08 June 2022

A Zine to Show Scientists How to Make Their Data More Accessible

Modern biology generates enormous amounts of data that needs to be made computationally accessible in order for researchers to be able to access, manipulate, analyze, and interpret it. The FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable) principles1 are a set of guidelines for making scientific data more reusable. This zine is intended to provide some basic, practical instruction on how those standards can be applied to published research data. The intended audience is research scientists who are preparing manuscripts for publication. It was created for The Arabidopsis Information Resource (TAIR)2, a genome database that provides curated data for the plant Arabidopsis thaliana to tens of thousands of scientists around the globe.

First page of zine is the title, Findable Accessible Interoperable Reusable, with a handdrawn logo of tair.  Second Page is titled with #1 Always use standard unique identifiers, with images of one pink cute monster confused in front of a computer with error message and another happy monster looking at computer with standardized identifier text.

Third page of zine is titled with #2 Use established gene names. With a drawing of a name tag that says, Hello My Name is, then is proceeded with gene names. Fourth Page of Zine is titled with #3 Keep data in machine readable formats. With a sad pink cute monster trying to open a literal vault with the wording, image vault on it.

Fifth page of zine is titled with #4 Deposit your data in a long-term, stable repository. There is a drawing of a cute happy blue monster depositing money into (gen) bank holding lots of moneys worth of research data.Sixth Page of zine is titled with #5 Include metadata. With a drawing of data and the words, that’s data about your data.

Seventh page of zine is titled with #6 Get help with your data management plan. Email curator@arabidopsis.orgEight Page of zine has the social media links including  website www.arabidopsis.org , youtube is TAIRinfo, twitter is etair_news, and facebook is tairnews.

Leonore Reiser is a Biocurator at TAIR, where she helps researchers access, understand, and reuse data. She wishes she had a resource like TAIR when she was obtaining her PhD in Plant Biology at UC Berkeley because researchers should be able to spend less time digging for information and more time being able to use data to make new discoveries. She believes that equitable access to agricultural data is essential for solving the problem of global food insecurity.


1 Wilkinson, M. D. et al. The FAIR Guiding Principles for scientific data management and stewardship. Sci Data 3, 160018 (2016).

2 TAIR - home page: www.arabidopsis.org.