This article assesses the difference between the concepts of ‘open data’ and ‘FAIR data’ in data management. FAIR data is understood as data that complies with the FAIR Guidelines – data that is Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable – while open data was born out of awareness of the need to democratise data by improving its accessibility, based on the idea that data should not have limitations that prevent people from using it. This study compared FAIR data with open data by analysing relevant documents using a coding analysis with conceptual labels based on Kingdon's theory of agenda setting. The study found that in relation to FAIR data the problem stream focuses on the complexity of data collected for research, while open data primarily emphasises giving the public access to non-confidential data. In the policy stream, the two concepts share common standpoints in terms of making data available and reusable, although different approaches are adopted in practice to accomplish these goals. In the politics stream, stakeholders with different objectives support FAIR data and from those who support open data.

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