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FAIR data: Why should data be FAIR?

Why should you apply the FAIR principles when working with research data?

As part of the Open Science-agenda, the FAIR principles have gained international traction by offering a useful set of guidelines to help researchers make research more transparent. This has led to universities introducing data management policies that support the FAIR principles and many research funders and publishers requiring researchers to adopt the principles when working with research data.

As stipulated in Roskilde University’s Data Management Policy, researchers at the university are encouraged to enhance the transparency and visibility of their research by following the general guidelines of FAIR - i.e. research data should be ‘as open as possible, as closed as necessary’.

For other reasons to implement the FAIR principles, please see below.

Questions about FAIR

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

Additional resources

Examples of policies and strategies published by research institutions, funding bodies and other stakeholders:

FAIR - what's in it for me as a researcher?

For the individual researcher, FAIR data can
•  Increase your visibility as a researcher by making your research data findable
•  Generate more citations when your research data is used by other researchers
•  Improve your impact by leading to new collaborations

In addition, FAIR data can 
•  Increase transparency in the research process which is part of the Danish Code of Conduct for Research Integrity
•  Be a strategy for good data management in research projects to prevent data loss
•  Help researchers comply with institutional policies and international standards 
•  Be useful for those whose research data cannot be made open – by following the FAIR principles, researchers can increase the possibility of others discovering and reading about their research project and data even if the data is restricted

Benefits from a public perspective

From the perspective of the wider public, FAIR data can lead to 
•    More publicly funded research being made openly available to society
•    Increasing public trust and accountability in publicly funded research by making the research process more transparent and accessible 

Research community benefits

For the wider research community, FAIR data can 
•    Make the research process more transparent and thereby ensure good scientific conduct in research
•    Make it easier to find and understand other researchers’ projects and research data – both within the community and across disciplines
•    Allow for more visibility of existing data with the possiblity for reuse in new research contexts and across academic disciplines and research institutions
•    Help researchers build on each other’s work – not just the research results but the data 
•    Opportunities for new collaborations in and across research communities