The ARDC encourages the adoption of the FAIR principles as a valuable way of making research outputs more reusable, both for humans and machines.

The Research Data Alliance (with global input) has published a model on how to assess FAIR. This guideline translates these into a practical set of actions for ARDC projects, that will make the data more FAIR. We consider these realistic aims based on the state of maturity of services and standards currently available. The links provide guidance on how the different aspects can be achieved.  This describes our expectation of how FAIR will be addressed in ARDC projects within the National Data Assets and the Platforms programs.  There may be fewer expectations in ARDC capacity investment programs.  Please consult with your ARDC liaison for the project as they will be able to provide guidance, support and organise training on all these aspects.

If you believe there is a good reason why a certain aspect cannot be addressed, please discuss this with your project liaison as early on as possible. The reason for it not being addressed will need to be documented and provided in the progress and final report.

Download the full guideline here [PDF, 242KB]


1Assign all data outputs appropriate PIDs (DOIs are the default identifier for this purpose)RequiredPIDs guidelines
2The discovery metadata schema and fields to be completed for all data outputs should be discussed by partners and ARDC before data collections are created. Upon creation, ensure the agreed discovery fields are filled in in the metadata.RequiredSee Appendix 1 for required fields
List of mandatory and optional collection elements for RDA
What makes a good collection record
3All data outputs generated by the project must have a record in Research Data AustraliaRequiredProviding metadata records to Research Data Australia
Defining a data collection
4Records for all data outputs are registered with relevant discipline-specific discovery aggregators (if one exists)RecommendedFor a list of potential discovery mechanisms see Re3Data
5The persistent identifier for the data being described must be included in the metadataRequiredFor example, providing the dataset DOI in the identifier element in RIF-CS


6All data outputs are made as openly available as possible, they are only closed where necessaryRequiredFor guidance on what Open means see e.g. Open Data Handbook
Expectations on Accessibility
7All data outputs are made available through a repositoryRequiredSee guidance on How to select a repository
8All data outputs are available as a download and/or accessible through an open, documented APIRequired where data is not closedSee guidance on APIs
9If the data outputs are not openly available there is a clear description on the landing page on how to request access to the data outputs and conditions that need to be metRequired where relevantSee Guidance on Access Rights
10The persistent identifier for the data output will point to a landing page about the data output, even if the data output is not public.RequiredSee Best Practice for landing pages
11If the data output is not openly available there is an authorisation and authentication procedure to provide access to the data.Required where relevant
12The persistent identifier for the data output will continue to point to a landing page, even if the data output is no longer available. There is a policy to maintain these landing pages.RequiredSee Best Practices for Tombstone pages


13Data outputs use community-agreed standard data formats.Required where research community agreed standard formats existFor standards in specific disciplines see
14Metadata uses community-agreed standardsRequired where research community agreed standard formats existARDC Metadata guide
15Data and metadata use community-agreed vocabularies, data models and ontologies (preferably internationally agreed ones where they exist)RecommendedGood practice in vocabulary creation
Research Vocabularies Australia
Vocabularies and research data
16Metadata contains persistent identifiers for research objects and entities (people, organisations) linked to the dataset(s).
This includes links to ORCIDs, grantIDs, RAIDs, DOIs, IGSNs of related materials
RequiredWhich PIDs to use: ARDC Persistent Identifiers (PIDs): Guidelines for ARDC Investments document
ARDC Citation and Identifiers guide


17All data outputs are assigned a machine readable (default choice should be a CC-BY 4.0) licence.RequiredARDC Research Data Rights Management Guide
18The licence information is available in a machine readable form on the landing page that the persistent identifier refers to.RequiredGuidance on Machine readable reference to CC licence
19The landing page contains a citation statement for the data outputRequiredARDC Data Citation guide
DataCite DOI Display Guideline
20Provenance information on the data output is attached alongside the dataRecommendedARDC guide on data provenance
21Relevant discipline-specific metadata to enable reuse is captured and presented alongside the data output following research community best practice.RecommendedSee links in ARDC Metadata guide

Download the policy here [PDF, 242KB]