FAIR aims to improve the value and impact of research data by ensuring it is Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Re-useable. Many journals and funders have made it a condition for successful submission or grant applications. Over a series of posts I will look at each one and explain what this means for the data you produce. Click here if you want to read the previous post on Findability.
Research data should be “as open as possible, as closed as necessary” (Horizon 2020). It should be available freely for others to use and restricted only so far as to meet legal and ethical requirements. A few things should be considered at the planning stage to ensure that your data cannot only be found, but can also be accessed:
- Make sure you ask participants for permission to make data available. This clause is included in BU’s Participant Agreement Form Templates.
- Identify whether sensitive personal information is likely to be collected and consider how the data can be anonymised. You will need to factor in time and any costs associated with this.
- If using third-party data, check the terms of any license attached to the data and/or seek permission to re-use from the copyright holder.
- Identify who the copyright holders are for the final dataset. This is particularly important if working collaboratively with partners outside of BU. Copyright ownership should be stated in any contractual agreement.
Some repositories allow access to data to be restricted. For example, if it is not possible to anonymise sensitive data. This needs to be stated clearly in your Data Management Plan (DMP) as funders/journals will usually need to review this.
Faculty Librarian (FMC) and LLS lead for Research Data Management (RDM)
SanguaPundir., 2016. FAIR guiding principles for data resources [image]. Wikimedia Commons. Available from: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:FAIR_data_principles.jpg [Accessed 08 July 2021].