Today’s Love Your Data Week’s post is by Tiffany Grant PhD, Interim Assistant Director for Research and Informatics at the Health Sciences Library (HSL) and Research Informationist.
Data, FAIR Data
If asked to define good data, the definitions would run the gamut, as the interpretation of the term will be specific to the types and formats of data typically collected by the individual. However, simply put, good data meets the standard of being of good quality, and data quality generally refers to the ability of data to serve the use it was intended. In short, data quality hinges on the reliability and application efficiency of data. The combination of good data quality and data documentation ensures accurate interpretation and reproducibility. Beyond documentation, a number of federal mandates dictate that data be shared beyond one’s own lab notebook, and in order to ensure proper interpretation and reproducibility of your data, it must be FAIR.
FAIR Data– If you share your data, the intent is likely that others are able to find it. Keeping your data on a personal hard drive or your own personal website is not in keeping with federal mandates. Deposition of your data in an open source repository is the best way to ensure that others are able to find and access your data. In order for your data to be both findable and accessible, documentation must be precise and consistent with requisite data standards in your field. These standards make your data retrievable by others in your field, while proper documentation ensures that your data is both reusable and reproducible.
Interoperability is the extent to which systems (repositories and/or other storage mediums) exchange and interpret data. For two systems to be interoperable, they must be able to exchange data present that data in a manner that that can be understood by a user. Thus, data that is interoperable, facilitates both the proper exchange and reuse data.
The University of Cincinnati has created its own open source digital repository to preserve the permanent intellectual output of UC. Additionally, the National Institutes of Health have a number repositories that facilitate access to data to scientific data. Web links to both can be found below.