Skip to Main Content

FAIR data: Reusable

Reusable - what does the term mean?

The final step in making research data FAIR focuses on whether your research data could be of interest to others and to clarify the extent to which, and how, they can work with your data in a particular context. 

Read the guide below to find out what is required to make research data reusable and to ensure correct interpretation of the data in case others reuse it.

Questions about FAIR?

Please contact us at You can also get in touch via eScience Services at Roskilde University's service portal (requires RUC login).

What are the principles of Reusable?

R1: (Meta)data are richly described with a plurality of accurate and relevant attributes

R1.1: (Meta)data are released with a clear and accessible data usage license 

R1.2: (Meta)data are associated with detailed provenance

R1.3: (Meta)data meet domain-relevant community standards

Visit GoFAIR’s website to read about the principles in detail.

Read more

For additional examples of what could be included about provenance and context in the metadata, please see principle R1 and R1.2 on GoFAIR’s website.

To find out more about usage licenses and Creative Commons licences, please read the section that discusses the topic of sharing data in our LibGuides about data management (in English) and copyright (in Danish). To access the official Creative Commons-website, click here

How do you make (meta)data Reusable?

Context: When making your research data accessible in a data repository, you should provide context to the data – e.g. for what purpose was it generated or collected? Is it raw or processed data? What was the date of generation/collection and (if applicable) the lab conditions? What is the name and version of the software used to collect the data? Are there any particularities or limitations that other users must be aware of? 

Provenance: Detailed provenance should further be included in the metadata to explain the origin of the data – i.e. how the data was collected and processed and by whom, as well as whether it has been published before. In addition, it should be clear if the workflow contains secondary data (i.e. data created by someone else and reused by you).

Usage license: It is recommended that a usage license is attached to research data to clarify on which terms and conditions the data may be reused. The usage license should be clear to humans as well as computers. When depositing your data in a repository, you often have the option of choosing from several types of usage licenses. If you want to share your work and give more rights to your data than the traditional copyright-option, you may consider applying a Creative Commons license.