Answered By: Danielle Abrahamse
Last Updated: Nov 29, 2018     Views: 5

FAIR stands for 'Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable'. To summarise briefly, 'Findable' means the data should have rich metadata and a persistent identifier, such as a DOI, to ensure it can be found using search engines or repository search functions; 'Accessible' means the data should have an explicit indication of its conditions of reuse, ideally (though not always) through the use of an open licence, and that when possible the format the data is made available in is accessible without expensive proprietary software; 'Interoperable' means the data should be described with community-agreed standards, such as the use of controlled vocabularies; and 'Reusable' means the chosen licence should be machine-readable, allowing for search engines to find it easily, and accompanied by sufficient information that the origin and purpose of the data is understandable.

Many universities, academic professional bodies and funders are developing their own guidelines for FAIR open data. If you would like to read further, we advise you begin with the Force11 statement on the FAIR principles.