FAIR change in research data management – international community is growing

Kiel/Hamburg, 28 July 2021: Global challenges and current crises show the importance of findable, accessible and reusable data. This June, the GO FAIR Initiative gathered the international community for a three-day exchange on research data management: 573 international experts from science, infrastructure development, and science policy from more than 28 countries met at the FAIR Festival 2021. The main result of the conference is that in future the GO FAIR Initiative will be advanced by national GO FAIR offices from all over the world.

Since 2017, the GO FAIR Initiative has been supporting many pioneers of FAIR research data management. From 21 to 23 June 2021, the GO FAIR and research data management community met to foster solutions for a better reusability of research data, to exchange experiences, and to learn from each other. This is important because research shows that around 85 per cent of research data are difficult to reuse. In this context, the FAIR principles serve to describe research objects in ways that make them “findable”, “accessible”, “interoperable” and “reusable”.

After three years’ groundwork, the GO FAIR Initiative has grown into a globally active network. The GO FAIR community has become an indispensable part of the international research data landscape as an important driver for the building of a global Internet of FAIR Data and Services. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) has initiated the GO FAIR Initiative together with the Science Ministries of France and the Netherlands. In future, GO FAIR offices already in existence or in planning will assume the work of coordination and will support the scientific community in their needs. Representatives from Austria, Brazil, China, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands and the USA agreed to jointly meet the challenges of research data management and stated their willingness to globally promote the FAIR movement. It remains the goal of the GO FAIR Initiative to foster the culture of dialogue and cooperation worldwide and to make qualified findings and solutions visible.

Over the course of the FAIR Festival 2021, the community exchanged ideas regarding their own use cases in themed workshops. Themes ranged from technical solutions to training concepts and the application of FAIR principles to research software, machine learning and workflows. Ongoing developments towards a FAIR Digital Object (FDO) and fields of activities around Data Stewardship proved to be of particular interest.

In three panel debates, experts discussed the importance of the FAIR principles within the conflicting contexts of skills building, cultural change and huge infrastructure projects such as EOSC, the National Research Data Infrastructure (NFDI) and Gaia-X.


The international FAIR Festival 2021 was organised by the international Support and Coordination Offices of the GO FAIR Initiative based in France, Germany and the Netherlands who worked in close cooperation with the national offices in the USA and Brazil. The German office of the GO FAIR Initiative is located at the ZBW – Leibniz Information Centre for Economics.


Katharina Kriegel
Public Relations of the GO FAIR Initiative
ZBW – Leibniz Information Centre for Economics
Neuer Jungfernstieg 21
20354 Hamburg
T: +49 40 42834-447
E: k.kriegel@zbw.eu

About the GO FAIR Initiative:

The GO FAIR Initiative is an international bottom-up approach to the practical implementation of the FAIR principles as part of a global Internet of FAIR Data and Services (IFDS). The community-driven initiative aims at the convergence of skills and solutions. It fosters coordinated “FAIRification” efforts among its members to avoid silo building, inappropriate competition and fragmentation.

The GO FAIR Initiative was created and financed in 2017 by the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, the French Ministry of Tertiary Education, Research and Innovation (MESRI) and the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). France, Germany and the Netherlands have established an internationally operative office, with three locations in Paris, Hamburg and Leiden, to build a community and to further develop the GO FAIR Initiative. Its strategic diretors are Prof. Laurent Crouzet (France), Prof. Klaus Tochtermann (Germany) and Prof. Barend Mons (Netherlands). Contacts in other countries have pledged their support for international coordination. Read more: www.go-fair.org