Keynote - Carole Goble (University of Manchester, UK): Faring with FAIR
Remarkably it was only in 2016 that the ‘FAIR Guiding Principles for scientific data management and stewardship’ appeared in Scientific Data. The paper was intended to launch a dialogue within the research and policy communities: to start a journey to wider accessibility and reusability of data and prepare for automation-readiness by supporting findability, accessibility, interoperability and reusability for machines. Many of the authors (including myself) came from biomedical and associated communities. The paper succeeded in its aim, at least at the policy, enterprise and professional data infrastructure level. Whether FAIR has impacted the researcher at the bench or bedside is open to doubt. It certainly inspired a great deal of activity, many projects, a lot of positioning of interests and raised awareness. COVID has injected impetus and urgency to the FAIR cause (good) and also highlighted its politicisation (not so good).
In this talk I’ll make some personal reflections on how we are faring with FAIR: as one of the original principles authors; as a participant in many current FAIR initiatives (particularly in the biomedical sector and for research objects other than data) and as a veteran of FAIR before we had the principles.