This week I’m attending a conference titled Collaborations Workshop 2019, run by the Software Sustainability Institute of the UK. The conference focuses on interoperability, documentation, training and sustainability. I’m blogging my notes from the talks I attend. All credit goes to the presenter, and all mistakes are my own.
Patricia Herterich from the University of Birmingham presented a session on "Interoperable as in FAIR – A librarian’s personal point of view".
A simple definition of interoperability: the ability of computer systems or software to exchange and make use of information. People also talk about semantic interoperability and other interpretations of the term.
Patricia introduced the FAIR principles: a set of guidelines that aim to ensure data is:
by both people and machines. FAIR principles focus more on the semantic aspects of interoperability rather than the technical aspects.
Patricia highlighted a big problem: Interoperability is not a well defined term. No-one knows what it means.
Some organisations have developed tools to assess data interoperability:
The Dutch Data Archiving and Networked Services (DANS) organisation has developed a FAIR data assessment tool (see the prototype) that attempts to measure data interoperability.