Hey researcher! Does this sound familiar?
You have found an interesting research article online. Data behind the article looks interesting. You want to take a closer look. You find out that the data is stored on a memory stick. Besides, it’s in a file format that can be opened only with a software you can’t access. Or: the article has a link for downloading the data. Great! Except that the link is broken.
FAIR principles have been developed to enhance the quality of scientific and scholarly research data.
There are four main principles.
- F is findability. When a data set has a permanent identifier, for example DOI, the link to the data stays unbroken, even if the data storage location changes.
- A is accessibility. Data identifier acts as a hyperlink, which allows access to data and related metadata through a web browser.
- I is interoperability. Interoperability requires open file formats and common standards. No more files that won’t open!
- R is reusability. Research data can be reused only when there are rich metadata and a license that tells terms of reuse.
By following the FAIR principles you increase the impact and reliability of your research.
Take care of your data!