Report Open Access

FAIR in practice - Jisc report on the Findable Accessible Interoperable and Reuseable Data Principles

Allen, Robert; Hartland, David


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    <subfield code="a">&lt;p&gt;This report investigates the meaning and (potential) impact&lt;br&gt;
of the FAIR data principles in practice. These principles&lt;br&gt;
were established by a group of diverse stakeholders&lt;br&gt;
engaging via a working group in FORCE11. They are&lt;br&gt;
referenced in many policy documents and in developments&lt;br&gt;
of open science, for example, the European Open Science&lt;br&gt;
Cloud.&amp;nbsp;&lt;/p&gt;

&lt;p&gt;This report explored FAIR with stakeholders in the&lt;br&gt;
UK academic research community. Its aims were to&lt;br&gt;
understand how using or being inspired by these principles&lt;br&gt;
improves the findability, accessibility, interoperability and&lt;br&gt;
reuse of research data, including consideration of&lt;br&gt;
disciplinary differences.&lt;/p&gt;

&lt;p&gt;Jisc established a group of research data experts and Jisc&lt;br&gt;
staff who provided expertise and helped to validate&lt;br&gt;
findings. Interviews and focus groups were conducted,&lt;br&gt;
primarily with researchers, but also involving input from&lt;br&gt;
research support professionals, publishers and funders.&lt;/p&gt;

&lt;p&gt;&lt;br&gt;
An assessment of the use of FAIR principles in institutional&lt;br&gt;
research data management (RDM) guidance was also&lt;br&gt;
carried out. Data collected from these activities was&lt;br&gt;
synthesised and structured using a PEST framework -&lt;br&gt;
grouped into factors relating to Political, Economic, Social&lt;br&gt;
and Technical aspects.&lt;/p&gt;

&lt;p&gt;Explicit use of FAIR was seen to be limited, in many cases,&lt;br&gt;
to discussion at a fairly conceptual level amongst those&lt;br&gt;
most heavily involved in best practice of data management.&lt;br&gt;
Even where FAIR was fairly well established as a term and&lt;br&gt;
a concept, it tended to largely reflect existing practice.&lt;br&gt;
Arguably this was without significantly influencing many&lt;br&gt;
practical changes for those at the &amp;ldquo;leading edge&amp;rdquo; of data&lt;br&gt;
management, although it did provide a new and effective&lt;br&gt;
common way of communicating best practice.&lt;/p&gt;

&lt;p&gt;However, in exploring the underlying practices of research,&lt;br&gt;
demonstrating findability, accessibility, interoperability&lt;br&gt;
and reusability, there was considerable evidence that&lt;br&gt;
good practice existed in all of these elements. In many&lt;br&gt;
cases this was both well established (over many years)&lt;br&gt;
and continually improving.&lt;/p&gt;</subfield>
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