Are the FAIR Data Principles Fair?

Authors : Alastair Dunning, Madeleine de Smaele, Jasmin Böhmer

This practice paper describes an ongoing research project to test the effectiveness and relevance of the FAIR Data Principles. Simultaneously, it will analyse how easy it is for data archives to adhere to the principles. The research took place from November 2016 to January 2017, and will be underpinned with feedback from the repositories.

The FAIR Data Principles feature 15 facets corresponding to the four letters of FAIR – Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable. These principles have already gained traction within the research world.

The European Commission has recently expanded its demand for research to produce open data. The relevant guidelines1are explicitly written in the context of the FAIR Data Principles. Given an increasing number of researchers will have exposure to the guidelines, understanding their viability and suggesting where there may be room for modification and adjustment is of vital importance.

This practice paper is connected to a dataset (Dunning et al.,2017) containing the original overview of the sample group statistics and graphs, in an Excel spreadsheet. Over the course of two months, the web-interfaces, help-pages and metadata-records of over 40 data repositories have been examined, to score the individual data repository against the FAIR principles and facets.

The traffic-light rating system enables colour-coding according to compliance and vagueness. The statistical analysis provides overall, categorised, on the principles focussing, and on the facet focussing results.

The analysis includes the statistical and descriptive evaluation, followed by elaborations on Elements of the FAIR Data Principles, the subject specific or repository specific differences, and subsequently what repositories can do to improve their information architecture.

URL : Are the FAIR Data Principles Fair?

DOI: https://doi.org/10.2218/ijdc.v12i2.567

 

The FAIR Guiding Principles for scientific data management and stewardship

There is an urgent need to improve the infrastructure supporting the reuse of scholarly data. A diverse set of stakeholders—representing academia, industry, funding agencies, and scholarly publishers—have come together to design and jointly endorse a concise and measureable set of principles that we refer to as the FAIR Data Principles.

The intent is that these may act as a guideline for those wishing to enhance the reusability of their data holdings. Distinct from peer initiatives that focus on the human scholar, the FAIR Principles put specific emphasis on enhancing the ability of machines to automatically find and use the data, in addition to supporting its reuse by individuals.

This Comment is the first formal publication of the FAIR Principles, and includes the rationale behind them, and some exemplar implementations in the community.

URL : The FAIR Guiding Principles for scientific data management and stewardship

Alternative location : http://www.nature.com/articles/sdata201618