2021 FAIR Island Annual Report

by | Jan 21, 2022 | News

At the beginning of 2022 we published our first annual report for the FAIR Island Project. Through a community-oriented, open approach, the FAIR Island Project advanced social and technological infrastructure for place-based open science. In the section below, the project objectives, accomplishments through December 2021 and next steps are described:

  1. Develop and iterate on an exemplar place-based data policy. In Year 1, create and adopt a place-based data policy for Tetiaroa, iterate on it, and have 90% of research groups agree to abide by it. Then, create a generalized data policy for other field stations to adapt and adopt. The Project will support adoption by additional sites by the end of this EAGER. 

The FAIR Island data policy was developed based on Tetiaroa and generalized to be a place-based data policy for the FAIR Island Infrastructure Imaginary. Community input was solicited from the University of California Natural Reserve System (UCNRS), the 4Site Data Management Working Group, Tetiaroa researchers and at conferences including the Research Data Alliance plenaries and GO-FAIR-US. In addition, review was sought from legal experts, data experts and the policy was evaluated by FAIRsFAIR, as part of their Policy Enhancement Support Programme.


Next Steps: We hope that the Tetiaroa Society will adopt the draft Tetiaroa Data Policy. Beyond Tetiaroa, Santa Cruz Island Director, Jay Reti, has also expressed interest in using the data policy for Santa Cruz Island, a UCNRS field station. A second site using a version of the data policy would move our overall objective forward. 

  1. Adapt, test, and prove the capabilities of networked data management plans (DMPs) for field stations: Networked DMPs integrate and leverage a range of existing tools and platforms. Adapted for place-based research, they will be utilized for research projects, with Tetiaroa as the use case, as a key way to track provenance, attribution, compliance, deposit, and publication of all data collected at research sites. In Year 2, the Project will expand the use of networked DMPs to additional field sites. 

The DMPTool is a critical component of the FAIR Island infrastructure. The DMPTool template for Tetiaroa was developed based on input from the FAIR Island Team; Tetiaroa Science Director, Neil Davies; and researchers coming to Tetiaroa. An initial DMP has been started for a few projects. 

The Tetiaroa Ecostation uses the UCNRS Reserve Application Management System (RAMS). The CDL DMPTool Team completed the integration between RAMS and DMPTool. Upon submitting a research application to Tetiaroa, information from RAMS (such as the project abstract and collaboration details) is sent to the DMPTool via an API. This data transfer automatically creates a new DMP from the Tetiaroa Society template. The applicant is then notified via email that they must complete their DMP before their application is approved. After testing this summer, this integration supported all new applications effective October 2021.

After testing this summer, this integration supported  all new applications effective October 2021. 


Next Steps: As we operationalize the Data Policy and DMP requirement at Tetiaroa Ecostation, applications will not be approved until the research team completes a DMP. We need to support researchers filling out the DMP and iterate the DMP based on feedback. DMPTool completed another integration with RSpace to link lab notebooks with DMPs and is planning to integrate Protocols.io into DMPTool. In 2022, DMPTool is planning to add  functionality that will make it possible to upload existing DMPs. 

  1. Demonstrate the benefits of FAIR data policies and workflows to all stakeholders for the field station. Through the use of persistent identifiers, networked DMPs will lessen the administrative burden on field stations, as well as researchers and grant administrators. The Project will visualize a PID Graph (Cousijn et al. 2021) specific to Tetiaroa research to quantify the connectivity of researchers, organizations and research outputs and to show this change over time. 

This year saw exciting steps forward for networked DMPs and built on a prior EAGER that CDL received. DMPTool includes space to identify ORCIDs for people and RORs. The Tetiaroa DMP Template also includes a reference to the ROR for the field station. The DMPTool now mints DOIs for published DMPs. Another responsive development from DMPTool,  based on our experience, was to make it possible to  link DOIs from outputs like articles, datasets and software to a published DMP.  

Outputs: With the above functionality, we did a retrospective DMP for the Moorea Biocode project. We were then able to  search and identify research outputs from the project and link them to the DMP. Finally, we used DataCite’s PIDGraph notebooks to draw our first PIDGraph.Figure 1 shows the evolution at the start with no outputs, and then the second and third images show articles and datasets as they are  added.   

Figure 1: PIDGraph for Moorea Biocode Project (Robinson, et al., 2021)

Next Steps: The PIDGraph in Figure 1 centers a single project, the Moorea Biocode project, with the purple dot as a DMP DOI. Moving forward, we are working with DataCite to include RORs in DMP metadata. Utilizing RORs for field station identifiers, will allow us to draw an additional PIDGraph where the middle dot is a field station and the connections will be related projects (DMP DOIs). This view will provide one way to visualize the scientific impact a field station has. We are also working with DataCite to utilize the DataCite Commons page for facilities as a dashboard for field stations (Gump Example)

  1. Cultivate a place-based data management community through the Research Data Alliance.  As indicated above, the FAIR Island Project is not unique to one site, but has broad applicability in place-based research at field stations, marine labs, LTER sites, and beyond. The Project workflows and tools will be available for use by all research facilities, initially expanding (beta phase) in California and the Pacific Islands (see below). In addition, the Project will share, request feedback and co-create this work openly, using RDA to increase the reach and adoption of these products.  

This Project has shared work at several meetings in the last two years including: 

  1. RDA – Nov 2020
  2. PIDapalooza 2021 
  3. GOFAIR US WIPS/CHIPS, Feb 2021 
  4. RDA BoF session on Place-based research, April 2021
    1. Agenda
    2. Slides
  5. UCNRS Meeting, May 2021 
  6. RDA-US Webinar, August 2021
  7. DataCite Community Call, September 2021
  8. UC Libraries Forum, October 2021 
  9. Public Access Colloquim, December 2021 (Agenda)

Advisory Group

In December 2021, we invited three additional field station-related staff to participate in the FAIR Island Advisory Group. The advisory group includes: Dr. Neil Davies, Tetiaroa Society Science Director; Dr. Corinna Gries, co-PI of the Environmental Data Initiative; Dr. Jay Reti, Santa Cruz Island Reserve Director; and Dr. Nicholas Wolff, The Nature Conservancy. 

Next Steps: Through this outreach, we expect to expand to other sites, including the Gump field station on Moorea, and to continue to engage with our Advisory group to both iterate on the infrastructure and grow the adoption across other field stations.

Full Report and Citation on Zenodo

This report was published to Zenodo and should be cited as:

Robinson, Erin, Chodacki, John, Davies, Neil, Praetzellis, Maria, Nancarrow, Catherine, Buys, Matthew, Garza, Kristian, & Wimalaratne, Sarala. (2022). 2021 FAIR Island Annual Report (1.0). Zenodo. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.6536701