Agenda setting on FAIR Guidelines in the European Union and the role of expert committees

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The FAIR Guidelines were conceptualised and coined as guidelines for Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable (FAIR) data at a conference held at the Lorentz Centre in Leiden in 2014. A relatively short period of time after this conference, the FAIR Guidelines made it onto the public policy agenda of the European Union. Following the concept of Kingdon, policy entrepreneurs played a critical role in creating a policy window for this idea to reach the agenda by linking it to the policy of establishing a European Open Science Cloud (EOSC). Tracing the development from idea to policy, this study highlights the critical role that expert committees play in the European Union. The permeability of the complex governance structure is increased by these committees, which allow experts to link up with the institutions and use the committees to launch new ideas. The High Level Expert Groups on the EOSC provided the platform from which the FAIR Guidelines were launched, and this culminated in the adoption of the FAIR Guidelines as a requirement for all European-funded science. As a result, the FAIR Guidelines have become an obligatory part of data management in European-funded research in 2020 and are now followed by other funders worldwide.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)724-746
JournalData Intelligence
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • FAIR Guidelines
  • EU Expert Committees
  • Policy Entrepreneurs
  • Public Agenda Setting


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