RoRI selects the Stanford Center for Biomedical Informatics Research to lead FAIRware initiative to promote open research outputs.

RoRI selects the Stanford Center for Biomedical Informatics Research to lead FAIRware initiative to promote open research outputs.

The Research on Research Institute (RoRI) has appointed the Stanford Center for Biomedical Informatics Research (BMIR) to help deliver the RoRI FAIRware project, an initiative to develop new open research tools. Specialising in systems and software design, the Stanford Centre has devised an innovative way to help researchers increase their adoption of the FAIR principles (Findability, Accessibility, Interoperability, Reusability).

Stanford’s approach focuses on helping researchers ensure that the datasets they produce are FAIR at the point of creation and will feature extensive consultation with researchers via a series of ‘Metadata for Machines’ workshops. The M4M workshops are an innovation of the GO FAIR Foundation and allow for quick generation of metadata templates for the description of datasets and other outputs within a given research discipline. The FAIRware tool will use these templates to provide researchers with actionable, real-time advice on how they can structure their datasets to maximise re-use at the point of creation. The project will benefit from input from expert groups within the FAIR research ecosystem including the GO FAIR Foundation, the European Commission’s FAIRsFAIR project, and the team based at Oxford University, as well as RoRI’s extensive network of research funders and their grantees.

Yo Yehudi, Open Source Technology Lead at the Wellcome Trust, said “We’re delighted by the vast potential of the FAIRware project to make research outputs more discoverable and usable, and ultimately speed up the discoveries we want our funding to produce. The Stanford Center for Biomedical Informatics was chosen for their thoughtful approach to the inherent challenges posed by automation of the FAIR principles across a range of disciplines, and their thinking on how such tools could be effectively incorporated into researcher practices.”

“My team is excited by the strong commitment of the FAIRware funders to open science, and we are thrilled to be working in close collaboration with the funders and with so many colleagues to build the infrastructure needed to make FAIR data the norm in scientific research,” said Mark Musen, MD, PhD, Professor of Medicine and director of the Stanford Center for Biomedical Informatics Research. “Existing Stanford technologies, such as BioPortal and CEDAR, coupled with the new FAIRware workbench, will greatly enhance access to scientific data — not only allowing the verification of research results, but also enabling the exploration of existing data sets to make new discoveries.”

The project aims to have a beta version of the FAIRware tool ready in the summer of 2022, initially focusing on a small number of disciplines with the potential to be expanded to any field in which datasets are routinely generated. All outputs and documentation proceeding from the project will be made openly available under an open-source licence to allow anyone to extend the code written by BMIR.

Readers can keep up to date with the project’s process by heading to and clicking on the tab marked ‘FAIRware’.

Notes for editors: About FAIRware

FAIRware is an initiative of the Research on Research Institute (RoRI) led by a partnership of the Austrian Science Fund (FWF), Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF), and the Wellcome Trust.

About RoRI

RoRI is an international consortium of research funders, academic institutions and technologists working to champion transformative & translational research on research. By analysing research systems and experimenting with new tools, indicators and evaluation frameworks, we aim to advance more strategic, open, diverse and inclusive research. Visit our website and follow @RoRInstitute on Twitter.


FAIRsFAIR – Fostering Fair Data Practices in Europe – aims to supply practical solutions for the use of the FAIR data principles throughout the research data life cycle. Emphasis is on fostering FAIR data culture and the uptake of good practices in making data FAIR. FAIRsFAIR will play a key role in the development of global standards for FAIR certification of repositories and the data within them contributing to those policies and practices that will turn the EOSC programme into a functioning infrastructure.

About the Austrian Science Fund

The Austrian Science Fund (FWF) is Austria’s central funding organisation for basic research as well as arts-based research. Applying international quality benchmarks, the FWF provides funding for outstanding research projects and excellent researchers who work to generate, broaden and deepen scientific and scholarly knowledge.

About the Canadian Institutes of Health Research

At the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) we know that research has the power to change lives. As Canada’s health research investment agency, we collaborate with partners and researchers to support the discoveries and innovations that improve our health and strengthen our health care system.’

About the National Institute for Health Research (UK)

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) is the UK’s largest funder of health and care research. The NIHR:

  • Funds, supports and delivers high quality research that benefits the NHS, public health and social care.
  • Engages and involves patients, carers and the public in order to improve the reach, quality and impact of research.
  • Attracts, trains and supports the best researchers to tackle the complex health and care challenges of the future.
  • Invests in world-class infrastructure and a skilled delivery workforce to translate discoveries into improved treatments and services.
  • Partners with other public funders, charities and industry to maximise the value of research to patients and the economy.

The NIHR was established in 2006 to improve the health and wealth of the nation through research, and is funded by the Department of Health and Social Care. In addition to its national role, the NIHR supports applied health research for the direct and primary benefit of people in low-and-middle-income countries, using UK aid from the UK government.

About the Swiss National Science Foundation

On behalf of the Swiss government, the SNSF supports basic and use-inspired research in all scientific fields. We select and fund the best research projects in a competition-based selection process. The new knowledge gained through SNSF-funded research provides a sound scientific basis for societal and economic progress.

About Wellcome

Wellcome supports science to solve the urgent health challenges facing everyone. We support discovery research into life, health and wellbeing, and we’re taking on three worldwide health challenges: mental health, global heating and infectious diseases.