COAR has raised a number of important points in regard to the “FAIRsharing” recommendations for assisting publishers to recommend data repositories to authors, which the Open Access Australasia (previously the Australasian Open Access Strategy Group, AOASG) has considered carefully
Open Access Australasia is highly supportive of initiatives that aim to improve the quality, interoperability, and trustworthiness of Repositories. As an example, a number of our members are participating in an Australian Research Data Commons community of practice assisting Australian institutions gain CoreTrustSeal certification.
Institutional repositories play an important role in bringing together publications, research data, engagement activities, grant information, and many other aspects of a researcher’s profile into one searchable and discoverable system. This greatly assists researchers to promote, disseminate, and drive engagement in their research. Increasingly, repositories are built into research workflows within academic institutions which allow researchers to transition data from an active state during the project to a published state at the completion of the project. These activities are supported by staff and processes within the institution to ensure published research data is FAIR.
Open Access Australasia has a number of concerns regarding the current FAIRsharing criteria:
· It makes only passing reference to Institutional Repositories, which are the primary venue for most academics. In doing so it:
o Reduces researcher choice in deciding the most appropriate place to store their data
o Potentially makes researcher work more burdensome and complicated by actively steering them away from institutional infrastructure designed and integrated to support them.
o Potentially makes researchers depositing data in less FAIR repositories in comparison to their own institutional offerings
This is counter intuitive to the overall aim of FAIRsharing to “enable FAIR data”.
· We concur with COAR that the criteria are also too narrowly conceived – especially in regards to jurisdictional appropriateness, integration and interoperability, and functionality.
Finally, we note there seemed to be little if any participation from the communities, especially at academic institutions, that support researchers in drafting these principles. In 2021, a journal centric approach to the management of data is outdated.