezone: America/New_York
  • Date: Oct 10 - 11 2021
  • Time: 11:10 pm - 12:40 am