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Call for community review: Five Recommendations for FAIR Software, guidelines that aim to apply the FAIR principles to software

16 March 2021

The Five Recommendations for FAIR Software: This project applies the FAIR principles directly to software to improve research software development. They give five recommendations to make software more FAIR along with some suggestions for how to meet them. In addition, they offer a Python package that can test a GitHub repository for compliance, the output of which can be used to create a badge that visualizes compliance with these recommendations. The recommendations are: 

  1. Use a publicly accessible repository with version control
  2. Add a License
  3. Register your code in a community registry
  4. Enable citation of the software
  5. Use a software quality checklist

The Five Recommendations for FAIR software were submitted to INCF for endorsement as a Best Practice and is now open for community review, an important step in the endorsement process. Please visit F1000 Call for Community Feedback on Five Recommendations for FAIR Software to comment (a simple thumbs up will suffice if you are a supporter) on the appropriateness and completeness of the Recommendations. You are also welcome to comment on the review conducted by the INCF Standards and Best Practices Committee. 

As a part of INCF’s work towards a more open and FAIR neuroscience, we have developed an endorsement process which includes:

  • a review from an expert committee making sure that it fulfils the criteria of open, FAIR, testing and implementation, governance, adoption and use, stability and support, and comparison to similar standards
  • a 60-day open community review: by involving the community for feedback we make sure that the standards and best practices we endorse are valuable to the end-users

INCF promotes common and compatible standards that ensure that the funds and efforts being put into neuroscience research yields the most efficient outcome. Community involvement in these standards is necessary not only to make FAIR resources and processes work but also to keep them up to date. By endorsing standards and best practices we make it easier to find the best resource for your research but it also gives recognition and visibility for those who put in their time and effort into developing them.

If you want to get involved in the standards and best practices work, or to find out more about the process, please visit the INCF website.