FAIR principles are crucial to secure long-term reuse of research data – SND Forum

The FAIR principles have rapidly become widely recognised as a framework for making research data available and possible to find, harmonise and reuse.

At the seventh SND Forum in Gothenburg on 14 November 2017, organised by the Swedish National Data Service, the focus was on how to make Swedish research data FAIR (Findable Accessible Interoperable Reusable).

Methods and standards for producing FAIR data were discussed by invited experts, such as Ivana Ilijašić Veršić from CESSDA ERIC, Heiko Tjalsma from DANS, Maggie Hellström from ICOS and Magnus Geber and Karl-Magnus Johansson from the Swedish National Archives.

Heiko Tjalsma from DANS focused on certification of trusted digital repositories and FAIR data. He described the connection between certification and FAIR and raised a couple of questions concerning some unresolved FAIR complications, such as how to measure the criteria and how to include “openness” and data security.

Maggie Hellström from ICOS, a Pan-European research infrastructure for greenhouse gas and environment monitoring, emphasized that ICOS needs to be FAIR. The repository fulfils the criteria for Findable and Accessible data, and is on track to deliver Interoperability and Reusability. “We are not an isolated island, everyone interested in ICOS data must be able to download and use them. Our data are unique; we cannot go back in time to 'recreate' them, we must store them securely and sustainably to enable long-term reuse”, stated Maggie Hellström.

Ivana Ilijašić Veršić presented CESSDA ERIC and its mission as well as some of its on-going activities, such as training in data management and preservation, and developing technical solutions for a European Research Infrastructure. Ivana Ilijašić Veršić also drew attention to outcomes of the CESSDA SaW (Strengthening and Widening) project: “I am very proud of the project. We have developed many crucial tools which we will launch in December”. One such tool is the Knowledge Platform, which will serve as a central point of access for digital resources created within the CESSDA collaboration. In the final panel debate, she pointed out how crucial trusted research data repositories with FAIR data are for the research community and for open access.

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