Your guide in the FAIRification journey

The FAIR Cookbook is a collection of birds-eye view recipes on the FAIR components, the infrastructure needed, and a set of applied examples in the Life Sciences, offering a deep dive in technical aspects of FAIR data management. This is a ‘live resource’, because recipes are added and improved, collaboratively and iteratively, in an open manner. The objective of the FAIR Cookbook is to develop and disseminate guidance and processes needed to make and keep data FAIR in the Life Sciences.

Well-managed research data from academia and the industry sectors generate value far beyond the initial research purpose. Current Life Sciences data resources are extensively used by the research community across all sectors e.g. from generating evidence of a mechanism of disease through to toxicology. However, a large proportion of data generated across all sectors of Life Sciences are neither easily discoverable nor accessible and interoperable, making (re)use challenging. Our ambition is to contribute to the development of public and private capacity for high quality data management, by providing recipes that see FAIR Principles embedded in the actual generation of data.

Who is it for?

The FAIR Cookbook’s recipes are a combination of guidance, technical, hands-on, background and review types to cover the operation steps of FAIR data management, and are classified according to the audience types, to serve all those involved in the data management life cycle. The FAIR Cookbook is for anyone working in the Life Sciences who needs guidance on applying the FAIR Principles in practice.

  • For researchers, data scientists, and principal investigators examples of key recipes are those on how to handle data access, choose licenses for datasets, package data for transfer, and provide sufficient descriptive metadata.

  • For data stewards, data managers, and data curators examples of key recipes are those providing applied FAIRification with clinical trial, epidemiological, and molecular data, as well as those on how to deal with sensitive, patient-centric data.

  • For software developers, and terminology managers examples of key recipes are the technical ones focused on implementing and using a number of FAIR-enabling tools and services, which can complement their own resources.

  • Lastly, the FAIR Cookbook is a resource for policy makers, including funders, and trainers that can use it in their guidance material, to incentivize the practice of FAIR data management in the Life Sciences, via examples that are meaningful to the intended audience.

A live resource: present and future

The FAIR Cookbook is developed by a thriving community of Life Sciences professionals, in the academia and the industry sectors, including members of the ELIXIR community. Currently funded by the IMI FAIRplus project, a private-public partnership that comprises a coalition of Europe’s leading experts in data interoperability, standards, pre-clinical to clinical translation and long-term sustainable data repositories - with decades of experience in making data available to a wide scientific community for reuse. In addition to expanding its content, we will continue to add links to relevant community, mature and complementary resources in the Life Sciences, including but not limited to those part of the ELIXIR ecosystem, such as the RDMkit, FAIRsharing, biotools and TeSS; also the Pistoia Alliance’s FAIR Toolkit for Life Science Industry, and more generic resources, such as ‘The Turing Way’ handbook for reproducible data science, which the FAIR Cookbook already leverages on. Last but not least, the FAIR Cookbook is a community-driven resource that is being populated and improved, iteratively, in an open manner. If you want to contribute, see how to, or contact us at

The FAIR Cookbook Webinar

In May 2021, Our team presented the FAIR Cookbook during a very successful Elixir Webinar which saw more 480 participants connect. You can now watch the recording of the webinar on this channel:

Discovering the FAIR Cookbook

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