Category Archives: Terms4FAIRskills

Two more #terms4FAIRskills hackathons to start the new year!

The Terms4FAIRskills project continued its engagement with the wider community with two more hack sessions on the 27th and 29th January 2021.  Building on the work of the the last two hack sessions in December 2020, the project core team – Yann Le Franc, Pete McQuilton and Laura Molloy – once again welcomed colleagues from the FAIRsFAIR project, FAIRsharing, ELIXIR, EOSC-Life, the Digital Curation Centre, DANS, CINES and CODATA to find out more about the Semaphora annotation plugin, derived from the EOSC semantic annotation service, B2NOTE, and how it works with a revised version of the Terms4FAIRskills terminology to describe online training resources.

Once installation was successfully completed, participants were enthusiastic about the ease with which they were able to choose from existing terms and suggest their own terms to annotate their training materials with their own choice of FAIR-related skills and competences.  Participants were also pleased to be able to search annotations on the Semaphora plugin, making it easier to find appropriate training materials for their needs. As always, the core team learned a lot from the lively discussion throughout the sessions, and we are once again working with the feedback from participants to improve both the terminology and the annotation tool.

Dr Angus Whyte, Senior Institutional Support Officer, reflected: “This felt like a very useful session to me. Having the Semaphora tool made quite a difference. It was quite helpful that it hides the hierarchical structure in the terminology, as we know that is a work-in-progress. The value of the work that has gone into distilling the terms was pretty clear, as was the ease of using the tool. A bit of practice with the annotation helped too. It takes a bit of discipline to be economical with the choice of terms to tag an item with. And we had an interesting and useful discussion about the level of granularity at which the annotation is most helpful.”

Prof Hugh Shanahan, Professor of Open Science at Royal Holloway, University of London, agreed: “The sessions were enormously helpful in understanding what’s been achieved because of the EOSC [co-creation] funding. The project has reached a significant level of maturity and it’s much clearer now what the finished project will look like as a tool for annotating and finding FAIR related training materials.”

We are currently planning a final remote sprint to complete this phase of activity for which we are grateful to have received funds from the EOSC Co-creation award.

For further information about the terminology, please see the terms4FAIRskills website, follow the #terms4FAIRskills hashtag on Twitter and/or email

#terms4FAIRskills hackathons – December 2020

By Laura Molloy and Peter McQuilton

The terms4FAIRskills core team was delighted to welcome a group of keen annotators from across Europe to join in a hackathon on 11th and 15th December 2020.  Participants from FAIRsFAIR, FAIRsharing, ELIXIR, EOSC-Pillar, the Digital Curation Centre, DANS, CINES and CODATA worked actively with a range of training materials of their choice, and experimented with annotating these materials with terms from the current version of the terms4FAIRskills terminology.

The terms4FAIRskills project aims to create a formalised terminology that describes the competencies, skills and knowledge associated with making and keeping data FAIR.  When mature, this terminology will apply to a variety of use cases, including:

  • To assist with the creation and assessment of data stewardship curricula;
  • To facilitate the annotation, discovery and evaluation of FAIR-enabling materials (e.g. training) and resources;
  • To enable the formalisation of job descriptions and CVs/résumés with recognised, structured competencies.

The completed terminology will be of use to trainers who teach FAIR data skills, researchers who wish to identify skill gaps in their teams, and managers who need to recruit individuals to relevant roles.

Started as a volunteer, bottom-up effort, #terms4FAIRskills has recently received an EOSC co-creation grant to enable collaborative development of the terminology via a core team of ontology experts alongside a coordinating group. The grant also funds a series of hackathons to bring together representatives from the community of prospective users.

In the first virtual hackathon, with lively discussion throughout, we iteratively refined the terminology through the practical annotation of training materials from ELIXIR TeSS and the RDA/CODATA Summer Schools.  Thanks to this feedback, the core team will continue to review the terminology, add synonyms, refine the hierarchy and adapt the current model.

We will run a follow-on hackathon in early 2021, where we will once again test the model through practical annotation of real world training material.

For further information about the terminology, please see the terms4FAIRskills website, follow the #terms4FAIRskills hashtag on Twitter and/or email

Core team

  • Peter McQuilton, FAIRsharing and University of Oxford
  • Yann Le Franc, e-Science Data Factory
  • Laura Molloy, CODATA
  • Allyson Lister, FAIRsharing and University of Oxford

December 2020 virtual hackathon attendees

  • Hugh Shanahan, RDA/CODATA Summer Schools
  • Celia van Gelder, ELIXIR / DTL
  • Victoria Dominguez del Angel, ELIXIR / INRA
  • Angus Whyte, FAIRsFAIR / DCC
  • Marjan Grootveld, FAIRsFAIR / DANS
  • Marie-Anne Maurel, FAIRsFAIR / CINES
  • Samuel Viscapi, FAIRsFAIR / CINES

Coordination group

  • Celia van Gelder (DTL/ELIXIR-NL, NL)
  • Simon Hodson (CODATA, FR)
  • Yann Le Franc (e-Science Data Factory, FR)
  • Peter McQuilton (FAIRsharing and University of Oxford, UK)
  • Susanna-Assunta Sansone (FAIRsharing and University of Oxford, UK)
  • Hugh Shanahan (Royal Holloway, UK)
  • Angus Whyte (DCC, UK)
  • Laura Molloy (CODATA, FR)