The FAIR principles are central guidelines when working with metadata descriptions and accessibility to research data. They are also used as policy by several important funders of research.
Principles for accessibility and measurability
Several important organisations and research funders use the FAIR principles as more or less pronounced guidelines for how researchers are to make research output available. A clear trend within the field of publicly financed research is that output as far as possible should be described and made available in accordance to the FAIR principles. An example for this is the EU programmes for research funding, where FAIR had a prominent role in the template for data management plans within Horizon 2020. This is likely to continue within the following Horizon Europe programme.
The principles are also used to formulate tools to measure degree of "FAIRness" of research output. One organisation that has been working this angle on mandate from the Swedish Government is the Swedish Research Council, who published their report on the subject in 2018.
Data organised in accordance to the FAIR principles, so-called FAIR data, is structured, (re)usable, readable, interoperable between systems and possible to find as well as navigate within. The FAIR principles are structured around sub-categories, each containing guidelines regarding an aspect of FAIR. The guidelines are formulated in order to be useful when formulating a data management plan, be used as guidelines when working with research data during and after a research project, as well as being used as criteria when evaluating research output.
Metadata plays a central role within the FAIR principles. If guidance is needed regarding metadata and standards for metadata, researchers affiliated with Umeå University are free to consult the Swedish National Data Service (SND).
Ongoing development of a national infrastructure for research data
An infrastructure for making national research data increasingly findable and accessible in concordance with the FAIR principles is currently under development in Sweden. The Swedish national data service (SND) provide a national research data catalogue for metadata descriptions of research data.
University researchers can contribute to the catalogue via the DORIS interface on the SND homepage. The university research data team perform quality control of incoming registrations by our researchers in the SND workflow. The FAIR principles are to be considered as indicative as to the concept of quality.