INCF has implemented a formal procedure for evaluating and endorsing community standards and best practices in support of the FAIR principles. Our mission is to make neuroscience more open and FAIR, to ensure that research funds and efforts are well invested, and that neuroscientific findings are robust and replicable.
Quality community standards are necessary to make FAIR resources and processes work, but too many neuroscience communities lack robust standards or have competing incompatible standards. The rapid development of new techniques also means that there is a continuous need for new and updated standards, and that old standards need an active developer and user community keeping them up to date.
By endorsing standards, INCF wants to
- Make it easy to find the best, most reliable standard appropriate for your research
- Ensure recognition for community members investing their time and effort in standards
How is endorsement done?
The process is managed by the INCF standards and best practices committee.
Submit a standard or best practice for consideration
Proposals can be submitted by a community member in one of the INCF Governing or Associate Nodes, but can originate from any community member. The Secretariat can help make the connection (contact: Malin Sandström).
Submitted standards must pass these checkpoints:
- Open: Is the SBP open according to the Open Definition and does it follow open development practices?
- FAIR: Considers the SBP from the point of view of relevant FAIR criteria (Wilkinson et al. 2016). Is the SBP itself FAIR? Does it result in the production of FAIR research objects? Some of these criteria may not apply in all cases.
- Testing and implementation: Is the SBP supported by appropriate software, that is open, well designed, implemented, validated, documented and available for use?
- Governance: Does the SBP have a governance structure that makes it clear how decisions are made and how grievances are handled?
- Adoption and use: The SBP must have substantive evidence of use outside of the group or individual that develops and maintains it. Because INCF is an international organization, evidence of international use is a requirement.
- Stability and support: Who is actively maintaining and supporting the SBP and what are the plans for long term sustainability?
- Comparison with other SBP’s: Competing standards add extra burden to the community. The INCF seeks to endorse only a single standard per area, unless the suggested approach is complementary as further discussed below.