FAIRness Literacy: The Achilles’ Heel of Applying FAIR Principles

Abstract:  The SHARC Interest Group of the Research Data Alliance was established to improve research crediting and rewarding mechanisms for scientists who wish to organise their data (and material resources) for community sharing. This requires that data are findable and accessible on the Web, and comply with shared standards making them interoperable and reusable in alignment with the FAIR principles. It takes considerable time, energy, expertise and motivation. It is imperative to facilitate the processes to encourage scientists to share their data. To that aim, supporting FAIR principles compliance processes and increasing the human understanding of FAIRness criteria – i.e., promoting FAIRness literacy – and not only the machine-readability of the criteria, are critical steps in the data sharing process. Appropriate human-understandable criteria must be the first identified in the FAIRness assessment processes and roadmap. This paper reports on the lessons learned from the RDA SHARC Interest Group on identifying the processes required to prepare FAIR implementation in various communities not specifically data skilled, and on the procedures and training that must be deployed and adapted to each practice and level of understanding. These are essential milestones in developing adapted support and credit back mechanisms not yet in place.

 

FAIRness Literacy: The Achilles’ Heel of Applying FAIR Principles

Abstract:  The SHARC Interest Group of the Research Data Alliance was established to improve research crediting and rewarding mechanisms for scientists who wish to organise their data (and material resources) for community sharing. This requires that data are findable and accessible on the Web, and comply with shared standards making them interoperable and reusable in alignment with the FAIR principles. It takes considerable time, energy, expertise and motivation. It is imperative to facilitate the processes to encourage scientists to share their data. To that aim, supporting FAIR principles compliance processes and increasing the human understanding of FAIRness criteria – i.e., promoting FAIRness literacy – and not only the machine-readability of the criteria, are critical steps in the data sharing process. Appropriate human-understandable criteria must be the first identified in the FAIRness assessment processes and roadmap. This paper reports on the lessons learned from the RDA SHARC Interest Group on identifying the processes required to prepare FAIR implementation in various communities not specifically data skilled, and on the procedures and training that must be deployed and adapted to each practice and level of understanding. These are essential milestones in developing adapted support and credit back mechanisms not yet in place.

 

FAIRsFAIR

“FAIRsFAIR – Fostering Fair Data Practices in Europe – aims to supply practical solutions for the use of the FAIR data principles throughout the research data life cycle. Emphasis is on fostering FAIR data culture and the uptake of good practices in making data FAIR. FAIRsFAIR will play a key role in the development of global standards for FAIR certification of repositories and the data within them contributing to those policies and practices that will turn the EOSC programme into a functioning infrastructure.

In the end, FAIRsFAIR will provide a platform for using and implementing the FAIR principles in the day to day work of European research data providers and repositories. FAIRsFAIR will also deliver essential FAIR dimensions of the Rules of Participation (RoP) and regulatory compliance for participation in the EOSC. The EOSC governance structure will use these FAIR aligned RoPs to establish whether components of the infrastructure function in a FAIR manner….”

M3.5 Description of Transition Support Programme for Repositories for consultation – Google Docs

“FAIRsFAIR is working to better define good practice for repositories through our involvement in certification efforts that enable FAIR data. D3.5 “Description of transition support programme for repositories” describes a proposed programme of support which will help repositories to adopt these emerging good practices. There is a focus on supporting FAIR data provision, improved handling and integration of metadata, and an increased emphasis on data stewardship to ensure data remains FAIR in the long term….”

IARLA Supports cOAlition S Rights Retention Strategy – IARLA

“IARLA, representing the research libraries of Australia and New Zealand, Canada, Europe, United Kingdom, and the United States, would like to express support for the new cOAlition S Rights Retention Strategy. Under the strategy, participating funders will “require that a Creative Commons Attribution licence (CC BY) is applied to all Author Accepted Manuscripts (AAMs) or Versions of Record (VoR) reporting original research, supported in whole or in part by their funding.

 The cOAlition S funders want to effect a critical shift in the licensing landscape that would ensure that authors are able to publish in their journal of choice while also making their work openly accessible. The strategy overrides the rights transfer requirements that many publishers require as a condition of publishing in their journals.

Research libraries are committed to universal access to scholarly outputs, and believe that COVID-19 has clearly highlighted the inherent value of immediate openness within the scientific process. This cOAlition S strategy strengthens the repository-based route and signals the continued importance of a robust network of open repositories as a viable means to provide access to global scholarship. …”

Opinion: the cOAlition S Rights Retention Strategy | Plan S

“For a long time now, researchers have all too easily handed over to academic publishers the rights inherent in their publications. These rights include not only the intellectual ownership of the researcher’s work, but also the permission to freely and immediately disseminate it without embargoes, and thus allow others to quickly build on these results. cOAlition S wants researchers to retain sufficient intellectual ownership rights to their publications. This can be difficult to achieve for individual researchers, since the cOAlition S Open Access requirement may conflict with the demands of the publishers to transfer copyright to them.

cOAlition S, therefore, wants to help researchers to always retain sufficient intellectual ownership of their work after peer review. Ideally, researchers would retain full copyright, but we will allow for copyright transfer if sufficient rights are retained to control a CC BY version of publications. The Rights Retention Strategy is designed to support cOAlition S funded researchers seeking to publish in their journal of choice, including any subscription journal. Researchers only need to fulfil two conditions: First, when they submit their articles to a journal, they have to inform the publisher that their submission is under a CC BY licence. This allows researchers to retain sufficient intellectual ownership rights to their work. Secondly, researchers have to make that work openly available on publication so it is easily accessed and built upon.

The Rights Retention Strategy gives further shape to the Plan S pledge that all scholarly publications resulting from research grants must be immediately available Open Access with a reuse licence upon publication. It makes 100% of cOAlition S funded scholarly publications available Open Access. This policy maps to Route 2 in the implementation guidance and is very close to the Harvard licence model which has been in place since 2008….”

CAUL and AOASG welcome cOAlition S Rights Retention Strategy | CAUL

“The Council of Australian University Librarians (CAUL) and the Australasian Open Access Strategy Group (AOASG) welcome the Rights Retention Strategy announced by cOAlition S on 15 July 2020.

The strategy is a significant and bold step towards ensuring the achievement of 100% immediate open access for all research articles. It strengthens the repository-based route for open access and will ensure that by retaining their rights to their own work, authors are able to use and re-use their work as they choose.  In essence, the strategy is designed to support cOAlition S funded researchers seeking to publish in their journal of choice, including any subscription journal. This strategy provides authors with a standard mechanism to retain the rights to their research by placing  a CC-BY license on the author’s accepted version which allows them to make this version immediately available on final publication in an open access repository of their choice. 

Repository-based open access has been the preferred route for open access by universities in Australia and New Zealand since 2000 and is supported by the two main Australian funders of research, the ARC and the NHMRC. Advocacy efforts by CAUL and the AOASG have supported this repository-based approach. …”

Open-access Plan S to allow publishing in any journal

“Funding agencies behind the radical open-access (OA) initiative Plan S have announced a policy that could make it possible for researchers to bypass journals’ restrictions on open publishing. The change could allow scientists affected by Plan S to publish in any journal they want — even in subscription titles, such as Science, that haven’t yet agreed to comply with the scheme.

Plan S, which kicks in from 2021, aims to make scientific and scholarly works free to read and reproduce as soon as they are published. Research funders that have signed up to it include the World Health Organization, Wellcome in London, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle, Washington, and 17 national funders, mostly in Europe. The European Commission also says it will follow the plan.

Under the initiative, scientists funded by Plan S agencies must publish their work OA. If a journal doesn’t allow that, researchers can instead post an accepted version of their article — an author accepted manuscript, or AAM — in an online repository as soon as their paper appears. This kind of author-initiated sharing is sometimes called green open access. Under Plan S, it comes with a key condition that has so far been anathema to many subscription journals: the AAM must be shared under a liberal ‘CC-BY’ publishing licence that would allow others to republish and translate the work….”

 

Implementation Roadmap of cOAlition S Organisations | Plan S

“The following table shows for each cOAlition S Organisation:

The date their Plan S-aligned Open Access policy will apply from
What their Plan S-aligned Open Access policy will apply to

It also shows which funders are adopting the Rights Retention Strategy to support the implementation of their Plan S-aligned OA policy from 1/1/2021. These funders are designated as “early adopters”. Other funders, who plan to update their grant conditions at a later date, are categorised as “adoption to follow”. …”