Case 6: FAIR Principles and Research Data

Cases are examples of questions and inquiries we receive in the Guidance Function, which we would like to share for inspiration.

A researcher contacted the Guidance Function with an inquiry regarding information about the FAIR principles.

The FAIR principles aim to act as a guideline to increase the availability and reusability of data and metadata. The FAIR principles are divided into four categories:

  • Findability: Principles, which must be fulfilled to ensure the findability of the data. Data must have descriptive metadata, as metadata is essential to be able to find datasets and any supplementary information.


  • Accessibility: Principles, which must be fulfilled to ensure the availability of the data. As data must be readable by both humans and machines, data and metadata must be organized in a way that makes it easy to obtain the (meta)data and any supplementary information.


  • Interoperability: Principles, which must be fulfilled to ensure that data is integrable with other data, i.e. interoperability. Additionally, these principles ensure that data can interact with applications and tools for analysis, storage, and processing. The variables of metadata and data must therefore be described in accordance with international standards, terminologies, and classifications so that data can be used with other data sources.


  • Reuse: Principles, which must be fulfilled to ensure reusability. This is ensured through well-described metadata and data, which can be replicated and combined in other contexts. Metadata can describe the terms of reusing the data, how the dataset has been processed, and data quality, among other things.

The FAIR principles are suitable to support the administration of data and metadata, but also to support the processes surrounding sharing and reusing health data.

In this case, we assisted the researcher in gaining a better understanding of the FAIR principles and referred them to material that explained the FAIR principles in more detail.

Please feel free to contact us if you need guidance in your research project. Our services are completely free, and we aim to reply to any inquiries within 2-4 working days.

The Guidance Function offers first-level support for Danish and international researchers in need of help to navigate the requirements and processes surrounding research projects.

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Learn more about the FAIR principles from the “FAIR across” project: 

Learn more about the FAIR principles and the tools developed for implementation: