Anne Meyer and Céline Faverjon have collaborated on a new paper published recently in the BMC Veterinary Research journal.

Systematic review of the status of veterinary epidemiological research in two species regarding the FAIR guiding principles – BMC Veterinary Research

Background

The FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable) principles were proposed in 2016 to set a path towards the reusability of research datasets. In this systematic review, we assessed the FAIRness of datasets associated with peer-reviewed articles in veterinary epidemiology research published since 2017, specifically looking at salmonids and dairy cattle. We considered the differences in practices between molecular epidemiology, the branch of epidemiology using genetic sequences of pathogens and hosts to describe disease patterns, and non-molecular epidemiology. Results A total of 152 articles were included in the assessment. Consistent with previous assessments conducted in other disciplines, our results showed that most datasets used in non-molecular epidemiological studies were not available (i.e., neither findable nor accessible). Data availability was much higher for molecular epidemiology papers, in line with a strong repository base available to scientists in this discipline. The available data objects generally scored favourably for Findable, Accessible and Reusable indicators, but Interoperability was more problematic.

Conclusions

None of the datasets assessed in this study met all the requirements set by the FAIR principles. Interoperability, in particular, requires specific skills in data management which may not yet be broadly available in the epidemiology community. In the discussion, we present recommendations on how veterinary research could move towards greater reusability according to FAIR principles. Overall, although many initiatives to improve data access have been started in the research community, their impact on the availability of datasets underlying published articles remains unclear to date.

This publication is now available: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12917-021-02971-1

To find out more about the FAIR principles visit GO FAIR