FAIR Connect

Empowering Data Stewardship


1, 1 issue

Latest issue

1:1 online 13 January 2023

Next issue

2:1 scheduled for January 2023

ISSN online

Open Access
Online Only

Aims & Scope

FAIR Connect is an open access exchange and publishing forum for the development and dissemination of good practices and FAIR Supporting Resources (FSRs) for professional FAIR data stewardship. FAIR Connect provides an environment supporting professional communication and resource exchange for practicing data stewards, with an emphasis on FAIR data and services. FAIR Connect aims to provide visibility and recognition for the many activities and contributions of professional data stewards. By providing all resources and interactions as machine-readable nanopublications we make FAIR Connect a FAIR environment. 

Editorial Board

Barend Mons, LUMC, GO FAIR Foundation, CODATA

Senior Editors: 
Erik Schultes, GO FAIR Foundation
Barbara Magagna, GO FAIR Foundation

Associate Editors: 
Developers and practicing data stewards coordinating the community approval process for FSRs and thumbnail articles. 

Advisory Board
Advisory Board members: 
External individuals who help the Editorial Board in making strategic decisions and who act as ambassadors for FAIR Connect.

Author Guidelines

Author Information
Submissions should contain the full names, affiliations, and ORCID identifiers for all authors, and email-addresses for the corresponding authors. Co-authors in FAIR Connect are expected to have contributed text, figures or substantial proofing to the Thumbnail Article. Other contributors should be listed in the Acknowledgements section. FAIR Connect will provide a controlled list of author and contributor roles based on CRediT.

Thumbnail Article types

  • FSR Description Articles
    Short and practical descriptions of an existing or novel resource by its creator, or a review about by a user. Articles offer an opportunity to present the background on the FSR, and an indication how the resource is currently being deployed. The idea is to encourage reuse as much as possible saving others the time reinventing that wheel and with the aim of driving convergence on FAIR implementations. By assigning DOIs to your published articles, FAIR Connect will open the door to citations and professional recognition to the creators and reviewers of the FSR.
  • Commentary
    Any topic in data stewardship with focus on FAIR. Essentially a short essay or opinion piece. 

Thumbnail Article Form
As the name suggests, the Thumbnail Article is a short-form piece, ranging from only 500 to 2000 words. Exceptions to these word limits are possible if well justified in consultation with the Editor-in-Chief or Senior Editors. Each figure item counts for an additional 300 words, plus the word count of the captions. Title, author lists and references are not counted. Given the short-form, the Thumbnail Article has no explicit abstract requirement. However, each Thumbnail Article does have associated metadata that will be made machine-readable. Included in this metadata is a “tagline” which is a short statement about the main claim of the article, in 280 characters or less. Serious effort towards the creation of concise, well-composed rhetoric will be encouraged by the editors. The official language of FAIR Connect is English, although translations of Thumbnail Articles to other languages by FAIR Connect Associate editors and/or the community of FAIR Connect data stewards are highly encouraged (and of course, will be recognized in FAIR Connect as valued, citable contributions).  Indeed, the “crowd-sourcing” of reliable and readable translations of FAIR Connect content into multiple languages is seen as an essential activity building a globally connected data stewardship community. 

FAIR Connect will use https://www.ebi.ac.uk/ols/ontologies/t4fs for keywords. If suitable terms are not found there please check for other sources for semantic concepts. FAIR Connect is seeking controlled vocabularies focused on data stewardship and FAIR practice that can be reused as keywords for FSRs and Thumbnail Articles. If you have ideas for suggested vocabularies please forward them to Erik and Barbara

A short abstract (max 280 characters) is required for both article types. This abstract can be used also for the description metadata field in the nanopublication.
Figures and Tables 

References in Thumbnail Articles
References should follow the Vancouver reference style.

  • References are listed in numerical order, and in the same order in which they first appear in the text, with the number in square brackets, e.g., “[4]”.
  • The reference list appears at the end of the paper.
  • Begin your reference list on a new page and title it 'References'.
  • The reference list should include all and only those references you have cited in the text. (Do not include unpublished items such as correspondence.)
  • Use Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9) throughout.
  • Abbreviate journal titles in the style used in the NLM Catalog.
  • Check the reference details against the actual source - you are indicating that you have read a source when you cite it.
  • Be consistent with your referencing style across the document.
  • Use of URLs: …. Any other URL representing the referenced work, although generic URLs should include additional metadata such as a descriptive “title”, the sponsoring organization when applicable, and the date when the URL is being referenced. FAIR Connect will supply an explicit format for referencing generic URLs.  

This section provides the opportunity to list contributors who are not co-authors, as well as sponsoring organizations and associated projects. This information will also be captured as machine-actionable metadata. 

Disclosures and CoI

Creation and Submission Process of Thumbnail Articles
IOS Press and FAIR Connect encourage authors to submit their papers in HTML. There are various tools and templates for that, such as RASH, dokieli, and Authorea. The Research Articles in Simplified HTML (RASH) (doc, paper) is a markup language that restricts the use of HTML elements to only 32 elements for writing academic research articles. It is possible to also includ RDFa annotations within any element of the language and other RDF statements in Turtle, JSON-LD and RDF/XML format by using the appropriate tag script. Authors can start from this generic template, which can be also found in the convenient ZIP archive containing the whole RASH package. Alternatively, these guidelines for OpenOffice and Word explain how to write a scholarly paper by using the basic features available in OpenOffice Writer and Microsoft Word, in a way that it can be converted into RASH by means of the RASH Online Conversion Service (ROCS) (src, paper).

As a second alternative, dokieli is a client-side editor for decentralized article publishing in HTML+RDFa, annotations and social interactions, compliant with the Linked Research initiative. There are a variety of examples in the wild, including the LNCS and ACM author guidelines as templates.
We also accept Jupyter Notebooks and other HTML-based interactive formats. Although IOS Press and FAIR Connect prefer HTML, we also accept submissions in Word or LaTeX. In that case, please use the official templates by IOS Press found here (LaTeX only) and here (Word and LaTeX). Submissions are welcomed via the FAIR Connect Editorial Manager. Click on the button to send us your manuscript. First, please see the guidelines.

Abstracted/Indexed in

Thumbnail Articles will receive both a nanopublication and a DOI, and will appear in abstracting/indexing databases in due course.

The nanopublication provides a FAIR identifier and metadata for the Thumbnail Article, and has the following elements: 

FAIR Connect is an Open Access publishing platform for the development and dissemination of good practices for professional FAIR-Data stewardship.

In due course the platform will go live. Keep informed through our newsletter!

All content will be published open access to readers. Each Thumbnail Article and metadata about FSRs will be freely available from the moment it is published. All open access articles are published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License  (CC BY 4.0).

FAIR Connect aims to encourage discourse among professional data stewards. Although the review process around FSRs and Thumbnail Articles in FAIR Connect should ensure complete and high quality content, it should also be as rapid as possible. As such, reviewers of FAIR Connect content are requested to submit their assessment within 3 working days. 

Community Approval Process:
Given the practical nature of FAIR Connect as a professional forum and exchange platform, the review of FAIR Connect articles differs from classical scholarly journals by emphasizing “Community Approval” rather than “Peer Review”. Although FAIR Connect Thumbnail Articles will indeed be reviewed by peers in the data stewardship community, the aim of the review is to improve the exposition of the FSR rather than to provide judgment on its applicability as a resource.  The Community Approval Process follows: 1) After the authors submit the Thumbnail article to the Editorial Manager, two reviewers from the FAIR Connect Community are chosen by the Senior Editors based on their skills profile to do the article review within a period of three days;  2) During this period any other Community member can comment on the article; 3) After receiving the assessment the corresponding author interacts with the co-authors and improves the document according to the suggestions of the reviewers also within a time frame of three working days; 4) If the article was accepted with major revisions, then the editors will quality-check if the improvement suffices and if considered necessary contact the reviewers for getting their approval; 5) After the Community approval is communicated to the corresponding author, final adjustments are done by the editors in close cooperation with the corresponding author to publish the article; 6) The DOI is assigned to the paper and a nanopublication is minted for the article by the corresponding author; 7) In total no longer than 14 working days should be needed for the whole process.  

Review criteria for Community Approval of FSR Thumbnail Articles:

  • Is the length of the Thumbnail Article compliant within the limits of 500-3000 words?
  • Does the work correspond to the FSR article type? Articles that go beyond the description of a FSR and focus on, for example, the application in a use case should be published elsewhere. In FAIR Connect Thumbnail Articles, applications can be mentioned but should not be the main subject of the article. Keep the focus on the FSR itself. 
  • Does the FSR support significantly in the FAIRification of data or metadata?
  • Has the FSR not yet been covered by another Thumbnail Article?
  • Are the text, figures, and tables of the work accessible, pleasant to read, clearly structured, and free of major errors in grammar or style?

Review criteria for Community Approval of Commentary Thumbnail Articles:

  • Is the length of the Thumbnail Article compliant within the limits of 500-3000 words?
  • Does the work correspond to topics, broadly conceived, but still directly relevant to professional data stewardship? Is there an emphasis on FAIR? Keep the focus on topics relevant to the community of practicing data stewards. 
  • Are the text, figures, and tables of the work accessible, pleasant to read, clearly structured, and free of major errors in grammar or style? 
  • Is there a logic that leads to a significant or novel point of view?
  • Is there sufficient focus to be coherent, but also enough vision to challenge the professional data steward with new ideas?  

Overall recommendation:
Reviews should conclude with one of three overall recommendations: 

  • Accept in its present form or with the noted minor revisions. 
  • Accept with noted major revisions. A revised manuscript will be subject to a second round of review by the same person, also within the 3-day turnaround timeframe.
  • Reject, for reasons that most likely are due to the poor fit with the FAIR Connect Aims and Scope or Code of Conduct. 

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