FAIRness for Life Science Data in Austria

Management, integration, and reuse of research data are key for innovation and creation of new knowledge. Although we have numerous data sources such as ChEMBL, PubChem, UniProt, and the Protein Data Bank available in the public domain, most of the data created in publicly funded research projects end up in pdf-based supplementary files of publications. At best they are additionally deposited in University repositories such as PHAIDRA, or on the web-site of the principal investigator. Although in principle public, they are quite hidden and not directly accessible for search machines. In order to push the demand for open data, the so called FAIR principles for data (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reuseable) were introduced. These four foundational principles should guide data producers and publishers to ensure transparency, reproducibility, and reusability of data, methods, algorithms, and workflows.

Link opens FWF-Project details

Within thisproject we will perform a pilot study for the data created in two multi-partner collaborative projects in the life science domain in order to make them available via PHAIDRA, the digital asset management system for long-term archiving at the University of Vienna: SFB35 – Transmembrane Transporter in Health and Disease, and MolTag – Molecular Drug Targets. In particular, we will adapt the metadata scheme in PHAIDRA, in order to render the data at least partly FAIR.

Specifically, we aim for the following:

  • Develop and provide a set of standards to characterize life science research data according to the FAIR principles. This categorization will be part of the metadata describing the digital object
  • Provide a loading tool for life science research data to be deposited in PHAIDRA, with special focus on standardized ontologies such as the bioassay ontology.
  • Explore the possibility of community curation in order to implement basic data quality mechanisms.

As a long-term goal, this open research data pilotshould lead to a set of tools and standardsallowing scientists in the area of life sciences to make their data available to the scientific community. Furthermore, the results obtained in this project will provide tools to transformlife science data uploaded into PHAIDRA according to the FAIR principles, and will allow to linking them to existing large scale integrated platforms such as the Open PHACTS Discovery Platform.