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FAIR Data: Introduction

The FAIR Data Principles are a set of community developed guiding principles for making data Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable.


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FAIR stands for Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable. The FAIR Data Principles were developed and endorsed by researchers, publishers, funding agencies and industry partners in 2016 and are designed to enhance the value of all digital resources.

Following the lead of the European Commission and Horizon 2020, Irish funders, including the Health Research Board (HRB) and Irish Research Council (IRC) are now asking Irish researchers to address, via a Data Management Plan (DMP), how they will make their data FAIR.

  • Findable – 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.
  • Accessible – It should be possible for humans and machines to gain access to your data, under specific conditions or restrictions where appropriate. FAIR does not mean that data need to be open! There should be metadata, even if the data aren’t accessible.
  • Interoperable – Data and metadata should conform to recognised formats and standards to allow them to be combined and exchanged.
  • Reusable – Lots of documentation is needed to support data interpretation and reuse. The data should conform to community norms and be clearly licensed so others know what kinds of reuse are permitted.


If your goal is to make your data FAIR you should build this into your research plan from the start.



Make Your Research Data F.A.I.R

FAIR Data Further Resources

Creative Commons Licence