Building on the Island Digital Ecosystem Avatars (IDEA) Consortium (see Davies et al. 2016), the FAIR Island project leverages collaboration between the University of California Gump Station, located on Moorea in French Polynesia, and Tetiaroa Society, which operates a newly established field station located on the atoll of Tetiaroa, a short distance from Moorea.
Tetiaroa is in a unique position to demonstrate how we can advance open science by creating optimal FAIR data policies governing all research conducted at the field station. By implementing mandatory registration requirements including extensive use of controlled vocabularies, personal identifiers (PIDs), and other identifiers, DMPs in this “FAIR data utopia” will be utilized as key documents for tracking provenance, attribution, compliance, deposit, and publication of all research data collected on the island.
Our primary goal is to develop the optimal data policies and technical infrastructure necessary to create an environment where all data and knowledge collected on Tetiaroa is curated and made openly available as quickly as possible. Longer term, our hope is to extend the policies and infrastructure developed in this partnership to other field stations including those administered by University of California (e.g., through the UC Natural Reserve System). The research community on Tetiaroa is international (France/EU, NZ, UK, US, …) and connects across many scientific networks, thus contributing to the advancement of open science on a global scale.
The invasive, non-native rats present on Tetiaroa provide an initial focal point for our project. Researchers on the island are currently collecting data in advance of a massive rat eradication project and will follow up with additional studies once the species has been removed. These data sets taken together offer the opportunity to examine the ecological responses, across the coupled marine and terrestrial environments, that occur when you remove a keystone species from an ecosystem. The FAIR Island project will utilize the rat eradication project as a real life example from which to map out the data management policies and processes that are required to accelerate the rate at which multidisciplinary data are being collected, released, and made available for reuse.
The FAIR Island project examines the impact of implementing optimal research data management policies and requirements, affording us the unique opportunity to look at the outcomes of strong data policies at a working field station. It also offers a real-world example to prove the capabilities of machine-actionable data management plans (maDMPs) and to analyse the downstream effects of these policies in the resulting release of data. Our goal is to translate the broader FAIR principles into a set of specific requirements and implementable activities that demonstrate how good data management practices and policies accelerate research for the benefit of all stakeholders.
Some questions guiding our work include:
- How can we best transform the DMP workflow to optimize its functionality within a controlled environment?
- What information generated within this controlled environment can we move between systems and workflows?
- What are the minimum set of PIDs and ontologies needed
Phase 1: Establishing FAIR-compliant Data Policies
The FAIR Island data management policy and corresponding procedures for research data management on the island will be developed with the Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) of the Tetiaroa Society (TS). A draft has been produced by TS Science Director, and is now in review.
Phase 2: Developing Machine-Actionable Data Management Plans
Much of the technical infrastructure of the FAIR Island project builds on existing and ongoing work making DMPs machine-actionable. The DMPTool team recently completed work prototyping the generation of DOIs for DMPs. CDL has also been active in conceptualizing the capabilities of maDMPs as summarized in blog posts covering such topics as ten principles for machine-actionable data management plans, what maDMPs are, what they can do to support automation, utilizing common standards and PIDs, and maDMPs as living documents.
To support the FAIR Island project we will extend our work on machine-actionable DMPs to include:
- identifiers such as ROR, Fundref, re3data repositories
- the completion of an RDA Common Standard compliant API
- support for multiple datasets and multiple contributors
- improved ORCID integration
- moving DOI generation from our testing environment into production
- continuing to ensure all machine-actionable DMP features in the DMPTool application are released in our open DMPRoadmap codebase
Phase 3: Integrating with External Systems
Integration with other systems is a core requirement, and scalable benefit, of the FAIR Island experiment. As an example, we will be working with the UC Natural Reserve System to build upon their reservations management tool (RAMS), which is already in use locally at the field station, to track data from projects and teams spanning scientific domains and institutions. We will also be working on integrations with the Genomic Observatories MetaDatabase (GEOME), the Dryad Digital Repository, and the Merritt digital preservation repository. Additional potential integrations are in discussion and will likely be added to the project’s work plan.
Phase 4: Continuing to Analyze, Iterate, and Improve
Once the policies, procedures, and technical infrastructure are in place we will continue to iterate on our systems to adjust to the realities on the ground. This practical application of the FAIR data principles allows us to experiment with varying workflows in order to identify the optimal system for achieving project goals. Phase Four of the project will focus on analyzing the systems as they are used, looking at the downstream effects of adherence to the FAIR Island data policies and procedures, and making any necessary adjustments.
Phase 5: Expanding the FAIR Island Model
We’re developing the FAIR Island initiative to create a model research data management environment that can be shared with, and implemented by, other research efforts. Both the CDL team and the administrators of the field station expect this project to inform subsequent work on neighboring islands, likely starting with Moorea, and ultimately extending to other islands in French Polynesia.
Position Announcement: Research Data Management Advisor, FAIR Island/Tetiaroa Field Station
The FAIR Island project team and Tetiaroa Field Station are seeking a part-time Research Data Management Advisor to support our 2-year project. This position will work alongside the project team to implement and enforce exemplar research data management policies at the field station and report the downstream impact of utilizing best practices to our research communities.
The FAIR Island / Tetiaroa Project addresses optimal research data management policies and requirements at a working field station (on the atoll of Tetiaroa in French Polynesia), affording us the unique opportunity to shape strong data policies and examine the outcomes. It offers a real-world example to use best-practice data management tools and policies, to prove the capabilities of machine-actionable data management plans (maDMPs) and to analyze the downstream effects of policies and maDMPs in resulting release of data.
Our goal is to translate the broader FAIR principles into a set of specific requirements and implementable activities that demonstrate how good data management practices and policies accelerate research in a multi-institutional, international setting for the benefit of all stakeholders. Some questions guiding our work include:
What information generated within this controlled environment can we move between systems and workflows?
What are the minimum set of persistent unique identifiers (PIDs) and ontologies needed
How can we best transform the DMP workflow to optimize its functionality within a controlled environment?
We’re developing the FAIR Island initiative to create a model research data management environment that can be shared with, and implemented by other place-based research efforts. Both the California Digital Library (CDL) team and the administrators of the Tetiaroa Field Station at UC Berkeley expect this project to inform subsequent work on neighboring islands, starting with Moorea (site of the UC’s Gump Station and France’s national laboratory CRIOBE), and ultimately extending to research stations in California and around the world.
Role of the Research Data Management Advisor
The Research Data Management Advisor will work with project staff to implement our newly deployed data policies and systems, adjusting to the realities on the ground. This practical application of the FAIR data principles allows us to experiment with varying workflows in order to identify the optimal system for achieving project goals. The Research Data Management Advisor will focus on analysing the systems as they are used, supporting participating scientific teams in implementation of policies and use of tools, looking at the downstream effects of adherence to the FAIR Island data policies and procedures, and making or recommending any necessary adjustments.
- Support the implementation of data management policies and procedures
- Facilitate onboarding of researchers in regards to data policies
- Review incoming DMPs, provide feedback to the principal investigators (PIs), and advise the FAIR Island project team on the optimal management of the DMP process
- Curate datasets within relevant tools, including GEOME, submission to SRA, and identifying other tools to use as necessary and reporting each submission into final report
- Provide analysis of datasets generated from the project and assessing the impact on promoting open science and its benefits of the exemplar data policies
- Contribute to the assessment of resources needed at field stations or networks to syndicate FAIR Island infrastructure and policies
Serve as a bridge between the FAIR Island project and researchers
- Communicating policies and procedures to researchers and keeping FAIR Island project staff informed on how the new processes are being adopted by researchers
- Deliver a final report on initial implementation including specific recommendations for future development
The FAIR Island project will last 2 years. The Research Data Management Advisor will work part-time for the duration of the project. Ideally, this role will be filled in Summer 2020 but special considerations for pre-existing commitments can be made. This role will be administered through the UC Berkeley human resources department and can be remote anywhere within the USA. There will be occasional travel to the field station for project coordination.
Qualifications and Experience
Enthusiastic advocate for Open Science principles and research data management
Demonstrated experience managing research data
Strong organizational and leadership qualities
Outstanding written and oral communication skills
Proficiency in assessing and understanding FAIR data management plans and related standards
Ability to work remotely with distributed teams and across multiple timezones
Advanced degree in ecology or related field preferred but not required
Fluent in English language is required. Knowledge of French language is a plus.
Interested candidates are encouraged to apply by emailing Neil Davies (firstname.lastname@example.org) and a short cover letter, CV, and any relevant portfolio materials. Project staff will discuss with candidates the expected time commitment, requirement details and the expected rate for services.