CANCELED - Webinar: FAIR Data at Scale to Enable Open Science with Mark A. Parsons


Location: Virtual

Mark A. Parsons is pictured

Due to unforeseen circumstances, our webinar with Mark. A Parsons is postponed to a later date. Stay tuned to learn future webinar dates!

Abstract from Mark. A Parsons:

FAIR Data at Scale to Enable Open Science

Since they were published in 2016, the FAIR Principles for data (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable) have garnered much attention. Yet there is little consensus on how to put them into practice. The FAIR principles have focussed conversation, but it is clear that data repositories and providers still struggle with the details of implementation. Indeed, there is still much misunderstanding about the principles, with some providers claiming FAIRness while unaware of the details of the fifteen principles underlying the broad FAIR concept.

NASA has long been a pioneer in open science and has recently published a forward looking scientific information policy (SPD-41a) that says that NASA data should be FAIR. NASA recognizes that there is nothing intrinsic to the FAIR principles that requires openness, but we do recognize that to achieve the inclusive, collaborative, and ultimately transformative aspects of open science, data must be FAIR.

To this end NASA has been working through an extensive process involving surveys, use cases, community webinars, and a dedicated workshop to define what FAIR means for NASA data. This is a very large scale endeavor given NASA’s very large and bespoke data holdings that range from genomics to the origins of the universe.

This presentation reviews NASA’s process and our current conclusions and recommendations on the interpretation of the specific principles and shared guidelines for how NASA’s 35 repositories can make their data programmatically FAIR, in a way that satisfies users and handles ever growing volumes and diversity.

The short takeaways: FAIR is easy. Users are hard. Build in FAIR at the outset. Otherwise, keep it simple; just do it; then move on.

About the Mark A. Parsons: 

Mark A. Parsons is a Research Scientist and geographer at the University of Alabama in Huntsville working in NASA’s Chief Science Data Office to help align data, software, and information standards and processes across NASA’s science divisions. Mark has more than 30 years of experience in researching and developing data stewardship policies, practices, and systems. He has repeatedly and effectively built dynamic, functional collaborations across all sorts of differences in language and professional cultures. Mark was the first Secretary General of the Research Data Alliance. He has helped coordinate stewardship of a broad range of data from satellite remote sensing to Indigenous knowledge of Arctic change. He led the data management effort for the International Polar Year and helped establish the Exchange for Local Observations and Knowledge of the Arctic (ELOKA). His published work has guided national data policies and practice and has contributed to educational programs. Mark lives in Colorado and likes to ride bicycles, bake bread, and play outside.