BioSharing Registry: connecting data policies, standards & databases in life sciences WG


Group details

Secretariat Liaison: 
Lynn Yarmey
TAB Liaison: 
Paul Uhlir
Case Statement: 

FAIRsharing Logo

We have rebranded the registry (an output of this group) to in response to user feedback, suggestions from members of our advisory board, and our existing and prospective adopters. Please check out our website and provide feedback on our latest enhancements, including our graph view and collection comparison tool.


NEW: "The FAIRsharing Registry and Recommendations: Interlinking Standards, Databases and Data Policies” output, signed by 18 adopters to date.

Page Contents

  • WG aims
  • Plans for RDA P11 Berlin
  • Introducing FAIRsharing
  • Our Adopters (to date)
  • Key outputs
  • Upcoming Events
  • Activities at Previous Plenaries (with links to slides)
  • Events we have attended and presented at (with links to slides)

  • The outputs of this WG will be:

    1. A set of recommendations to guide users and producers of databases and content standards to select and describe them, or recommend them in data policies; and
    2. A curated registry, which enacts the recommendations and assists a variety of end users, providing well described, interlinked, and cross-searchable records on content standards, databases and data policies.

    Plans for RDA P11 Berlin

    FAIRsharing will be involved in a number of RDA and pre-RDA sessions:

    Please don't hesitate to contact us on if you would like to arrange to talk to us at the plenary or invite one of our representatives to a session.

    FAIRsharing Logo

    We have rebranded the registry to in response to user feedback, suggestions from members of the advisory board, but also from existing and prospective adopters. The broader name also reflects the fact that the portal has always encompassed standards that are generic (and therefore applicable to all disciplines) and others that are outside bio and life sciences. The FAIRsharing site is now live - All links to BioSharing or records in BioSharing will automatically redirect to the new site.

    This use cases-driven WG is a joint effort with Force11 and it is led and constituted by prospective adopters as well as technical implementers, many of whom are also leading and/or actively involved in other relevant RDA IGs and WGs, whose activities this WG complements and with which this WG will work closely. For more details, please refer to our Case Statement, found in the right-hand column.

    Through the BioSharing WG’s 18 month timeframe, we have built upon the existing BioSharing registry and transformed it into a searchable network of 1100+ databases, 1000+ data standards, and 110+ journal and funder data policies to create the cross-domain FAIRsharing registry.

    During this time, the FAIRsharing portal has been adopted by a number of journal publishers, research data management programmes, community groups and infrastructure, research and funding programmes. These are shown in the table below.


    Please note: We are gaining new adopters all the time. To see the most up-to-date version of this table, please see our communities page.



    Adopter Type Associated FAIRsharing Record
    Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) Resource list -
    BioMedCentral (BMC) Journal Data Policy Recommendation
    EMBO Press Journal Data Policy Recommendation
    Elsevier Journal Data Policy Recommendation
    Faculty of 1000 (F1000) Journal Data Policy Recommendation
    GigaScience Journal Data Policy Recommendation
    Scientific Data Journal Data Policy Recommendation
    Springer Nature Journal Data Policy -
    Wellcome Open Research Journal Data Policy Recommendation
    ELIXIR Europe$ Infrastructure -
    ELIXIR UK Infrastructure -
    JISC UK Infrastructure -
    Cell Migration Standardisation Organisation (CMSO) Organisation Collection
    Taxonomic Databases Working Group (TDWG)* Organisation Collection
    EMBL-Australia Bioinformatics Resource Organisation Collection
    Clinical Data Interchange Standards Consortium (CDISC) Organisation Collection
    FAIRDOM Project Collection
    Euro-BioImaging$ Project Collection
    IMI eTRIKS Project Collection
    NIH LINCS Project Collection
    University of Cambridge Research Data Management -
    University of Oxford Research Data Management -
    Stanford University Research Data Management -


    * TDWG RDA Working Group and Biodiversity Data Integration RDA IG

    $ Part of RDA GEDE Coordination Group

    Want to join our list of adopters? Contact us here.

    Outputs and timeline


    Key outputs (March 2018):


    1. Content and curation - update

    As of March 2018, we have 1168 standards, 1050 databases and 111 policies. Our aim is to ensure quality rather than quantity. A key part of this is working directly with the community, engaging the maintainers of each standard, database and policy to actively update the record for their resource on FAIRsharing. If you have not yet claimed the record for a resource that you help maintain, please head over to the FAIRsharing website and do so.


    2. DOIs for Database, Standard and Policy records

    Through a collaboration with the British Library and the University of Oxford’s Bodleian Library, we now have DOIs for Database, Standard and Policy records in FAIRsharing.

    Each record can now be reached using its DOI, e.g.

    We will be adding DOIs for our collection and recommendation records in the near future.


    3. The FAIRsharing Embeddable Widget

    We continue to update the widget and now have a version 1.0 available for implementation. We are working with a number of journal publishers to install the widget on their webpages to represent their data policies in an interactive, responsive table and graph. The widget can be used to represent a FAIRsharing collection or recommendation as either an interactive table or network graph.

    Many thanks to Scott and the GigaScience team for rolling out the widget on their pages. It can be viewed in-situ here.


    Please email for more information.


    4. Website development

    Collection Comparison Tool - collections (groups of records related to a project, programme or organisation) and recommendations (groups of records endorsed by a journal publisher's or funder's data policy) can now be compared in a pairwise fashion. This tool allows users to assess the similarity between two collections/recommendations in terms of shared repositories and/or standards, overlapping species and disciplines and more.



    Key outputs (June 2017):

    After extensive community feedback the BioSharing registry is renamed as FAIRsharing, to reflect the growth in databases, standards and data policies beyond the life sciences. FAIRsharing will still cover the life sciences, and is a committed ELIXIR core resource, but now also contains information on non-life science resources, across the natural sciences, humanities and social sciences.


    Key outputs (March 2017):


    1. Growing Adoption - join us!

    Our adopters are now listed in a table on our communities page, and here on the RDA WG page. Our adopters are not individuals, but organizations or projects that in turn serve individual researchers and other stakeholders. To be an adopter, a resource/group/organisation needs to use BioSharing in their work in some way (e.g. to inform their data policy or by creating and linking to a collection), and link back to BioSharing from their webpages. As you can see from the table, BioSharing has a growing diverse list of adopters, but we're always keen to add more, so please do spread the word and let us know if you think we have missed someone off our list.


    2. RDA/Force11 BioSharing WG outputs

    The joint RDA/Force11 BioSharing WG is coming to the end of its 18 month time frame, but will remain an activity in the RDA community as part of the RDA ELIXIR Bridging Force Interest Group. We are currently preparing our output package for consideration by the RDA (watch this space!) This is an important step as it will increase the visibility of BioSharing outside of the life/biomedical/environmental science domains and encourage cross-domain and discipline collaborations.


    We feature in two sections of the March 2017 RDA newsletter.


    3. Content and curation - update

    As of March 1st 2017, we have 674 standards and 841 databases and 94 data policies. Aiming for quality, accuracy and consistency, we have manually reviewed every single record in BioSharing, checking every field and relationship link. This means every record has been manually assessed within the last year. We are now in the process of contacting the maintainers and contacts for each record to ensure they are aware of this update and have added all they can to their record(s).


    Key outputs (August 2016):

    BioSharing is now an:


    1. Informative resource

    A web-based, searchable portal of 3 interlinked registries, containing both in-house and crowdsourced manually curated descriptions of standards (, databases ( and data policies (, also combined in an integrated view across all 3 registries (

    Every standard and database record is annotated with a tag indicating the readiness of that resource for implementation or use (status checked with the community). Currently we have 4 indicators, that can be found in the top left of each record card (Grid view) or in the column on the right (Table view): R - ready; Dev - in development; U - status uncertain; D - deprecated. These tags also assist the Educational side, below.


    2. Educational resource

    From the homepage user can access the:

    - Educational section. A collection of over 40 frequently asked questions that cover the whats and whys of standards, how BioSharing can help users navigate standards, databases and data policies in the life sciences, and how to use and cite BioSharing:

    - Recommendations. Standards and/or databases recommended by journal or funder data policy, e.g. PLOS:

    - Collections. Standards and/or databases grouped by domain, species or organization, e.g. see the Biodiversity Standards, a group linked to the RDA IG:

    Upcoming Events

    ELIXIR All Hands Meeting, 4-7th June, Berlin, Germany.

    Supporting FAIR exchange of chemical data through standards development, IUPAC & CODATA workshop, 16-17th July, Amsterdam, Netherlands

    Activities at previous plenaries

    RDA 10th Plenary, 17th-21st September 2017, Montreal, Canada

    Sunday 17th September - Monday 18th September

    • Interest Group on Agricultural Data (IGAD) Pre-Plenary meeting - slides available here

    Tuesday 19th September

    Wednesday 20th September

    Thursday 21st September

    RDA 9th Plenary, 5-7th April 2017, Barcelona, Spain

    Monday 3rd - Tuesday 4th April

    Wednesday 5th April

    Thursday 6th April

    RDA 8th Plenary and IDW, 11-17th September 2016, Denver (USA)

    We co-organized and presented at the following sessions:

    Activities pre-plenary 8

    • Pre-defined Recommendations: A core-set of resources (databases and/or standards) that have been selected and recommended by relevant groups or organizations. 
    • Wizard Tool (beta): The wizard guides users step-by-step through the resources captured in BioSharing. 
    • BioSharing Standards Registry Survey: We have just closed our BioSharing Standards Registry survey, where we have assessed your needs for a registry of data/content standards in the life, environmental and biomedical sciences. We have had over 530 responses. We're now analysing the survey and will shortly publicize an executive summary of the results, along with the raw data.

    Activities at Plenary 7

    Where we presented

    Activities pre-plenary 7

    To prioritize BioSharing registry's content and capabilities, in a way most appropriate to your needs, we have run a 10 questions survey and received 530 replies!

    Here you can see a 3 slides update on our progresses to date.

    Activities at RDA Plenary 6


    Thank-you for your feedback at the 6th Plenary meeting in Paris. It was great to catch up with everyone and to hear about the innovative and challenging work everyone is doing. If you didn’t manage to catch us at the meeting, our slides and our leaflet are available on Slideshare, as follows:

    Where we presented

    Activities pre-RDA plenary 6 

    Help us prioritize improvements to BioSharing's capabilities as a Standards Information Resource, in a way most appropriate to your needs. ​Take a few minutes to answer few questions, please!

    Activities at RDA Plenary 5

    Activities at RDA Plenary 4

    Activities at RDA Plenary 3


    Events we have attended and presented at

    European Open Science Cloud Pilot All Hands (Mar 8-9, 2018), Pisa, Italy - details

    ELIXIR Innovation and SME Forum (Jan 24-25th, 2018), Wellcome Genome Campus, UK - details

    RDA EU Data Innovation Forum (Jan 30, 2018), Brussels, Belgium - details

    Keynote - International Workshop on Sharing, Citation and Publication of Scientific Data across Disciplines (Dec, 2017), Joint Support-Center for Data Science Research (DS), Tokyo, Japan - - describing and connecting standards, repositories and policies across disciplines- slides here

    Invited seminar - NBDC (Dec, 2017), Japan Science and Technology Agency, Tokyo, Japan - - interlinking standards, repositories and policies - slides here

    CODATA Data Standards (Nov, 2017), The Royal Society, London, UK

    European Open Science Cloud Pilot Data Interoperability Technical Workshop (Oct, 2017), Wellcome Genome Campus, UK - Slides

    BioSchemas and workshop (Oct, 2018), Wellcome Genome Campus, UK

    ELIXIR All Hands Meeting (Mar 21-23, 2017), Rome (IT)

    BioSchemas and workshop (Mar 6-8, 2017), Wellcome Genome Campus, Cambridge (UK)

    International Digital Curation Conference - DMP workshop (Feb 2017), Edinburgh, Scotland (UK)

    ELIXIR Interoperability Platform (Jan 2017), Amsterdam (NL)

    NIH BD2K All Hands (Dec 2016), DC (USA)

    NETTAB/CHARME workshop (Oct 25-26, 2016) Rome (IT) - Reproducibility, standards and SOP in bioinformatics - slides here

    ECCB (Sept 6, 2016) The Hague (NL) ELIXIR talk 11 - The BioSharing registry: mapping the landscape of standards and database resources in the life sciences - slides here

    CHARME workshop - (June 22, 2016) Warsaw (PL) - a presentation on BioSharing at the kick-off COST-CHARME workshop on Standards - slides here

    ISB2016 Conference - Geneva (CH) where we presented a poster on the BioSharing database registry (Tuesday 12th April) and ran a workshop on BioSharing, community curation and the BioDBcore guidelines (Wednesday 13th April)

    UKON2016 Conference - Newcastle (UK) for a short talk on BioSharing on Thursday 14th April

    FORCE2016 Conference - Portland (OR) at the Propelled by FORCE session on Tuesday April 19th at 10am

    Recent Activity

    22 Mar 2018

    Proposed solution for outputs of this group/possible further work

    Dear members of the RDA BioSharing WG,

    TAB has been discussing the question of the name of the recommendations from this group, and avenues for further work.

    As Susanna indicated yesterday, I agreed to send an email to the group with some proposals for you to consider.

    1. Name of the Recommendations

    We understand why this has now changed to FAIRSharing, to reflect the expanded scope of the recommendation (undertaken under the FORCE11 banner), and the name of the registry.

    22 Mar 2018

    Proposed solution for outputs of this group/possible further work

    Dear members of the RDA BioSharing WG,

    TAB has been discussing the question of the name of the recommendations from this group, and avenues for further work.

    As Susanna indicated yesterday, I agreed to send an email to the group with some proposals for you to consider.

    1. Name of the Recommendations

    We understand why this has now changed to FAIRSharing, to reflect the expanded scope of the recommendation (undertaken under the FORCE11 banner), and the name of the registry.

    21 Mar 2018

    BioSharing vs FAIRsharing name for the RDA WG - updates to the members

    Dear RDA WG members,
    A due clarification, as some of you may be confused from this unusual exchange. The discussion has to do with a known pending issue: aligning the name of this WG (BioSharing) with its recommendations and registry, which based on community request has been renamed (to FAIRsharing) to reflect its scope.
    I have now had the chance to discuss it with Paul (by email) and in person with Andrew Treolar, TAB chair and here in cc.

    21 Mar 2018

    Re: [tab][rda-biosharing-wg] Fwd: [rda-biosharing-wg] RDA P11, the WG recommendation, DOIs and more!

    Dear Paul,
    I believe you have mistakenly sent this to the whole WG list, not just to TAB. There are several inaccurate representation of the facts below, reason why I keep the WG list in cc for transparency and add the secretariat.
    In particular the change of the registry name (not of the WG, which - like you correctly point - out was unfortunately declined by TAB) was the result of community feedback and not a last minute rebrand of the RDA WG; however as this is a joint WG with Force11, a full change of name (to align registry and WG) has instead happen there.

    16 Mar 2018

    RDA P11, the WG recommendation, DOIs and more!

    *Dear joint RDA/Force11 WG members, *
    *Please find below a few updates from the WG, including where we'll be
    at RDA P11, and details about our final WG recommendation. *
    *Best, *
    *PS Apologies for cross-posting*
    **---* *
    *1. Plans for RDA P11 Berlin*
    Attending: Susanna
    FAIRsharing will be involved in a number of RDA sessions:
    Wednesday 21st March, Breakout 1 - Joint meeting: IG ELIXIR Bridging
    Force, IG BioDiversity Data Integration, WG BioSharing Registry

    16 Feb 2018

    RDA VSSIG Ontology Metadata Task Group Survey

    Dear RDA WGs,
    I transfer this to this 3 groups that I know and sometimes participate in, but feel free to transfer this to other metadata/standardization/ontologies related WGs.
    Dear all,
    [Apologies for multiple receptions - this announcement has been sent to multiple mailing lists of the ontology/semantic Web/linked data/standardization communities.]
    If you are somehow familiar with the use of ontologies, please consider answering this survey.

    15 Feb 2018

    Feb 2018 update

    Dear WG members,
    This is just a quick message to alert you to our whereabouts at the
    upcoming RDA plenary in Berlin and to give you an update about the RDA
    *RDA P11 Berlin*
    - Wednesday 21st March, Breakout 1 - Joint meeting: IG ELIXIR Bridging
    Force, IG BioDiversity Data Integration, WG BioSharing Registry[1]
    - Wednesday 21st March, Breakout 2 - Joint meeting: IG ELIXIR Bridging
    Force, IG Preservation Tools, Techniques and Policies, IG From

    26 Jan 2018

    FAIR metrics webinar - 31 January 2018 15:00 CET /14:00 UT

    *Apologies for cross-posting*
    /*RDA Webinar - co-organized by the RDA *//*Data Fitness and RDA/Force11
    FAIRsharing (previously BioSharing)*/
    *Are we FAIR yet?*
    *Registration* is open to all at:
    *Presenter*:Michel Dumontier
    *Reading material:*

    22 Nov 2017

    Fwd: 10th International Conference on Ecological Informatics from 24 - 28 September, 2018 in Jena, Germany

    This may be of interest to some of you.
    "How can steadily advancing sensor and information technology assist to take advantage of steadily growing and diversifying data in ecology?"

    18 Sep 2017

    “R programming language to manage metadata, data complying with OGC standards and controlled vocabularies: the case of Tuna Fisheries”

    Dear IG's / WG's,

    We would like to invite you to an RDA related event that we believe to be relevant to your activities; “R programming language to manage metadata and data by complying with OGC (EML, CF conventions) standards and controlled vocabularies: the case of Tuna Fisheries” .

    When: Tuesday 19 September 2017, from 11:30 to 13:00 local time

    Where: room: Mansfield 10, RDA Plenary Meeting, Montreal, Canada