Training event: I-ADOPT Framework for FAIR variables and metadata description


Online, 17 & 31 March 2022.

What is inside your RI’s data? And how easy is it for your end users to find out? 

To make good scientific use of data, it is necessary to be absolutely clear on what has been measured or calculated. Just labelling table columns with “SWC_1_1” or “P_sal” is in many cases not precise enough, even for people familiar with your subdomain. 

The RDA I-ADOPT framework responds to this requirement offering a way to compile clear and unambiguous definitions of variables in a standardised way. It helps you to describe concepts at different levels, ranging from overarching classes (“soil composition”) down to the very detailed (“soil water content, measured in a mineral soil matrix below root depth”).  You can create and register your own definitions, or reuse those of others, and once in place use them to tag your RI’s datasets. 

The formalised descriptions empower the FAIR principles in many ways, for example by facilitating searches across data portals (F+A) and enabling machine-driven interpretation and use of data and metadata (I+R). 

ENVRI-FAIR WP6 is organising two training events that will help you to learn more about the I-ADOPT framework and the benefit this can generate for your RI.

The training series has the potential to be extended with more in-depth sessions to be organised at a later stage.


The training events will take place on the following dates:

  • Thursday 17 March 14-17:30 CET
  • Thursday 31 March 14-17:30 CEST


The training introduces the concept of I-Adopt, offers opportunities to experiment with real live examples from daily practice and to discuss issues related to these experiments and receive advice on your approach. After the training, participants will be able to discuss the main elements of the I-Adopt framework, evaluate its usefulness in their RI and, if interested, participate actively in the I-ADOPT discussions under github or in the I-ADOPT Task Group under the auspices of the RDA VSSIG (Vocabulary Services Interest Group); the follow-up group to gain further knowledge and contribute to the maturing of the concept. 


This training could benefit all data managers in RIs that work on vocabularies/semantics or want to have a more in-depth knowledge of this topic. It is also suitable for researchers working with observation data to better define their data analysis needs towards RIs, for instance.


The training is structured around three components:

  1. Introductory session – explanation of the concept and demonstration through examples. During the session, participants will practice to try out the concept and discuss first outcomes. A mix of plenary lectures, breakout sessions with exercises, and plenary feedback for a duration of 3 hours;
  2. In between the first and the second session, participants will be allowed ample time to experiment themselves with the I-ADOPT framework to test it on their own variables. Guidelines and Google sheets will be provided to guide these experiments;
  3. Discussion session – a second 3-hour virtual event to discuss issues related to the variable modelling, solve problems and give advice in the first 2 hours. The last hour will be used to discuss I-ADOPT in a bigger context. How should this be embedded in daily practice of research and Research Infrastructures, how can it build bridges between disciplines, what services are needed to facilitate the I-ADOPT approach, how does it relate to other areas like sensor measurements, provenance, how it can enrich the catalogues of description patterns. 

The main trainer is Barbara Magagna (Umweltbundesambt, eLTER), supported by Gwen Moncoiffé (British Oceanographic Data Centre) and Lucia Vaira (LifeWatch ERIC).

On the I-ADOPT Initiative…

The aim of the I-ADOPT initiative is to produce an Interoperability Framework, co-developed by a wide community of terminology experts, for representing observable properties. This effort will have a strong focus on observable properties in environmental research because it leverages existing efforts to accurately encode what was measured, observed, derived, or computed in relation to the earth systems[1].

The framework has been developed by an RDA working group, dedicated to this topic. 

The aim is to create FAIRer observable property terminologies, the global effectiveness of tools operating upon them will be improved and their impact increased. This will thus strengthen existing collaborations and build new connections between terminology developers and providers, disciplinary experts from across the various domains of Earth and Environmental Science, and representatives of scientific data user groups[2].

How to register

Please register your online attendance using this form.

[1] RDA I-Adopt WG case statement

[2] RDA I-Adopt WG description


The Bulgarian National Distributed Centre is represented by the  Agricultural University-Plovdiv.

To know more about how Bulgaria contributes to LifeWatch ERIC, please visit our dedicated webpage.


The Spanish National Distributed Centre is supported by the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities, the Regional Government of Andalusia and the Guadalquivir River Basin Authority (Ministry for Ecological Transition-MITECO). Moreover, Spain is the hosting Member State of LifeWatch ERIC, the location of its Statutory Seat & ICT e-Infrastructure Technical Office (LifeWatch ERIC Common Facilities). 

To know more about how Spain contributes to LifeWatch ERIC, please visit our dedicated webpage.


The Slovenian National Distributed Centre is led by the Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts (ZRC SAZU). It focuses on the development of technological solutions in the field of biodiversity and socio-ecosystem research.

To know more about how Slovenia contributes to LifeWatch ERIC, please visit our dedicated webpage.


The Portuguese National Distributed Centre is managed by PORBIOTA, the Portuguese e-Infrastructure for Information and Research on Biodiversity. Led by BIOPOLIS/CIBIO-InBIO – Research Centre in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources, PORBIOTA connects the principal Portuguese research institutions working in biodiversity.

To know more about how Portugal contributes to LifeWatch ERIC, please visit our dedicated webpage.


The Dutch National Distributed Centre is hosted by the Faculty of Science of the University of Amsterdam. Moreover, The Netherlands hosts one of the LifeWatch ERIC Common Facilities, the Virtual Laboratory and Innovation Centre.

To know more about how The Netherlands contributes to LifeWatch ERIC, please visit our dedicated webpage.


The Italian National Distributed Centre is led and managed by the Italian National Research Council (CNR) and is coordinated by a Joint Research Unit, currently comprising 35 members. Moreover, Italy hosts one of the LifeWatch ERIC Common Facilities, the Service Centre.

To know more about how Italy contributes to LifeWatch ERIC, please visit our dedicated webpage.


The Greek National Distributed Centre is funded by the Greek General Secretariat of Research and Technology and is coordinated by the Institute of Marine Biology, Biotechnology and Aquaculture of the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research, in conjunction with 47 associated partner institutions.

To know more about how Greece contributes to LifeWatch ERIC, please visit our dedicated webpage.


The Belgian National Distributed Centre makes varied and complementary in-kind contributions to LifeWatch ERIC. These are implemented in the form of long-lasting projects by various research centres and universities distributed throughout the country and supported by each respective political authority.

To know more about how Belgium contributes to LifeWatch ERIC, please visit our dedicated webpage.