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WorldFAIR+: data-driven interdisciplinarity

Status: In progress
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The project aims to advance the implementation of the Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable (FAIR) principles and to improve digital interoperability and reusability.


The tools of the digital revolution have created unprecedented opportunities to maximize the benefits of interdisciplinary collaboration to tackle the complex challenges of our society.

Yet our capacity is currently constrained by the limitations in our ability to access and combine heterogenous data within and across domains. Suboptimal data practices are a major and costly limiting factor on research: it is estimated that 80% of research expenditures are used to prepare inconsistent data for use.

Addressing these problems is crucial if we are to use to best effect the increasing quantities of diverse data to understand the complex systems that are at the heart of global challenges. Data must be richly described with metadata, well-documented, transparent and ultimately humanly comprehensible so as to facilitate extraction of meaning from complexity.

The fundamental enabler of data-driven science is an ecosystem of resources that enable data to be FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Re-usable) for humans and machines. This ecosystem must include effective, maximally automated stewardship of data, and effective terminologies and metadata specifications.

Activities and impact

This project initially started under the ISC’s previous Action Plan 2019-2021 and evolved into WordlFair, led by the ISC Member and Affiliated Body CODATA, and funded by the European Commission.

The core of WorldFAIR is the eleven case studies, which represent a wide range of sciences, communities and challenges, with global geographical coverage.

In 2023-2024, WorldFAIR produced two policy briefs (2023, 2024), making seven policy recommendations supported by evidence and analysis and drawing on project deliverables and workshop discussions.

Next steps

Expanding and sustaining the WorldFAIR vision and methodology, CODATA is already planning a direct continuation through a follow-up project ‘WorldFAIR+’. It will focus on providing practical guidance and technical recommendations to help ensure that the data needed for interdisciplinary research is FAIR and has maximum utility.

CODATA is seeking partners around the world for this initiative, to explore case studies to use and further refine the WorldFAIR methodology.  Additionally implementation pilots will test and feed back on the CDIF recommendations.

Project team

Simon Hodson

Simon Hodson

Executive Director


Simon Hodson

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