Project deliverable Open Access
The preceding work of FAIRsFAIR in metadata catalogue integration was presented in deliverable D3.6 “Proposal on integration of metadata catalogues to support cross-disciplinary FAIR uptake”. The deliverable described the complex challenge of facilitating data discovery, and outlined the many approaches and metadata standards in use. It analysed the distinctions between data catalogues and metadata catalogues, and between domain-independent/agnostic metadata and domain-specific metadata. It analysed several domain-agnostic metadata standards and proposed a pilot activity to assess two particular domain-agnostic metadata standards, namely DCAT 2 and DDI-CDI.
Subsequent work is reported in this deliverable. A series of workshops were held with stakeholders representing research communities and other interested parties. The rather ambitious pilot programme envisaged in D3.6 was reduced in scope to something more realistic and achievable: the pilot focused on exploring some of the practical implementation challenges that currently hinder the reuse of existing metadata mappings, to get a sense from different perspectives about the suitability of DCAT 2 and the planned improvements for DCAT 3 as an integration solution, and to consider some of the additional factors that should be addressed. It was further recognised that DCAT and DDI-CDI are not competing standards but complementary, with DCAT concerned with discoverability and DDI-CDI with interoperability.
The FAIRsFAIR team worked with representatives from two of the thematic cluster projects (SSHOC and PaNOSC) and two service providers (B2FIND and OpenAIRE) to assess the feasibility of DCAT 2 from both the domain specific and aggregator perspectives. The intention is not to be prescriptive, but to energise the community and set the perspectives. In all cases a positive attitude to DCAT was revealed, with no obstacles in principle to its adoption. The key factor is the existence of demand in a world of constrained resources. Other issues also arose and are presented in this report, such as the implications of the differences between research domains, requirements for sustainability (in a broad sense), and an emergent desire for a central documented collection of metadata mappings.
Work will continue in the remainder of the FAIRsFAIR project to progress community dialogue in these areas and to set up the living resources such as the collection of mappings.