Background and History

Development and implementation of the F.A.I.R. Policy Statement

In July 2016, under the auspices of the Universities Australia Deputy Vice Chancellors (Research) Committee a working group was convened, chaired by Linda O'Brien, Council of Australian University Librarians, to develop a policy statement on access to research outputs. The working group met several times between July 2016 and October 2016. The F.A.I.R. statement was developed following discussions at these meetings.

The statement was sent for consultation to a range of organisations, both within Australia and globally. The final statement reflects the feedback provided during that consultation process and further discussion among the working group.

The working group having completed its work, CAUL and the Australasian Open Access Strategy Group are now undertaking coordination of implementation of the policy statement and responses to it through a steering group whose terms of reference are here

What Does F.A.I.R. mean?

Originally developed as set of principles to be applied to data, the concept of F.A.I.R. (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable) is now increasingly being applied to other research outputs. The application of F.A.I.R. principles to research outputs ensures that anyone find, read, use and reuse them.

How does F.A.I.R. relate to Open Access?

Open Access, as originally defined by the Budapest Open Access Initiative, is fully compatible with the F.A.I.R. principles. However, the term Open Access is also used in a number of ways that do not include all the F.A.I.R. principles and may, for example, be used when a research output is only freely accessible. The F.A.I.R principles are a more explicit definition of the requirements that are needed to ensure that anyone can find, read, use and reuse research outputs.

How can outputs be made F.A.I.R.?

Download the F.A.I.R. Principles PDF

Members of the original working group and the organisations represented were:

  • Linda O'Brien, Council of Australian University Librarians, (Chair)
  • Rosemary Calder, Australian Health Policy Collaboration
  • Virginia Barbour, Australasian Open Access Strategy Group
  • Tennant Reed, The AiGroup
  • Tim Cahill, The Conversation
  • John Wellard, Universities Australia
  • Mary Kelly, Universities Australia's Deputy Vice-Chancellors (Research) Committee

Observers to the working group who provided advice and comments:

  • Philip Kent, Chair of the CAUL Electronic Information Resources Committee
  • Jill Benn, Committee Member of the CAUL Research Advisory Committee

Representatives of:

  • Australian National Data Service
  • Australian Research Council
  • Department of Education and Training
  • Department of Industry, Innovation and Science
  • National Health and Medical Research Council

Links to further resources