Research data is of vital importance, with open sharing possessing the potential to advance research and discovery. Find out how we’re working with COPDESS (The Coalition for Publishing Data in the Earth and Space Sciences) to help move open data forwards with a new open and FAIR data policy across several of our earth, space and environmental sciences journals.

What is FAIR data? What are the FAIR data principles?

In order to advance research, researchers often rely on the timely and accessible sharing of data. And increasingly, research and funding organizations are encouraging researchers to responsibly manage and share data to help facilitate this.

The FAIR data principles are a set of guiding principles to help make data FAIR (findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable), therefore maximizing the use of data.

FAIR data is:

  • Findable – includes rich metadata and a persistent identified (e.g. DOI) so that others can easily find and discover it.
  • Accessible – the data and metadata are understandable, so machines and humans can read and process it. Data also needs to be located in a trustworthy repository which preserves it in perpetuity (you can search for FAIR repositories using this helpful repository finder tool).
  • Interoperable – the metadata are expressed in a formal, accessible, shared, and broadly applicable language, allowing sharing between different systems.
  • Reusable – data have a clear and accessible usage license that specifies reuse.