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What are FAIR marine images?

FAIR marine images#

Data management for images is hard. Much harder than most other data domains in research. The data volume is massive (> 1TB per deployment) and the data is inherently unstructured and thus not directly comprehensible for humans or machines. So of course, making marine imagery FAIR is also a major challenge but particularly worthwile. It will i) simplify working and researching with image data by providing well-structured information and formats, ii) it will simplify software development by providing community-driven interfaces and iii) it will allow researchers to gain credit for imaging efforts by making image data publicly visible - for collaboration, inspiration and to advertise one’s research.

Curiously, FAIR does not necessarily mean open. So while - in theory - your data can be FAIR it can still be very much locked up. This would go against the principles and vision outlined above, so in the context of the MareHub Ag Videos/Images FAIR also always means open. Period. (Well 99% period: we accept that some research requires obfuscating parts of the data or metadata. This includes personal rights, safety concerns and maybe others. In case you are in doubt you probably belong to the 99%. Although these exceptions exist, you will certainly know whether your research falls amongst the 1%).

FAIRness of marine images#

What FAIR means and is and how to become FAIR is an active field of research. There are vast amounts of information available: e.g. by the EOSC (European Open Science Could) or the RDA (Research Data Alliance). Their working groups produce fantastic implementation guidelines for users, managers, governing agencies etc. including ones on Metrics to assess FAIRness (by EOSC: Recommendations on FAIR metrics, by RDA: FAIR Data Maturity Model).

The following table applies these metrics to marine images to track our status at achieving our goal: to make marine images FAIR.

FAIR principle FAIR Metrics ID Indicator Priority Marine images
F1 RDA-F1-01M Metadata is identified by a persistend identifier Essential [ ] Handle
F1 RDA-F1-01D Data is identified by a persistent identifier Essential [ ] Handle
F1 RDA-F1-02M Metadata is identified by a globally unique identifier Essential [x] UUID
F1 RDA-F1-02D Data is identified by a globally unique identifier Essential [x] UUID
F2 RDA-F2-01M Rich metadata is provided to allow discovery Essential [x] iFDO
F3 RDA-F3-01M Metadata includes the indentifier for the data Essential [x] iFDO
F4 RDA-F4-01M Metadata is offered in such a way that it can be harvested and indexed Essential [ ] OSIS-API
A1 RDA-A1-01M Metadata contains information to enable the user to get access to the data Important [x] iFDO
A1 RDA-A1-02M Metadata can be accessed manually Essential [x] OSIS-www
A1 RDA-A1-02D Data can be accessed manually Essential [x] Elements
A1 RDA-A1-03M Metadata identifier resolves to a metadata record Essential [x] iFDO
A1 RDA-A1-03D Data identifiert resolves to a digital object Essential [x] iFDO
A1 RDA-A1-04M Metadata is acccessed through standardised protocol Essential [x] https
A1 RDA-A1-04D Data is accessible through standardised protocol Essential [x] https
A1 RDA-A1-05D Data can be accessed automatically Important [x] Elements-API
A1.1 RDA-A1.1-01M Metadata is accessible through a free access protocol Essential [x] https
A1.1 RDA-A1.1-01D Data is accessible through a free access protocol Important [x] https
A1.2 RDA-A1.2-01D Data is accessible through an access protocol that supports authentication and authorisation Useful [ ] No
A2 RDA-A2-01M Metadata is guaranteed to remain available after data is no longer available Essential [x] Yes
I1 RDA-I1-01M Metadata uses knowledge representation expressed in standardised format Important [x] iFDO
I1 RDA-I1-01D Data uses knowledge representation expressed in standardised format Important [x] jpg, tif, png
I1 RDA-I1-02M Metadata uses machine-understandable knowledge representation Important [x] FDO
I1 RDA-I1-02D Data uses machine-understandable knowledge representation Important [x] jpg, tif, png
I2 RDA-I2-01M Metadata uses FAIR-compliant vocabularies Important [ ] MVP Git?
I2 RDA-I2-01D Data uses FAIR-compliant vocabularies Useful [x] MVP Git
I3 RDA-I3-01M Metadata includes references to other metadata Important [x] Orcid, URN
I3 RDA-I3-01D Data includes references to other data Useful [ ] No
I3 RDA-I3-02M Metadata includes refereces to other data Useful [ ] No
I3 RDA-I3-02D Data includes qualified references to other data Useful [ ] No
I3 RDA-I3-03M Metadata includes qualified references to other metadata Important [ ] No
I3 RDA-I3-04M Metadata includes qualified references to other data Useful [ ] No
R1 RDA-R1-01M Plurality of accurate and relevant attributes are provided to allow reuse Essential [x] iFDO
R1.1 RDA-R1.1-01M Metadata includes information about the license under which the data can be reused Essential [x] iFDO
R1.1 RDA-R1.1-02M Metadata refers to a standard reuse license Important [x] iFDO
R1.1 RDA-R1.1-03M Metadata refers to a machine-understandable reuse license Important [x] iFDO
R1.2 RDA-R1.2-01M Metadata includes provenance information according to community-specific standards Important [ ] No
R1.2 RDA-R1.2-02M Metadata includes provenance information according to a cross-community language Useful [ ] No
R1.3 RDA-R1.3-01M Metadata complies with a community standard Essential [x] MVP
R1.3 RDA-R1.3-01D Data complies with a communty standard Essential [x] MVP
R1.3 RDA-R1.3-03M Metadata is expressed in compliance with a machine-understanable community standard Essential [x] MVP
R1.3 RDA-R1.3-02D Data is expressed incompliance with a machine-understandable community standard Important No

(as of April 2021 - while there are still challenges to overcome, we are close to achieving FAIRness - at least conceptually)