By Vanessa Tuckfield
Much of the discussion around open publishing of research has focussed on the open access movement. While this does encompass some aspects of the creative commons movement, open access includes publishing all rights reserved, but removing barriers like ‘paywalls’.
Taking that open mind set one step further requires the addition of a creative common licence to the research. This can be done when publishing in institutional repositories or publishing through open journals, that allow CC licences.
In 2016, the Universities Australia Deputy Vice Chancellors (Research) Committee convened a working group to develop policy on research outputs. The working group developed the F.A.I.R. statement, and the Universities through Universities Australia agreed to the policy. CAUL and the Australasian Open Access Strategy Group were tasked to implement the policy within Australian universities. They formed the FAIR Steering Group to work towards removing barriers and increasing the discoverability, use and impact of Australia’s research outputs.
Members of the working group are:
- Australian Research Council (ARC)
- National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)
- Open Access Australasia (formerly AOASG)
- Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)
- Australasian Research Management Society (ARMS)
- Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC)
- Australian Council of Learned Academies (ACOLA)
- Australian Government – Department of Education, Skills and Employment (DESE)
- Council of Australian University Librarians (CAUL)
- Universities Australia (UA)
While the original statement focussed on research data, the principles can be applied to any research outputs.
The basic premise of the FAIR principles is that the research is:
- F Findable
- A Accessible
- I Interoperable
- R Reusable
Adding the creative commons licence of CC-By ensures that the principles are applied in their best form.
You can find out more about the FAIR principles from these sources:
- Ensuring maximum impact from Australian research – https://ardc.edu.au/collaborations/fair-principles/
- The FAIR Steering Group – https://www.fair-access.net.au/about/steering-group
- Development and implementation of the F.A.I.R. Policy Statement – https://www.fair-access.net.au/background-information