Dataset Open Access

FAIRsFAIR Policy Characterisation Data for D3.1

Joy Davidson; Claudia Engelhardt; Vanessa Proudman; Lennart Stoy

As part of the EOSC project family the FAIRsFAIR - Fostering Fair Data Practices in Europe - project aims to supply practical solutions for the use of the FAIR data principles throughout the research data life cycle. The FAIRsFAIR project runs from March 2019-February 2022. Policies are a crucial component in the FAIR ecosystem. To this end, FAIRsFAIR Work Package 3 (WP3): FAIR Data Policy and Practice carried out an analysis of the current data policy landscape at various levels (national, funder, publisher, institutional) to provide a snapshot of the situation in 2019 and to identify policy elements that support or hinder FAIR data practice. To provide a comparative baseline for reviewing the data policies of various stakeholders, the priority and supporting actions presented in the Turning FAIR into Reality (TFiR) action plan were employed. To assess how well the policies of different stakeholders currently reflect TFiR’s action plan, we carried out desk research to characterise policies. 

Based on a review of existing policy characterisation efforts, FAIRsFAIR defined a total of 42 policy features to be reviewed during our landscape assessment. Fourteen of these features were intended to capture information about the policy itself (e.g., title, year of introduction, machine-readability) and 28 policy features were reviewed in relation to the content of the policy. 

For each of the three stakeholder groups assessed (funders, publishers and HEIs) we reviewed 10-15 data policies to determine how far they currently reflect the stakeholder-specific actions as recommended in TFiR. We limited the number to be reviewed to reflect the time and effort available for this task. To enable us to assess whether a specific policy element had been addressed within a given stakeholder’s policy, a set of related indicators were developed and mapped to the policy features and related TFiR policy actions. 

The policies selected for analysis as part of the landscape assessment come from stakeholders currently demonstrating a relatively high level of engagement with the FAIR principles. These have been identified through desk research and through the FAIRsFAIR consortium partners’ subject knowledge and related activities. Based on their particular areas of expertise, UGOE identified publishers to be included in the review while SPARC Europe identified funding bodies and EUA identified HEIs. The 42 policies reviewed for this task should not be considered an exhaustive inventory of stakeholders currently engaged with Open Science and the FAIR principles. 

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