The FAIR Data Principles support your research data and digital objects in being findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable. These principles outline the features necessary to make your work more useful and re-usable by computers and people.
For researchers, the FAIR principles are essential to engaging in sustainable and open information practices. They aid in the visibility of your work and amplify its contribution to the research community.
For research managers, the FAIR principles represent a path towards greater impact from research projects. They produce more discoverable research objects that retain their integrity over time.
The FAIR principles are expressed at the beginning of your research project through data management planning. Good data management will ensure:
- You consider effective data storage early, ideally before you begin to gather your data.
- Parameters around how your data is named and organised will be established to guarantee it is findable, understandable and accessible for the lifecycle of your research.
- You will save time and money by avoiding data management problems at the end of your project when it can be impossible to remember what a particular file or data set is.
- You are compliant with ARC and NHMRC recommendations requiring data management planning as a condition of research funding.
The University offers the Research Data Planner tool that will take you through the process of creating a high-quality research data management plan, with links to information you require at each stage.
The University of Adelaide is committed to the sharing and reuse of research data and publications as a signatory to the Sorbonne Declaration. As members of the research community this means aligning your work with the FAIR principles.
Using the following resources, aim for your data and digital objects to be:
- Data and resources should be discoverable.
- Rich metadata and persistent identifiers should be allocated to digital objects.
- This can be through the use of identifiers such as a DOI and ORCiD.
The University supports the findability of resources through its digital repository Adelaide Research & Scholarship and the online repository Figshare. You are encouraged to deposit your work in these systems, or other discipline related repositories, with stable identifiers and metadata.
These systems increase the findability of your work for both people and computers.
- Data and resources should be openly accessible and identifiable with standard protocols. This means using standardised systems of communication to transmit data across digital networks.
- The openness of your resources will depend on your audience. Any limits governing access should be transparently detailed.
The University supports the accessibility of resources through the use of its digital repository Adelaide Research & Scholarship and the online repository Figshare. Depositing in these repositories can fulfil your obligations under the University’s Open Access Policy which mandates the submission of your research to open platforms.
If it is necessary to dispose of your data or digital research outputs, it is expected under the FAIR framework that object metadata remains accessible. The above platforms can support this.
Note: Minimum retention periods exist for access to your data. State legislative frameworks and the Research Data and Primary Materials Policy of the University govern the disposal of research outputs. Refer to Records Services to understand your obligations around retention and disposal of your digital research outputs, and practical advice.
- Data and resources should use standardised languages, formats and vocabularies. This ensures your work can be easily found, used by different systems, and be searchable and indexed by industry recognised terms.
- Your discipline and the users of your materials will inform which standards to use.
Some information regarding file formats is available via the library’s Research Data Management organise your data page.
- Data and resources should maintain their integrity and scope to ensure your research is re-useable and replicable with its original context.
- Clear information about the licensing of your resources should be included so that potential users of the data know exactly what they can and cannot do with it.
- Include information detailing the creation of your data and any changes made to it.
Reusability applies to the metadata, research data and overall access to the digital objects you create. The University’s digital repository AR&S and online repository Figshare support the reusability of resources by assigning stable and rich metadata to objects deposited in them and allowing licences to be applied to these objects.
Further information regarding the retention and preservation of your data can be found at the library’s data preservation page
Help & Support
- The University’s Research Data Management help page also provides support for data management planning, including FAIR aspects of data management.
- The Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC) hosts a FAIR data self-assessment tool. Use this resource to assess if your digital objects meet the FAIR principles.
- Contact your Liaison Librarian for further discipline related advice.
Further advice to implement FAIR principles in the long term management of your data and digital objects once your research project is complete can be sought from the University’s Records Services.