Last month, Open Context participated in a forum at the annual Society for American Archaeology conference in Chicago. The forum was called “Completing the data lifecycle: Using DINAA’s, Open Context’s, and tDAR’s online data management tools” but the real focus of the session turned out to be FAIR and CARE data practices.
Forum participants, which included speakers from Open Context, tDAR, and DINAA, highlighted their system’s approaches to the FAIR (findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable) and CARE (collective benefit, authority to control, responsibility, and ethics) principles. The discussion centered on how working towards FAIR and CARE will support the complementarity of systems like Open Context, tDAR, and DINAA, and promote ethical data sharing practices.
The FAIR Guiding Principles for scientific data management and stewardship (FAIR Data Principles) were first published in 2016 with the goal of improving the infrastructure for data reuse (Wilkinson et al. 2016). The principles represent guidelines for the management of scholarly data that if widely adopted would transform the landscape of scholarly data management. The CARE Principles for Indigenous Data Governance (Collective Benefit, Authority to Control, Responsibility, and Ethics), crafted by the Global Indigenous Data Alliance, complement the FAIR Principles by providing a critically needed ethical framework for stakeholder driven governance in the stewardship of potentially culturally and geographically sensitive research data from archaeological investigations (Carroll et al. 2020; Carroll et al. 2021; Gupta et al. 2020).
Carroll et al. (2021) state that “the development process for CARE should necessarily align with FAIR given the various ways in which the principles might intersect around different datasets or contexts.” Given the culturally and geographically sensitive nature of data derived from archaeological investigations, there is uncertainty about how to ethically manage data shaped by multifaceted historical, cultural, economic and political factors. These factors compel us to promote the FAIR and CARE Principles together across the many domains in archaeology. Without guidance through CARE practices, implementation of FAIR will be ethically problematic to promote and maintain in the field of archaeology.
We’re looking forward to expanding our network of partnerships to promote FAIR and CARE practices more broadly in archaeology. We’ll write more on this topic in future blog posts!