Interoperability

ELIXIR-NL is active in three ELIXIR platforms: Compute, Interoperability, and Training. The Interoperability platform develops and encourages the adoption of standards to describe life science data.

Coordination: Barend Mons (LUMC) and Chris Evelo (MUMC+)

Capabilities
Several Dutch groups have specialised in technology and resources to enable meaningful exchange and integration of biological information: software and standards for:

• data capture (a.o. ISA-tab; Evelo, Bouwman)
• semantic web (Evelo, Mons, Van Harmelen).

In this context, ELIXIR-NL already provides supporting Open Source tools to the ELIXIR framework (e.g. Conceptwiki, WikiPathways, BridgeDB/IMS, GSCF, and Peregrine, see also below). ELIXIR-NL will further contribute to ELIXIR with tooling and expertise resulting from integrative cross-ESFRI and cross-IMI international projects, such as Open PHACTS, an IMI data interoperability project in which several ELIXIR Node leaders participate (Valencia-Spain, Thornton-EBI, Appel-Switzerland, Brunak-Denmark, Mons-Netherlands, Goble-UK). There is also a close involvement of BioSHaRE, BBMRI, EMIF, European Lead Factory, and EATRIS in the Dutch node interoperability activities. DTL actively involves technology and life science companies in these activities where needed to deliver professional services.

Ambition
Based on these capabilities it is the ambition of the Dutch node to play a role in ELIXIR in developing professional capturing, publishing and hosting of data in standard (semantically interoperable) FAIR Data format.

ELIXIR-NL workstream
For the Interoperability focus area, ELIXIR-NL is one of the main drivers of the standard FAIR Data stewardship approach that allows the functional interlinking of distributed data and information resources across ELIXIR, and globally. This approach is the core of the ELIXIR data interoperability workpackage.

International collaboration
In the framework of this ELIXIR-NL workstream, DTL-associated groups collaborate closely with (a.o.) ELIXIR nodes at EBI, UK, CH, SE, DK and Spain. In addition, in the context of the FAIRport initiative, DTL collaborates closely with many international initiatives, such as FORCE11 and the NIH funded NeuroScience Information Framework (NIF). ELIXIR-NL is also active in the Research Data Alliance (RDA), which aims to build the social and technical infrastructure to enable open sharing of data. ELIXIR-NL’s Rob Hooft is one of the members of RDA’s ELIXIR Bridging Force interest group.

Activities
The list below contains some examples of past activities of ELIXIR-NL within the Interoperability platform. Please consult the news archive for a more complete overview and subscribe to the DTL newsletter to stay informed.

  • ELIXIR-NL has organised several Bring Your Own Data workshops in the past few years. The main goal of these three-day events is to make research data FAIR using linked data technology, and to combine the data with other FAIR datasets to answer a scientific question. Read more.
  • ELIXIR-NL organised a workshop on FAIR data and data stewardship in ELIXIR: ‘How to write your own FAIRy Tale’ for the ELIXIR All Hands meeting (March 2017 in Rome). The presentations are available online. In addition, we organised a workshop about the ELIXIR Data Management Planning Portal.
  • As part of the use case ‘Integrating genomic and phenotypic data for crop and forest plants’ of the ELIXIR-EXCELERATE project, ELIXIR-NL is compiling a ‘minimal information about plant phenotype’ list. This is the minimal information that a researcher should add to his or her data in order for the data to be reusable. Read more.