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Imagine a world where the preponderance of Earth, space, and environmental science data, software, and models are routinely shared in ways that allow easy discovery, recombination, reuse, and to test reliability, and where information about samples, methods, and tools are standardized, available, and linked across publications.

Scholars receive credit and recognition for producing data, developing new techniques and algorithms, and providing key samples. Tools, scripts, and common requirements enable scholars to prepare data, software, and samples efficiently for reuse starting from when they are collected or created.

Scholarly publishers are not the end point of scholarship but rather enable rich connections to these resources as well as among researchers to accelerate new investigations within and across disciplines, expanding the research lifecycle.

Scientific repositories are valued for stewardship, data access, improving peer review and digital product quality and are supported and linked to ensure discovery of related data, software, services, and other digital research products.

Society and the public have increased confidence in scientific research, access to the digital research products that underpin research findings, and increased capability to discover and integrate diverse data sets rapidly to plan for sustainability or respond in real time to disasters. Singular observations of the environment or an event could be connected with confidence to understand dynamics and better assess change and impacts from local to global scales.

The scholarly infrastructure, tools, and standards are now available and mostly developed to achieve this vision. It requires all parts of the research community to work together and improve their practices.


In 2014, the Coalition on Publishing Data in the Earth and Space Sciences (COPDESS) adopted a Statement of Commitment regarding supporting and following best practices around open data. This statement included goals for journals, requiring that the data supporting published conclusions be available and deposited, whenever possible, in leading domain repositories; for repositories, to develop practices that would support publishers and data availability and quality; and for both, to support an infrastructure that would improve data curation and overall integrity in scholarly publishing.

The Enabling FAIR Data effort and this commitment builds on the COPDESS Statement of Commitment and provides the recommendations and guidelines for implementing the full research data ecosystem. The COPDESS community has also helped inform other efforts that have developed and promoted leading practices to foster reproducibility in the field sciences, and for software, industry-academic partnerships, presentations, and more (see and

Statement of Commitment:

Today, a research publication is much more than a manuscript on a web site or in print. All scholarly publications represent a network of interconnected resources and information that are essential to the integrity, reusability, and value of that output for both scientific and societal uses. Often, the data, software, experimental protocols and physical samples connected to a publication provide additional and even greater value in their own right.

In the Earth, space, and environmental sciences, much data represent recordings of events or the state of the Earth or solar system in time and space that can never be repeated. Increasingly, these data, models, software, and samples provide essential societal, economic, and research benefits. Given these connections, we recognize that ensuring the quality, value, and integrity of the data and other resources connected to scholarly publications are essential.

Leading principles and practices have been developed over the past few years to meet these goals. Foremost among these are the FAIR Data Principles: that data should be Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable not only for people, but also for machines. Under these principles, as a minimum, data must have unique and persistent identifiers and metadata appropriate to assist discovery and be cited in a form equivalent to other scholarly outputs. The data should be accessible through a standard, web-based protocol. Provenance information and a clear usage license must be provided such that the data are technically and semantically interoperable and can be reused with confidence and clarity. The data must also be well curated, persistently accessible, and linked securely to associated publications and other resources. Similar standards have emerged for information about authors, software, and samples.

Recognizing these values, we commit to these goals:

Ensuring that Earth, space, and environmental science research outputs, including data, software, and samples or standard information about them, are open, FAIR, and curated in trusted domain repositories whenever possible and that other links and information related to scholarly publications follow leading practices for transparency and information.

This means that:

Publication of scholarly articles in the Earth, space, and environmental science community is conditional upon the concurrent availability of the data underpinning the research finding, with only a few, standard, widely adopted exceptions, such as around privacy for human subjects or to protect heritage field samples.

These data should, to the greatest extent possible, be shared, open, and stored in community-approved FAIR-aligned repositories. Leading repositories provide additional quality checks around domain data and data services and facilitate discovery and reuse of data and other research outputs.

To enable these principles

Repositories will strive to:

  • Ensure that research outputs (e.g., data, software, technology, and physical samples) curated by repositories are open and FAIR, have essential documentation, and include human-readable and machine-readable metadata (e.g., on landing pages) in standard formats that are exposed and publicly discoverable.
  • Ingest and expose data to promote interoperability and reuse.
  • Ensure that unique, persistent identifiers are used for authors (e.g., ORCID), research objects (e.g., Digital Object Identifier), and physical samples (e.g., IGSN).
  • Create associations among the research outputs that they manage and other related entities.
  • Ensure that data and software have licenses that are as open as possible, and as protected as necessary.
  • Support peer-review of related manuscripts by enabling access to the research outputs prior to publication.
  • Gain third-party validation of trustworthy and sustainable practices and capabilities.

Publishers will strive to:

  • Ensure that data and other research outputs supporting publications are open and FAIR, and, to the greatest extent possible, openly accessible at the time of publication.
  • Direct all core research outputs (data, software, appropriate samples and sample descriptions) to FAIR-aligned repositories, following the FAIR Principles (e.g., using CoreTrustSeal certification). This means that supplements will no longer be used as the primary archive for data.
  • Adopt a shared set of author guidelines that support these principles, providing a common set of expectations for authors in the Earth, space, and environmental sciences. These include:
    • Citations should appear in the body of the article with a corresponding reference in the reference list.
    • Using persistent identifiers in well-formed references to data and software allows that information to be tracked in global information systems for impact, integrity, and innovation (see Scholix).
    • Software used in the research should also be cited, following the FORCE11 Software Citation Principles, and ESIP Guidelines, which recommends a similar depositing of the software in an archival repository, and citation/references that include the persistent identifiers provided by the repository.
    • Include a Data Availability Statement describing how the data underlying the findings of their paper can be accessed and reused.
  • Inform editors and reviewers of the FAIR data principles, and communicate these principles in author and reviewer workshops and training.
  • Regularly review and update these data management practices, to align with current developments.
  • Enable the connections between data citations in references and data, allowing researchers to receive credit for data sharing practices.
  • Implement standard identifiers for all authors (e.g., ORCID), author contributions (e.g., CRediT), samples (e.g., IGSN), institutions, funders and grants, and other identifiers as they are developed and adopted.
  • Develop or point to tools and training resources to help researchers identify appropriate repositories before and during the peer-review process and use these tools once identified.
  • Clarify to researchers through the above instructions and tools the types and minimum expectations for data, data products, software, and samples that should be curated in repositories in association with publications. These would usually be determined by leading FAIR-aligned repositories and communities in each discipline.

Societies, communities, and institutions will strive to:

  • Support and promulgate open and FAIR data principles and practices in their core Earth, space, and environmental science activities and policies.
  • Participate in further development of open and FAIR data practices.
  • Engage in the development of community standards, infrastructure, tools and services to enable open and FAIR data practices.
  • Provide regular education and outreach to their communities regarding these principles and practices.
  • Promote open and FAIR data activities as important criteria in promotion, awards, and honors.
  • Provide other credit and recognition for researchers that are following open and FAIR data practices and encourage others to include such recognition as part of regular career advancement.

Funding agencies and organizations will strive to:

  • Support and promulgate open and FAIR data principles and practices in their core Earth, space, and environmental science activities and policies.
  • Align data management plans (DMPs), DMP review processes, and DMP enforcement (as the funder mission allows) to support FAIR data principles and practices. Data management plans should include information on sharing data as well as other research products such as software/models and physical samples.
  • Review data management plan requirements regularly to validate support of open and FAIR standards and promulgate leading practices.
  • Provide public access to data management plans for funded grants (e.g., by way of proposals) to encourage accountability, and improve standards in components and workflows.
  • Support repositories in developing FAIR-compliant practices and encourage obtaining community recognized certifications that validate these practices (e.g. CoreTrustSeal).

Individual Researchers will strive to:

  • Make research outputs FAIR and, whenever possible, open by depositing research outputs (e.g., data, software, physical sample information, etc.) in trustworthy, community-accepted, FAIR-aligned repositories that support:
    • Documenting data (and other research outputs as is possible) to agreed community standards that describe provenance and enable discovery, assessment of reliability, and reuse
    • Persistent identifiers for data (and other research outputs as is possible) and consistently using these in citations.
    • Licenses for data (and other research outputs as is possible) that is as open as possible to enable the widest potential reuse.
  • Cite data, software, physical samples, and other products created or reused for your research in your publications.
  • Include a data availability statement in your publication to make it clear where the data (and other research outputs as is possible) that supports the paper can be accessed along with any other access information.
  • Prepare, use, and manage data management plans for your data and other research outputs. Keep the plan updated as research progresses.
  • Educate colleagues in practices that enable open and FAIR research outputs.
  • Support development of open and FAIR standards and practices in your institutions and organizations, and in scholarly publishing as authors, reviewers, and editors.
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