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Exploring Core Interoperability: Virtual SciDataCon 2021 Strand

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Virtual SciDataCon 2021 is organised around a number of thematic strands.  This is one of a series of announcements presenting these strands to the global data community. Please note that registration is free, but participants must register for each session they wish to attend.

Interoperability and Reusability are without doubt the most challenging of the FAIR principles.  Over the last 2-3 years, as part of the pilot activities for the Decadal Programme: Making Data Work for Cross-Domain Grand Challenges, CODATA has been exploring, with partner organisations and initiatives, a number of core issues to enable interoperability. These include, but are not limited to: the consistent digital representation of units of measurement, FAIR vocabularies, FAIR digital objects and metadata to facilitate the integration of data across domains.  The final session in this strand ‘Interoperability of Metadata Standards in Cross-Domain Science’, will serve as a conclusion and an opportunity to discuss the implications of the various activities presented over the two weeks.

The Virtual SciDataCon 2021 strand on interoperability includes the following sessions:

FAIR Digital Objects to Establish a Global and Interoperable Data Space, Monday 18 October, 13:00-14:30 UTC and 16:00-17:30 UTC: REGISTER

FAIR Digital Objects (FDO) have the potential to address a number of significant contemporary challenges. FDOs bind all critical information about an entity persistently in one logical place and therefore create a new kind of actionable, meaningful and technology independent object. FDOs provide a conceptual and implementation framework to develop scalable cross-disciplinary capabilities, deal with the increasing data volumes and their inherent complexity, build tools that help to increase trust in data, create mechanisms to efficiently operate in the domain of scientific assertions, and promote data interoperability.
Enabling data interoperability through the I-ADOPT Framework: implementation scenarios in the environmental science domain and beyond, Wednesday 20 October, 13:00-14:30 UTC: REGISTER
The RDA InteroperAble Descriptions of Observable Property Terminology (I-ADOPT) WG set out to produce an Interoperability Framework, co-developed by a diverse community of terminology experts and users, for representing and describing observable properties. By decomposing variable descriptions into atomic components and linking them to existing vocabulary terms, the framework helps to provide FAIR descriptions and to map between terminologies without changing their original structure. At this session, attendees will learn about the development of the I-ADOPT framework, and will get insights from its early adopters including data service providers, research infrastructures and research communities, from various domains.
Improving Our World One Unit at a Time, Wednesday 20 October, 16:00-17:30 UTC: REGISTER

The current state of the digital representation of units of measure (DRUM) across domains is a significant problem relative to the interoperability of data and it needs to be addressed urgently.  Across the scientific disciplines there is a wide variety of knowledge about, focus on, and care with the recording of a unit of measure with each piece of experimental, calculated, modeled, or derived data. Much information is available for annotation of units for humans, however there is no authoritative source for how to represent and store units of measures in digital systems. This is a fundamental problem for data science currently and a major problem for the future integration of large, heterogeneous datasets both within and across disciplines. This session will serve to inform participants of the ubiquity and urgency of the issue, will bring to light additional use cases and pain points, and will increase engagement from multiple stakeholders.

Scientific Vocabularies: needs, status, validity, governance and sustainability, Monday 25 October, 11:00-12:30 UTC and 13:00-14:30 UTC: REGISTER

To maximize semantic interoperability, shared or harmonized terminology is essential: internationally-agreed controlled vocabularies allow different domains to express agreement, and thereby globally integrate data and share a common understanding of the meaning across the natural, social and health sciences, which transcends their traditional boundaries within a humanities context. But harmonisation of the vocabularies is not enough: vocabularies also need to be sustainable and properly governed to enable the inevitable evolution over time as new concepts become relevant, definitions are revised, and older concepts are retired or replaced. It is essential to know which vocabularies to use for a particular purpose, and whether the vocabularies we select are fit for purpose, and most importantly, whether they have been endorsed by an authoritative source (e.g., Science Unions, Scientific Societies). There will be two sessions. The first will be focussed on the scientific validity of the vocabulary, the context it addresses, the community and processes required to govern and sustain it over time, i.e., vocabulary scope, content and governance. The second session will focus on the technical aspects of building, preserving and making a vocabulary FAIR and accessible online.

DDI-CDI: The Challenge of Cross-Domain Data Integration, Tuesday 26 October, 13:00-14:30 UTC and 16:00-17:30 UTC: REGISTER

This panel examines the development and use of the Data Documentation Initiative’s Cross-Domain Integration (DDI-CDI) specification. DDI-CDI provides a model for the enhanced metadata and documentation needed when integrating data which comes from different domains, characterized by diverse structures and provenance. This is a double session. The first part will focus on the capabilities of DDI-CDI and how it complements other metadata standards for meeting the breadth of requirements in a cross-domain scenario. The second partwill look at specific implementations and the challenges of adoption andsupport of standards used in data sharing between domains. The focus of thispart if to illustrate in a real sense the challenges to be met, and to look atthe solutions which suggest themselves based on experience.

Interoperability of Metadata Standards in Cross-Domain Science, Wednesday 27 October, 16:00-17:30 UTC: REGISTER

Over the past few years (2018, 2019), CODATA and the DDI Alliance have collaborated on a Dagstuhl Workshop the objective of developing an improved ‘understanding of how metadata specifications (and other semantic artefacts, such as vocabularies and ontologies) can be aligned to support cross-discipline (or cross domain) data integration and analysis’. This activity is a key contribution to the ISC CODATA Decadal Programme: ‘Making data work for cross-domain grand challenges’. This session will report on the 2021 workshop, hosted in hybrid format at Dagstuhl and virtually: ‘Interoperability for Cross-Domain Research: Use Cases for Metadata Standards’; and the sister workshop held virtually in Australian timezones: Interoperability for Cross-Domain Research: FAIR VocabulariesAs well as presenting the outcomes of these workshops, this session will serve as a conclusion of this strand on interoperability. The presenters will outline a summary of implications and a vision for future work which session participants will be invited to discuss and critique.
Virtual SciDataCon 2021 is organised by CODATA and the World Data System, the two data organisations of the International Science Council – PROGRAMME AT A GLANCE – FULL PROGRAMME – please note that registration is free, but participants must register for each session they wish to attend.