Open Data, FAIR Data, Research
Myriam Mertens | Ghent University Library
Image CC0 by Patrick Hochstenbach
Open/FAIR are about making data available
Shift from traditional model of scholarly
communication, where research data
are undervalued & neglected
Image CC-BY by Auke Herrema
Degrees of data sharing
OPEN RESTRICTED CLOSED
“Can be freely used,
modified & shared by
anyone for any
Limits on who can
access & use data, how,
or for what purpose
- only certain (types
- only certain types of
Unable to share
“As open as possible, as closed as necessary”
Adapted from ‘Managing and sharing research data’ by S. Jones, CC-BY
FAIR data principles
• Describe attributes that enable & enhance data re-use by humans
• Originated in the life sciences, but gaining much traction beyond
• Spectrum: data can be FAIR to a greater or lesser degree
Adapted from ‘The FAIR data concept’, by S. Jones, CC-BY 4.0. Image CC-BY-SA by SangyaPundir
It should be possible for others to
discover your data. Rich metadata
should be available online in a
searchable resource, and the data
should be assigned a persistent
identifier (e.g. DOI, Handle…).
It should be possible for humans and machines to gain
access to your data, under specific conditions or
restrictions where appropriate (i.e. data retrievable by
their PID & by using a standard protocol such as http;
authentication and authorization steps if necessary).
There should be metadata, even if the data aren’t
Data and metadata should be conform to recognized
formats and standards to allow them to be combined &
exchanged (file formats, metadata schemas, controlled
vocabularies, keywords, ontologies, qualified references
& links to other related data).
Lots of documentation is needed
to support data interpretation
and reuse. It is clear how, why &
by whom data were created &
processed (provenance). The data
should conform to community
norms and be clearly licensed so
others know what kinds of reuse
Adapted from ‘How FAIR are your data?’ checklist, CC-BY by Sarah Jones & Marjan Grootveld, EUDAT. Image CC-BY-SA by SangyaPundir
FAIR vs. Open?
Not synonyms - FAIR does not mean that data need to be open!
Data can both, one, or
Also check out the ARDC FAIR self-
Adapted from ‘FAIR data: what it means, how we achieve it, and the role of RDA’ by S. Jones, CC-BY
Why share data in the first place?
7Image CC-BY by Brian Hole
FAIR/open data require good RDM!
The active management of research data throughout the lifecycle
Adapted from ‘Managing and sharing research data’ by S. Jones, CC-BY. Image CC-BY-NC-SA by IT Services, University of Oxford
Thank you for listening!
9Image CC-BY by digitalbevaring.dk