What is FAIR?

The FAIR principles are a set of community-developed guidelines to ensure that data or any digital object are Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable. The FAIR principles specifically emphasize enhancing the ability of machines to automatically find and use data or any digital object, and support its reuse by individuals. Standards for the description, interoperability, citation etc. are at the core of these principles.

The FAIR Guiding Principles, as described in Scientific Data by Wilkinson et al:

To be Findable:
F1. (meta)data are assigned a globally unique and persistent identifier
F2. data are described with rich metadata (defined by R1 below)
F3. metadata clearly and explicitly include the identifier of the data it describes
F4. (meta)data are registered or indexed in a searchable resource

To be Accessible:
A1. (meta)data are retrievable by their identifier using a standardized communications protocol
       A1.1 the protocol is open, free, and universally implementable
       A1.2 the protocol allows for an authentication and authorization procedure, where necessary
A2. metadata are accessible, even when the data are no longer available

To be Interoperable:
I1. (meta)data use a formal, accessible, shared, and broadly applicable language for knowledge representation.
I2. (meta)data use vocabularies that follow FAIR principles
I3. (meta)data include qualified references to other (meta)data

To be Reusable:
R1. meta(data) are richly described with a plurality of accurate and relevant attributes
       R1.1. (meta)data are released with a clear and accessible data usage license
       R1.2. (meta)data are associated with detailed provenance
       R1.3. (meta)data meet domain-relevant community standards