Monday, October 19, 2015

Refining the FAIR principles

During the 2015 Biohackathon, Mark Wilkinson and I and a few others got together to discuss and refine the FAIR principles, as originally published on the Force11 website. Our goal was to clarify the principles so that they are naturally orthogonal and could be used to assess an implementation and determine the degree to which it conforms to the principles.  Find below a first draft of these revised principles, subject to further elaboration.

FAIR Principles  (proposed)
One of the grand challenges of data-intensive science is to facilitate knowledge discovery by assisting humans and machines in their discovery of, access to, integration and analysis of, task-appropriate scientific data and their associated algorithms and workflows. Here, we describe FAIR - a minimal set of guiding principles to make data Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Re-usable.

To be Findable:
F1. (meta)data are assigned a globally unique and eternally persistent identifier
F2. data are described with rich metadata
F3. (meta)data are registered or indexed in a searchable resource
F4. metadata specify the data identifier

To be Accessible:
A1  (meta)data are retrievable by their identifier using a standardized communications protocol
A1.1 the protocol is open, free, and universally implementable
A1.2 the protocol allows for an authentication and authorization procedure, where necessary
A2 metadata are eternally accessible, even when the data are no longer available

To be Interoperable:
I1. (meta)data use a formal, accessible, shared, and broadly applicable language for knowledge representation.
I2. (meta)data use vocabularies that follow FAIR principles
I3. (meta)data include qualified references to other (meta)data

To be Re-usable:
R1. meta(data) have 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 their provenance
R1.3. (meta)data meet domain-relevant community standards

Update: We have updated the FAIR principles on the Force11 page to the ones you see here.