Published May 21, 2024 | Version 1
Project deliverable Open

WorldFAIR (D2.3) Cross-Domain Interoperability Framework (CDIF) (Report Synthesising Recommendations for Disciplines and Cross-Disciplinary Research Areas)

  • 1. CODATA
  • 2. UKDA
  • 3. AWI
  • 4. ROR icon University of Guelph
  • 5. Ocean Experts
  • 6. UN Statistics Division
  • 7. Postman
  • 8. ROR icon United Nations Children's Fund
  • 9. University of Heidelberg
  • 10. ROR icon Statistics Canada
  • 11. Semantic Arts
  • 12. ROR icon Australian National University
  • 13. ROR icon Australian Research Data Commons


The Cross-Domain Interoperability Framework (CDIF) is designed to support FAIR implementation for these projects by establishing a ‘lingua franca’ for this information, based on existing standards and technologies to support interoperability, in both human- and machine-actionable fashion. CDIF is a set of implementation recommendations, based on profiles of common, domain-neutral metadata standards which are aligned to work together to support core functions required by FAIR.

This report presents a core set of five CDIF profiles, which address the most important functions for cross-domain FAIR implementation. 

  1. Discovery (discovery of data and metadata resources)

  2. Data access (specifically, machine-actionable descriptions of access conditions and permitted use)

  3. Controlled vocabularies (good practices for the publication of controlled vocabularies and semantic artefacts)

  4. Data integration (description of the structural and semantic aspects of data to make it integration-ready)

  5. Universals (the description of ‘universal’ elements, time, geography, and units of measurement).

Each of these profiles is supported by specific recommendations, including the set of metadata fields in specific standards to use, and the method of implementation to be employed for machine-level interoperability.

A further set of topics is examined, establishing the priorities for further work. These include:

  1. Provenance (the description of provenance and processing)

  2. Context (the description of ‘context’ in the form of dependencies between fields within the data and a description of the research setting)

  3. Perspectives on AI (discussing the impacts of AI and the role that metadata can play)

  4. Packaging (the creation of archival and dissemination packages) 

  5. Additional Data Formats (support for some of the data formats not fully supported in the initial release, such as NetCDF, Parquet, and HDF5). 

In each of these topics, current discussions are documented, and considerations for further work are provided.

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WorldFAIR is funded by the EC HORIZON-WIDERA-2021-ERA-01-41 Coordination and Support Action under Grant Agreement No. 101058393. 



D2.3 WF Cross-Domain Interoperability Framework_FINAL.pdf

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WorldFAIR – Global cooperation on FAIR data policy and practice 101058393
European Commission