Fair data management: best practices and open issues – 14-15 November, Florence, Italy

A two day workshop was held in Florence on November 14th -15th on  sharing, reuse, and reproducibility, curation of  research data. OpenAIRE-Italy (CNR-ISTI and NOAD) was strongly engaged in organizing the event, promoted and sponsored by RDA Europe in collaboration with the universities of Turin, Milan, Bologna, Parma and with the patronage of AISA – the Italian Association for the promotion of Open Science.

fairdatamanagementIn light of the FAIR principles and their recent adoption in the EC Guidelines for Data Management in Horizon 2020 the workshop focused on the issues of data management, from planning to metadata curation, citation, versioning, re-use and reproducibility, training with contribution of different stakeholders. It brought together the experiences of some research infrastructures in Italy, the activities of some RDA working and Interest Groups, the tools and services offered by infrastructure such OpenAIRE and EUDAT, the services provided by the Italian IT and Computing infrastructures. Two round table were organized at the end of each day to debate respectively the cultural and legal issues concerning data sharing and the technical and technological infrastructure support needed by research communities in order to implement the FAIR principles.

It was a lively exchange of experiences, open issues confirming the need of new policies, new approaches, new professional roles in a digital research ecosystem that is not responding yet to the challenges of data intensive science environments. The implementation of FAIR principles requires a research and academic ecosystem based on a close collaboration of the different stakeholders. The different platforms, services, tools, initiatives presented during the workshop showed a lack of coordination. Interoperability and integration have not yet reached a desirable stage. Training is a must and should be addressed to all researchers, starting from PhD students, a cultural change in the researchers mindset as well as in the other stakeholders is required; quality of  data, costs of data management and stewardship, lack of awareness at top management level in universities of research data issues, the issues of data reproducibility and re-use, the importance of applying the FAIR principles to all elements of a research process from data to source code, workflow, services were among the topics that emerged during the presentations and the debates. The immediate outcome of two days will be the draft of a set of recommendations to share among the participating stakeholders as a first step to build a national network of the different research and e-infrastructures, and expert communities (data, legal, metadata, training) in order to make the implementation of FAIR principles a common and real objective to fulfill together.

OpenAIRE-Italy will be engaged in supporting and contributing to this initiative.

The workshop was attended by over 100 participants, including coordinators of research infrastructures, individual researchers, funding agencies, research institutions, data scientists, data librarians / curators and computing scientists.

The programme and the presentations are available on the RDA website: https://www.rd-alliance.org/rda-national-event-italy-14-15-november-2016-agenda

Paola Gargiulo

OA projects and OA training and support coordinator at CINECA. OpenAIRE NOAD for Italy.

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