Basic operational concept of a BYOD

A BYOD is a three day event that brings together data owners, domain experts (most often biologists and chemists) and FAIR data experts (and their trainees) working on selected data set(s). The main goal of a BYOD is to make the data FAIR using linked data technology, and combining it with other already FAIR datasets to answer the driving scientific question.  

Data owners present the data (or a representative sample) they wish to make FAIR and get two days of undivided attention of the data and domain experts. These experts have extensive knowledge about FAIR data formats and principles, and support the data owners in choosing the optimal data model. They also make sure that FAIR linked data is produced. Domain experts can assist the data owners and data experts to solve intellectually challenging data modelling issues and to demonstrate the added value of FAIR data in answering selected research questions.  

Since each BYOD brings together a unique combination of data owners and data sets a tailored programme is set up with the experts. However, all BYODs contain in principle the following elements:


Prior to the BYOD, one or two webinars are organised to introduce the principles to the attendees, to point them to preparatory materials, and to provide the starting points for a BYOD: a list of questions from data owners and a list of existing linked data sets by the data experts. Having specific research questions or workflows at hand that cannot be answered with the data in its original format is also helpful to demonstrate the added value of the FAIR linked data approach. Good preparation is very important since a lot of time can be saved during the BYOD if data models and, for instance, the most relevant vocabularies and ontologies have been defined beforehand.  


The first two days of the three day BYOD are dedicated to transforming the data owners’ data into FAIR data using the FAIR Data unit’s technology and guidelines, meanwhile providing hands-on training for both the data owners and the future FAIR linked data experts.  

Together, data owners and data experts work out a showcase to demonstrate the added value of FAIR data in answering specific research questions of the data owner using multiple integrated data resources. At the end of every BYOD data owners will also get an overview of the potential of the interlinked data. In our experience, this demonstration will trigger the imagination and will bring about novel questions that can be answered using unimagined combinations of data.  

The newly transformed FAIR data is then deposited in either an open or closed (in case of proprietary data) repository with the original data remaining at the data owner’s location.  The FAIR Data Unit will host this repository.  

The last day of the BYOD is dedicated to exploration of the data using analytics tools.  

Follow up

After a BYOD data owners are familiar enough with the basic principles of making data FAIR, allowing them to use the FAIR data approach themselves. For further support, two teleconferences are planned to follow up after 2-3 and 6-8 weeks, to tackle any problems the data owners might encounter.