Quaero Systems is ready for FAIR

On 20 December 2016, Jantine Dirksen and Jos Visser of DTL partner Quaero Systems met with Mark Thomson, Kees Burger, and Rajaram Kaliyaperumal of DTL for a FAIR hackathon. Where Bring Your Own Data workshops focus on making data FAIR, FAIR hackathons have the purpose of making tools FAIR.

Jantine Dirksen explains: “Quaero Systems offers a SAAS application to support all activities in biobank and research environments under the Governance rules. The data in Quaero Systems is standardised for biobanking, supporting the MIABIS and BBMRI EU 3.0 datasets.”

FAIR Datapoint
Dirksen: “Our hackathon started with the metadata FAIRification. The fields in the FAIR editor developed by DTL were filled in with the corresponding metadata content from Quaero Systems. Filling in the fields of the Datapoint layer, the Catalog layer and the Dataset layer was straightforward. After lunch, we continued with the Distribution layer. On that level, the location and the content of a large amount of samples must be translated. We decided to aggregate all samples belonging to one research project in one Excel file. By using the selection option for generating a pick list, we could directly generate the content of this Excel file. We can convert the Excel file to a CSV or XML format to which we can refer from the corresponding VCF file, which can directly be transferred to RDF. This will be done later because we ran out of time. If this has been accomplished, Quaero Systems is able to provide FAIR data on all four levels and becomes the first Biobank FAIR Datapoint.”

FAIR is not open
“In Quaero, the governance rules are supported by the processes so users can only access data they are authorized for. Directly exporting data from the database would undermine the governance policies. Using the pick list option was the solution for keeping the governance controls in place for generating FAIR data. In Quaero Systems, every user can only see what he is allowed to see and process what he should process in a fully controlled and delegated way. So only after a Principle Investigator gives permission to start a process for generating FAIR data, this can be started for the specified research project. Only data which is part of this project will be generated in a FAIR format. FAIR data does not mean OPEN data, so data is only available if the owner of the data allows. The mapping of the access policies in Quaero to the rights fields in the Catalog and the Dataset descriptions will be our next step,” concludes Dirksen.

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