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How are Aridhia Customers Syndicating with HDR UK?

The FAIR Data Principles and FAIR Data Services

FAIR Data Services was created to embed the FAIR data principles in our enterprise-scale Trusted Research Environment (TRE), the Aridhia DRE.

The first FAIR principle is that data should be findable. FAIR Data Services provides comprehensive metadata search and browsing capabilities that make it easy for users to find and compare datasets within the Aridhia DRE. In addition, FAIR has a customisable catalogue that allows data owners to capture and present their metadata in the most appropriate format.

FAIR administrators also have the option of enabling Commons Mode, making their FAIR instance publicly accessible, and their metadata catalogue available to users who do not have an account for the DRE, while still controlling the visibility of individual datasets, and access to the data itself via data access requests (DAR).

The third FAIR principle is that metadata should be interoperable. FAIR uses standardised metadata formats to ensure that information about research projects is structured in a consistent and machine-readable way. Our data owners want their data to be findable by the widest possible group of researchers and innovators, and this built-in interoperability means that in addition to the features above, FAIR Data Services can now offer metadata syndication with the HDR UK Innovation Gateway.

The HDR UK Innovation Gateway

The Health Data Research UK (HDR UK) Innovation Gateway was established because:

Health datasets in the UK are held by thousands of different organisations in the UK. It can therefore be difficult for researchers, innovators and also members of the public and patients, to discover what datasets exist.

The Gateway was established in 2020, and now hosts over 800 datasets. Data Owners with data hosted in FAIR can now choose to syndicate their catalogue metadata from FAIR to the HDR Gateway. Great Ormond Street Hospital became the first Aridhia DRE user to syndicate dataset metadata with the HDR UK Innovation Gateway at the end of 2023. Royal Marsden Hospital will begin syndicating to HDR from BRIDgE (their informatics platform underpinned by the Aridhia DRE) in February 2024 with other users set to follow later in the year.

GOSH syndicated dataset as displayed in the HDR UK Innovation Gateway.

FAIR to HDR UK Syndication

Sharing metadata via syndication means that the data owner doesn’t have to maintain multiple sets of metadata for the same dataset: the original metadata record acts as a source of truth that all other publishers of the metadata pull the content from.

In FAIR to HDR UK syndication, FAIR acts as the source of truth, and the HDR UK Innovation Gateway performs a daily check of the FAIR metadata for any updates.

Enabling this process only requires three simple steps for the data owner:

1. Identify the dataset(s) for syndication
2. Map the desired FAIR catalogue fields to the Innovation Gateway catalogue
3. Provide HDR with FAIR API access to retrieve the mapped metadata from the selected dataset(s)

This gives Aridhia DRE data owners an easy way to promote their data on an internationally recognised platform, making it easier for researchers to collaborate and share data, while retaining the control and security that comes from hosting it in a secure TRE.

By promoting collaboration and data sharing, the metadata syndication between the Aridhia’s FAIR Data Service and HDR UK Innovation Gateway is helping to accelerate research and innovation in the field of health.

If you would like to know more about FAIR metadata syndication with the HDR UK Innovation Gateway, please contact us.


Ross joined the Aridhia Product Team in January 2022. He is the Product Owner for FAIR Data Services, and Aridhia’s open source federation project. He works with our customers to understand their needs, and with our Development Team to introduce new features and improve our products. Outside of work, he likes to go hill walking and is slowly working his way through Scotland’s Munros.

Eoghan Forde is a Project Manager with Aridhia. He has a background in Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, having completed his PhD in Precision Medicine at the University of Edinburgh Medical School. Since joining Aridhia in October 2022, he has been providing subject matter support for Genomics and Bioinformatics within the DRE.