Skip to Main Content


Research Data Management (RDM)

FAIR & TRUST Principles

A trustworthy repository is one that provides reliable long-term access to managed digital resources. A trusted digital repository stores, manages, and curates digital resources.


FAIR principles are a set of guiding principles that defines the properties of data and metadata - a repository should promote FAIR data. FAIR stands for:

  • Findable. The first step in (re)using data is to find them. Metadata and data should be easy to find for both humans and computers. Machine-readable metadata are essential for automatic discovery of datasets and services, so this is an essential component of the FAIRification process.
  • Accessible. Once the user finds the required data, they need to know how it can be accessed, possibly including authentication and authorisation.
  • Interoperable. The data usually needs to be integrated with other data. In addition, the data needs to interoperate with applications or workflows for analysis, storage, and processing.
  • Reusable. The ultimate goal of FAIR is to optimise the reuse of data. To achieve this, metadata and data should be well-described so that they can be replicated and/or combined in different settings.

FAIR & TRUST Principles by AC Library is licensed under CC-BY / a derivative of Fair Principles by GO FAIR, licensed under CC-BY.


TRUST describes the characteristics of data repositories that are responsible for storing data over a long period of time. The TRUST characteristics are:

  • Transparency. Digital repositories should be transparent about their specific services and holdings. Their services and holdings should be verifiable by publicly accessible evidence. Transparent repositories should declare terms of use, both for the repository and the data holdings, minimum digital preservation timeframe for the data holdings, and any pertinent additional features or services, such as the capacity to responsibly steward sensitive data.
  • Responsibility.Digital repositories are responsible for ensuring the authenticity and integrity of their data holdings, and for the reliability and persistence of their services. Responsible repositories will adhere to the designated community's metadata and curation standards, along with providing stewardship of the data holdings, and provide data services. They are responsible for managing the intellectual property rights of data producers, the protection of sensitive information resources, and the security of the system and its content.
  • User Focus.Digital repositories should ensure that the data management norms and expectations of their target user communities are met. In doing so, they may implement relevant data metrics and make these available to users, provide or contribute to community catalogues to facilitate data discovery, and monitor and identify evolving community expectations and respond as required to meet these changing needs.
  • Sustainability.Digital repositories should sustain services and preserve data holdings for the long term. This will include planning for risk mitigation, business continuity, disaster recovery, and succession, securing funding to enable ongoing usage and to maintain the desirable properties of the data resources that the repository has been entrusted with and providing governance for necessary long-term preservation of data so that data resources remain discoverable, accessible, and usable in the future.
  • Technology. Digital repositories will provide infrastructure and capabilities to support secure, persistent, and reliable services. Repositories can demonstrate this by implementing relevant and appropriate standards, tools, and technologies for data management and curation, and having plans and mechanisms in place to prevent, detect, and respond to cyber or physical security threats.

FAIR & TRUST Principles by AC Library is licensed under CC BY-NC 4.0 / a derivative of Module 4: TRUST and FAIR Principles for Research Data Repositories by Portage Network is licensed under CC BY-NC 4.0.