FAIR phytoliths - increasing the FAIRness of phytoliths data

LS-RI - Life Sciences

Phytoliths, silica bodies deposited in or between plant cells during a plant's life, are used in archaeology, palaeoecology, and the plant sciences to address questions of past plant exploitation and long-term environmental and biodiversity changes. The FAIR Phytoliths Project aimed to increase the knowledge of and the use of the FAIR data principles in phytolith research to improve communication of methods, data sharing and archiving practices within the discipline. 

Technical Challenge.
Diverse laboratory procedures, analyses and identification criteria are used resulting from different research traditions. Some steps, such as the normalisation of nomenclature through the International Phytolith Society (IPS - https://phytoliths.org/), have been promoted to standardise phytolith analysis and the subsequent publication of data. However, the standardisation of phytolith research and data publication is still far from being achieved. A recent assessment of the data sharing practices within the phytolith community (Karoune 2020 - http://doi.org/10.5334/joad.67) found that only half of the publications share some form of data and the majority do not provide reusable data

Using these two new datasets, FAIR recommendations for the phytolith community have been drawn together, for further review and adaptation by the community itself, to produce FAIR phytolith guidelines (Version 1.0 on Zenodo: https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.6803489). A series of training workshops have been run to upskill the community in open research skills including standardised vocabularies and FAIR data. Future plans include the creation of a phytolith ontology to aid interoperability of phytolith data and an online open repository for phytolith data.
For more information: https://open-phytoliths.github.io/FAIR-phytoliths/

The project has conducted an evaluation of sharing practices in phytolith research; has created a GitHub repository for collaborative use and initiated the FAIRification project; and developed a webpage to provide the community with information on the project’s results.
Specifically, a community survey was conducted, to find out about current data sharing and opinions on the use of open research practices (Ruiz-Perez et al. under review; dataset available here: https://github.com/open-phytoliths/FAIRPhytolithsProject_Survey). Furthermore, data and metadata in published phytolith research was assessed taking as reference the FAIR data principles (Kerfant el al. in revision, preprint: https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.7215804).

Increased FAIRness of phytolith data, data sharing and archiving practices.


Open Science project: