Role of community standards
Standards make research outputs machine-readable and computeable and are necessary for making research findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable (FAIR). In addition, the use of standards brings many other benefits:
- Standards help make your research outputs reproducible, so that your results can be verified or recreated for publication or replication. The primary beneficiary of using standards will likely be yourself, half a year later.
- Standards also make it easier to collaborate, even on a large scale with new collaborators.
- Reusing data becomes much easier if they are standardized (and the standard format is well documented).
- Sharing your data, or other research outputs, will be more worthwhile when you know the recipients can use them.
- When data standards are broadly used, it is much easier to compare datasets and possible to merge them.
- Data standards facilitate software tool development, especially collaborative tool development, and can support the growth of an ‘ecosystem’ of tools that can easily be combined and will work smoothly together.