Tools and Methods working towards the FAIR Facility

On 24 October 2023, the event “Tools and Methods working towards the FAIR facility” will take place at the RDA Plenary meeting, in the frame of the International Data Week 2023* – A Festival of Data, hosted by the University of Salzburg (Austria) from 23 to 26 October 2023.

Meeting objectives: 

FAIR data has been rising on the agenda for Photon and Neutron Facilities over the last 10 years, with significant advances being made on the systematic generation and management of data to be FAIR-ly available to encourage its use and reuse.  FAIR and open data has become a higher priority for facilities to allow its users to better analyse their own experimental data that is becoming ever larger and more complex, to enable the reproducibility of results, and to potentially open facilities data archives for reuse and reanalysis to support new discoveries, using for example, Machine Leaning.

European Photon and Neutron Facilities have been engaged in two significant joint projects: PaNOSC and ExPaNDS; these have finished recently and have developed a toolkit of practical guidance and tools that facilities can use to evolve their systems and processes to deliver FAIR data as it leaves the facility.   The toolkit covers areas which are of general interest to the RDA community including:

  • Defining data policy for a data generating institution that supports FAIR data where appropriate.
  • Defining and sharing a framework of metadata standards for annotating data generated within facilities, relying on existing metadata standards when available.
  • Tools, methods, and processes for managing experimental data
  • Adoption of suitable Persistent Identifiers for the entities involved in PaN research.
  • The role of Data Management Planning in facilities
  • Applying FAIR Data Assessment to  Photon and Neutron Facilities.

In this session, we would like to discuss this FAIR toolkit and share it with the wider RDA community, comparing with similar efforts in facilities around the world. The toolkit is an evolving body of knowledge, so we would like to discuss how we might further its adoption and continue to develop it within future programmes. Future developments might include developing parts of the toolkit into an RDA recommendation.  The IG meeting will discuss this and identify suitable opportunities.

Meeting agenda: 

Approaches to Implementing FAIR Data in Facilities Internationally – 35 mins

1. A FAIR data toolkit for European PaN RIs –  Brian Matthews (STFC) (contribution from Andy Götz – ESRF) – 10 mins

2. FAIR principles adoption in US laboratories – Line Pouchard (BHNL), Jon Taylor (SNS) – 15 mins

3. RDM strategies for photon and neutron facilities in Germany – Markus Kubin (HZB) – 10 mins

Tools to support FAIR Data in Facilities – 25 mins

  1. Data Management Plans within facilities processes –  Heike Görzig (HZB)
  2. FAIR vocabularies  – Alejandra Gonzalez-Beltran (STFC)
  3. PIDs for Scientific Data: Applications in Synchrotron and FEL Facilities – Andrei Vukolov (Elettra)

Future activities of PaN community on FAIR practices – 15 mins

  1. Building on the ExPaNDS, PaNOSC and EOSC-Future projects in OSCARS –   Sophie Servan (DESY)
  2. The work of LEAPS Working Group 3 and developing an international MoU on RDM –  Majid Ounsy (Soleil)

Discussion on Future IG activities – 15 mins

Target Audience: 

Data managers, IT Specialists, Data Stewards and policy makers in Photon and Neutron Facilities across the world.

Those with an interest in research data issues in photon and neutron facility user communities, for example chemistry, materials sciences, life sciences, engineering, earth sciences.

Data managers with an interest in practical methods for FAIR data adoption (repositories, DMPs, metadata, policy) especially within experimental science.

Group chair serving as contact person: 

Brian Matthews

Brief introduction describing the activities and scope of the group: 

The Research Data Needs of the Photon and Neutron Science Community Interest Group focuses on data related issues of science applications associated with large scale source facilities, including: synchrotron x-ray sources, free-electron laser x-ray sources, reactor and spallation neutron sources, muon sources, large electron microscope, NMR and high-powered laser facilities, which are used typically for investigations into the structure of matter at micro or nano scale.  

These facilities are characterised by a central facility providing access to scarce and specialised instruments which are typically beyond the means of single research groups, and are thus shared and used by many research teams to conduct experiments.  These experiments come from a wide range of disciplines including chemistry, biochemistry, pharmaceuticals, biology, metallurgy, engineering, materials science, palaeontology and archaeology. The user communities are rather heterogeneous, volatile and globally distributed. Issues to be tackled are hence bound to be global and interdisciplinary requiring a decent level of standardization and interoperability. 

Short Group Status: 

The Research Data Needs of the Photon and Neutron Science Community Interest Group is a long established discussion forum within the RDA.  Members of the group are active across other activities of the RDA and also frequently collaborate within the community on common areas of interest; the Interest Groups provides an oppotunity to get together and share relevant activities.  The Interest Group meets irregularly as a group at Plenaries when there is a area of common relevant interest which has been identified as approprriate for discussion internationally.  The group last met at the 17th Plenary (April 2021), when the topic under discussion was the sharing of the data arising from the significant and important use of the P&N facilities in the research challenge of COVID19.  Recent projects have produced a significant body of knowledge suitable for further development, dissemination and sustainability, and international standardisation of these via RDA would be considered as a stuiable vehicle for this. 

Meeting presenters: 

Brian Matthews (UK), Heike Görzig (Germany), Line Pouchard (USA), Majid Ounsy (France), Andy Götz (France), Alejandra Gonzalez-Beltran (UK), Paul Millar (Germany), Sophie Servan (Germany), Andrei Vukolov (Italy), Markus Kubin (Germany), Jon Taylor (USA)

Contact for group (email):

*IDW 2023 will be hosted by the University of Salzburg through its Data Science and Geoinformatics departments, supported by the Governor of Salzburg and with assistance from the Austrian Academy of Sciences – GIScience and the European Umbrella Organization for Geographic Information.