We say we need standards, but do we use them?
The scientific community, funders and publishers endorse the concept that common data and metadata standards underpin data reproducibility, ensuring that the relevant elements of a dataset are reported and shared consistently and meaningfully. However, navigating through the many available standards can be discouraging and often unappealing for prospective users. Although standards should stand alone, they should also function well together, especially to better support the aggregation of pre-existing datasets from one or more disciplines or domains. Measuring the uptake of standards, however, is not trivial, and achieving a full picture might practically be impossible. In this article, the authors present an overview of
- Data and metadata standards ranked according to the page views in 2018;
- Data and metadata standards ranked according to the number of implementations by databases and repositories;
- Reporting guidelines ranked according to the number of recommendations by 13 journals’ or publishers’ data policies;
- Databases and repositories ranked according to the number of recommendations by 13 journals’ or publishers’ data policies.
FAIRsharing, a curated, informative and educational resource on data and metadata standards, inter-related to databases and data policies, collects the necessary information to ensure that standards, databases, repositories and data policies align with the FAIR data principles: Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable.
Finally, the authors highlight the role each stakeholder must play to maximize the visibility and adoption of standards, databases and repositories.
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