Policy enrichment initiative: new mapping to Concordat on Open Research Data – A collaboration with UKRN

As previously described by both FAIRsharing and the DCC, FAIRsharing has a standing commitment to integrate with community efforts around the standardisation of standard/database/policy metadata. We are happy to announce a third alignment, with the Concordat on Open Research Data, in partnership with UKRN. We welcome your feedback on the current version of this mapping.

FAIRsharing policy record metadata now incorporates attributes from three sources:

  1. Concordat on Open Research Data
  2. The FAIRsFAIR FAIR Data Policy Checklist and related structured policy description template, and
  3. RDA: Developing a Research Data Policy Framework for All Journals and Publishers (referred hereafter as “RDA Journal Policy Features”).

There are some interesting features that come as a result of this mapping.

Six attributes are common across all four resources:

  1. data sharing
  2. exceptions around data sharing
  3. if policies reference/recommend specific standards or protocols that should be adopted
  4. use of trusted digital repositories
  5. expectations around data citation
  6. if guidance, training and/or support are provided to support compliance

These attributes have been identified as being vitally important from all of these efforts, and show how relevant information about standards and databases are for policymakers.

An additional nine attributes are common across three of the four resources:

  1. policy scope
  2. research software sharing
  3. metadata sharing
  4. expectations around DMP development
  5. expectations around DAS development
  6. preferred licence types for outputs
  7. expectations around data preservation
  8. supported costs for RDM and making data FAIR
  9. monitoring of policy compliance

Coverage of each resource within FAIRsharing

FAIRsharing provides 85% (11/13 items) coverage for the RDA Journal Policy Features, 52% (11/21) coverage for the Concordat, and 83% (30/36) coverage of the FAIRsFAIR FAIR data policy checklist. In general, the items missing in FAIRsharing were deliberately excluded as not being in scope for this resource (e.g. “definition of data provided”) or too generic to create a meaningful metadata field within the registry (e.g. “Institutions should demonstrate a long-term commitment to open data”).

This work highlights the features of data* policies that are most important to the RDM community, and shows where policymakers who are updating or creating new policies should focus their efforts. Initiatives such as the UKRN STAR Project will complement this by highlighting how institutions have implemented sustainable arrangements for open research data, where they have found that straightforward and where it has been more challenging.

(*) Where data is used to as a general term for datasets, software, materials and other digital research objects.

Further Reading

Lister, A., & Davidson, J. (2024). Alignment of FAIRsharing Policy Attributes with Community Efforts (1.0.0). Zenodo.

Network, R., Jacobs, N., McCutcheon, V., Horton, L., Lister, A., Davidson, J., … Donaldson, M. (2024, February 21). UKRN Institutional tasks implied by the UK Open Research Data Concordat.

More information is also available on the related UKRN News Item: New working paper outlines the tasks implied for institutions by the UK Open Research Data Concordat.

We thank our collaborators and FAIRsharing Community Champions Joy Davidson (DCC), Adam Partridge (UKRN, University of Sheffield) and Neil Jacobs (UKRN, University of Bristol) for their efforts in this area.