Commentary on the FAIRsharing Data Repository Selection Proposal – Science Europe

“Too strict and too detailed criteria risk excluding repositories that can offer valuable services to a dedicated scientific user group. Some repositories have been certified as ‘trustworthy’ by one or several acknowledged certification bodies; however, small, institutional, or discipline-specific repositories might not (yet) have the means to seek such certification. Science Europe recommends that researchers should refer to certified repositories or discipline-specific repositories that are broadly recognised as trustworthy by their respective community where and when possible. But there are cases in which no such repository can be identified. Researchers should then be supported in their choice by a minimum selection of core criteria. Any supporting tool should not be prescriptive, overly complicated or exclude important repositories of research communities that may be in active usage for already quite some time, but do not meet formal certification criteria. Science Europe acknowledges that the criteria developed by FAIRsharing are intended to support researchers who wish to publish the data underlying their research findings and publishers in providing adequate guidance. It is understandable that publishers require access to data, for example for the purpose of providing a high quality peer review. However, based on its experience and broad consultations when developing its own criteria, Science Europe would like to point out a number of areas where it has considerable concerns with the suggested FAIRsharing criteria as they currently stand….”