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Building a terminology for the skills necessary to make data FAIR and to keep it FAIR.

The terms4FAIRskills project has created a formalised terminology that describes the competencies, skills and knowledge associated with making and keeping data FAIR. This terminology can be used in a variety of use cases, including:

terms4FAIRskills is of use to trainers who teach FAIR data skills, researchers who wish to identify skill gaps in their teams and managers who need to recruit individuals to relevant roles.

The proof-of-concept terminology is now available at

Core Development Team

Peter McQuilton
Laura Molloy
Allyson Lister
Yann Le Franc

Next Steps

We are updating the ontology to conform to the OBO Principles and hope T4FS will be available soon on the OBO Foundry.


EOSC Co-creation Award July 2020 - February 2021

In July 2020, we received notification of our successful application for EOSC co-creation funding to continue this work.

Thanks to our successful EOSC co-creation proposal, we continued to develop the Terms4FAIRskills (T4FS) using two real-life use cases - the CODATA/RDA Summer Schools and the ELIXIR Training Platform Training and Events Portal (TeSS). Through a number of workshops and hackathons, we iteratively annotated a large number of training materials using the Semaphora annotation tool.

Currently, T4FS is based on the following model:

T4FS Core model

Our report on this work can be found on Zenodo at the following DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.4705219 and more information on our work during the award can be found on these two blogs:
EOSC Co-creation hackathons (virtual, December 2020)
EOSC Co-creation hackathons (virtual, January 2021)

The annotations made via the Semaphora tool during the hackathons can be found here

We continue to develop terms4FAIRskills and our latest terminology will always be found in our related GitHub repository. New term requests and queries can be posted on our issue tracker.

The EOSC co-creation award funded three people to work on terms4FAIRskills:

Name Institution Logo
Yann Le Franc e-Science Data Factory, France
Peter McQuilton FAIRsharing and the University of Oxford, Department of Engineering Science, Oxford, UK
Laura Molloy CODATA, the Committee on Data of the International Science Council

and contributions in kind from the following members of the terms4FAIRskills community:

Name Institution Logo
Hugh Shanahan Royal Holloway, University of London
Celia van Gelder Dutch Techcentre for LIfe Sciences (DTL), ELIXIR-NL
Susanna-Assunta Sansone FAIRsharing and the University of Oxford, Department of Engineering Science, Oxford, UK
Allyson Lister
Angus Whyte Digital Curation Centre
Kevin Ashley
Victoria Dominguez Del Angel Institut Fran├žais de Bioinformatique(IFB), ELIXIR-FR

How We Started

terms4FAIRskills sprung out of a community need identified at the GO FAIR Coordination meeting in the January of 2019. Since then, we have hosted two workshops:

The first f2f meeting (Paris, FR May 2019)

The second f2f meeting (The Hague, NL October 2019)

Selected outreach activities

We have presented terms4FAIRskills at a number of conferences, including (but not limited to):

Organisational Structure

The terms4FAIRskills Community

The terms4FAIRskills project is founded and run by a small group of enthusiastic experts who grasp the significance of this work, taken from a variety of backgrounds.

These include CODATA, ELIXIR-EMBL-EBI, ELIXIR-FR, ELIXIR-NL, ELIXIR-UK, EOSC-Life, FAIRsFAIR, FAIRsharing, GO-FAIR, the Digital Curation Centre, the Dutch Centre for Life Science, DANS, Royal Holloway, Leiden University Libraries, The British Library, Oxford University, European University Association, VU Amsterdam, SURF, European Bioinformatics Institute, Australian Research Data Commons and TU Delft.

New collaborators are joining the project all the time. If you are interested in collaborating, please email specifying your name, institutional affiliation and how you would like to contribute.

Page updated Feb 2022. Website maintained by Peter McQuilton.