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For data to be useful, it requires a good documentation so other researchers can understand it. Which part of the FAIR principles covers the documentation? Is documentation part of "Interoperable" or of "Re-Usable"?

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The FAIR principles cover documentation at various levels and in various ways, albeit without mentioning the word:

  • all of the principles cover some specific aspect of documentation, from identifiers to communications protocols, vocabularies and standards
  • most of the principles speak of "(meta)data", thereby
    • clarifying that data and metadata need to go together
    • implying that FAIR data requires FAIR metadata
    • confusing by not detailing how
  • those principles that do not lump metadata and data together into one (pseudo)word are centred around linking data and metadata functionally
    • description
      • F2. data are described with rich metadata (defined by R1 below)
      • F3. metadata clearly and explicitly include the identifier of the data it describes
      • R1. (meta)data are richly described with a plurality of accurate and relevant attributes
    • protocols
      • A1.1. the protocol is free, open and universally implementable
      • A1.2. the protocol allows for an authentication and authorization procedure, where necessary
    • tombstones
      • A2. metadata are accessible, even when the data are no longer available

The quotes are all from the formally published version but apply equally to the version that you linked above.

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