What is Data FAIRport initiative?

The Data FAIRport initiative is an open movement started as the practical follow up of a Lorentz Workshop in Leiden, The Netherlands, January 2014, named: Jointly designing a Data FAIRport.

The participants of the workshop represented the worlds of research infrastructure and policy, publishing, the semantic web and life sciences research.


Their vision is to join and support existing communities that try to realise and enable a situation where valuable scientific data is ‘FAIR’ in the sense of being Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable.

The FAIR data principles

A major first event that resulted form the FAIRport meeting was that a growing group of engaged community members drafted and refined "Guiding Principles" for FAIR data publishing. The principles for Findability, Accessibility, Interoperability and Reusability were designed to serve the community as a minimal scope approach, which focuses on the specification of minimally required standard protocols, lightweight interfaces and formats. This is similar to the 'hour glass' approach that underpins the internet, modern mobile technology such as online betting apps and games, the web and other robust, heterogeneous yet interoperable infrastructures.

The resulting Guiding Principles can be viewed and commented on at FORCE11. There you will also find references as to how the general principles of data FAIRness are well articulated in the data citation principles, also supported by FORCE11.Data FAIRport takes a next step in implementing these principles and we would like to invite you to review and, if possible, endorse these principles at the FORCE11 website.

Suggested changes or additions to the FAIR principles are currently reviewed and proposed by a smal group of volunteer stewards: Mark Wilkinson, Merce Crosas, Barend Mons and Paul Groth.

‘FAIRport’ is thus not a new ‘organisation’ but a way to actively engage all 'Enablers' in the field of data publishing and reuse. It will not develop any solutions that are already in place and does not have the ambition to become yet another organisation, rather it is developing into a generic data stewardship principle, with different implementations in community and formal organisations, such as FORCE11, ELIXIR, BD2K, RDA, ODEX4allENPADASI, BBMRI-NL and FAIRdom. Its aim is to provide fully FAIR mobile data which can be used for a range of applications, both scienitific and commercial, for entertainment or information.

The meeting also resulted in the spontaneous organisation of a ‘skunk’ working group, aimed at ‘hacking paths in the jungle’ where technical solutions enabling FAR data do not yet exist. Here you can follow the Skunk activities and join Hackathons or Bring Your Own Data parties.

FAIR data repositories and networks

Promoting FAIR data is all about communication, reconciliation, adoption and endorsement of community standards for data provenance, versioning, identity, citation and dependency (including metadata). The technical realisation and enabling of these minimal requirements for interoperation of FAIR data services will be undertaken in various and increasingly collaborating communities.

The final aim is minimal models for grouping results and linking data with analytics which are both human and computer actionable.

A ‘FAIRpoint or FAIRport’ can be any specific data instance following the FAIR data principles. As a rule FAIRport initiatives will not develop any solutions that are already in place and do not dictate a single platform or a particular integrated data infrastructure nor do they aim to develop ‘yet another standard’. Rather they will select and focus on successful community supported conventions, policies and practices for data identifiers, formats, checklists and vocabularies that enable data interoperability, citation and stewardship. In a number of countries concrete 'exemplars' are being developed to demonstrate the added value of the Data FAIRport approach.

Join Data FAIRport

We are an open initiative and are very happy for anyone to join us in achieving 'fair' data. Please contact us here .


  • Data FAIRport Conference Summary  - an overview of the outcomes of the Data FAIRport conference that was held in January 13-16th in Leiden, The Netherlands.
  • Interview Innovation International - an interview on the Data FAIRport initiative with George Strawn, Niklas Blomberg, Barend Mons, Ruben Kok and Rene van Schaik.
  • RDA Concept Note FAIRport Conference Summary  - The RDA WG on Data Foundation and Terminology has produced a Concept Note that can be of high relevance to the work of WP1 of FAIRport (version 7, annotated by Barend Mons can be downloaded here). Please review the document and send any further comments to either This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. They will coordinate a potential collaborative effort to come to a common understanding and consensus of the aspects related to the elements needed at the 'waist' of the hourglass in the 'web of interoperable data'. 


  • 07/09/2014 Work Packages Update September Read the latest update here
  • 01/06/2014 Work Packages Update May Read the latest update here
  • 04/04/2014 Work Packages Update March Read the latest update here
  • 16/01/2014 Jointly Designing a Data FAIRport conference. On the 13th to 16th of January 2014 the Dutch Elixir node, in cooperation with the Netherlands eScience Center and theLorentz Center, organized an ‘unconference’ titled:  ‘Jointly designing a Data FAIRPORT’. During these four days key aspects of a global infrastructure for read more