"The FAIR Assessment Conundrum: Reflections on Tools and Metrics"

Several tools for assessing FAIRness have been developed. Although their purpose is common, they use different assessment techniques, they are designed to work with diverse research products, and they are applied in specific scientific disciplines. It is thus inevitable that they perform the assessment using different metrics. This paper provides an overview of the actual FAIR assessment tools and metrics landscape to highlight the challenges characterising this task. In particular, 20 relevant FAIR assessment tools and 1180 relevant metrics were identified and analysed concerning (i) the tool’s distinguishing aspects and their trends, (ii) the gaps between the metric intents and the FAIR principles, (iii) the discrepancies between the declared intent of the metrics and the actual aspects assessed, including the most recurring issues, (iv) the technologies used or mentioned the most in the assessment metrics. The findings highlight (a) the distinguishing characteristics of the tools and the emergence of trends over time concerning those characteristics, (b) the identification of gaps at both metric and tool levels, (c) discrepancies observed in 345 metrics between their declared intent and the actual aspects assessed, pointing at several recurring issues, and (d) the variety in the technology used for the assessments, the majority of which can be ascribed to linked data solutions. This work also highlights some open issues that FAIR assessment still needs to address.


| Artificial Intelligence |
| Research Data Curation and Management Works |
| Digital Curation and Digital Preservation Works |
| Open Access Works |
| Digital Scholarship |

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Author: Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

Charles W. Bailey, Jr.