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FAIRness of Repositories & Their Data: A Report from LIBER's Research Data Management Working Group

Ivanović, Dragan; Schmidt, Birgit; Grim, Rob; Dunning, Alastair

Editor(s)
Grant, Friedel

Data repositories play a crucial role in the evolution of Open Science. The FAIR Data Principles establish how to make data Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable (Wilkinson et al., 2016). The FAIR principles are as follows: 

To Be Findable

  • F1. (meta)data are assigned a globally unique and eternally persistent identifier.
  • F2. data are described with rich metadata.
  • F3. (meta)data are registered or indexed in a searchable resource.
  • F4. metadata specify the data identifier.

To Be Accessible:

  • A1  (meta)data are retrievable by their identifier using a standardized communications protocol.
  • A1.1 the protocol is open, free, and universally implementable.
  • A1.2 the protocol allows for an authentication and authorization procedure, where necessary.
  • A2 metadata are accessible, even when the data are no longer available.

To Be Interoperable

  • I1. (meta)data use a formal, accessible, shared, and broadly applicable language for knowledge representation.
  • I2. (meta)data use vocabularies that follow FAIR principles.
  • I3. (meta)data include qualified references to other (meta)data.

To Be Reusable

  • R1. meta(data) have a plurality of accurate and relevant attributes.
  • R1.1. (meta)data are released with a clear and accessible data usage license.
  • R1.2. (meta)data are associated with their provenance.
  • R1.3. (meta)data meet domain-relevant community standards. 

Methodology

Based on the FAIR Data Principles, two questionnaires were created. The first (hereafter #Q1 - see Appendix #1) targeted repository managers and/or librarians and consisted of 40 questions. The second (hereafter #Q2 - see Appendix #2) targeted technical staff responsible for repository development and maintenance and consisted of 25 questions. 

Members of LIBER’s Research Data Management (RDM) Working Group circulated the questionnaires between December 2018 and February 2019. Responses were collected from managers and/or librarians of 29 repositories for the first (#Q1) questionnaire. 

In addition, technical staff responsible for the development and maintenance of 14 repositories (Table 1) responded to the second (#Q2) questionnaire. In 11 cases, repositories filled out both #Q1 and #Q2.   

In this report, the responses for both questionnaires have been merged and analyzed to gain a comprehensive picture about FAIRness at the level of repositories and their data.
 

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