10 Rules for Making Training Materials FAIR

The ELIXIR FAIR Training working group publishes a paper in PLoS Computational Biology — ‘10 Simple Rules for Making training materials FAIR.’

The collaborative effort, which started at the ELIXIR BioHackathon Europe 2018, has involved a multitude of experts from across ELIXIR. A working group on FAIR training picked up the work from the BioHackathon to build a set of 10 simple rules that could help develop and share FAIR training resources. Their goal: to make training material findable, (re)usable and adaptable.

Bioinformatics training and computational skills are key requisites for scientists to explore the increasingly data-focused aspects of their specialities. A common approach to produce new training courses is to repurpose an existing one. Yet, finding appropriate materials on the internet can throw up some frustrating obstacles. The materials:

  • Are Scattered across different repositories
  • Are Siloed in their home institutions
  • Lack the metadata required to re(use) them

Such difficulties are not unusual nor unique to bioinformatics training materials. The scientific community has already faced the same constraints for a variety of digital objects. To overcome these, the FAIR principles were established to make data Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable.

The high demand for bioinformatics training prompted ELIXIR trainers to apply these principles to their invaluable training materials. For this reason, the ELIXIR FAIR Training working group developed the following 10 rules, straightforward to implement and highly beneficial:

  1. Share10 Simple rules for making training material FAIR
  2. Describe properly
  3. Give a unique identity
  4. Register online
  5. Define access rules
  6. Use interoperable format
  7. Make (re)usable for trainers
  8. Make usable for trainees
  9. Welcome contributions
  10. Keep materials up-to-date​

To navigate through these 10 simple steps, you can read the full paper here, and as the article states, ‘make your training materials easier to find, (re)use and adapt, for the benefit of all.’

Fri 22 May 2020