A unified standard for Trusted Data Repositories

Article dated: 29 November 2016

As part of its commitment to good data curation and preservation, the UK Data Service contributes to the Data Seal of Approval (DSA), an entry level Trustworthy Repository Certification. The DSA was established in 2008 with the aim of ensuring that archived data can still be found, understood and used in the future. It has been adopted by the Consortium of European Social Science Data Archives (CESSDA) and all CESSDA members are working towards achieving certification.

Over the past two years the Data Seal of Approval Board has been working with the World Data System to align requirements and procedures to provide the repository community with a single set of requirements for Core Trustworthy Repository Certification. These 16 requirements help ensure the good stewardship of data throughout its life-cycle.

The UK Data Archive holds the DSA on behalf of the UK Data Service and has been involved with the standard since the first international board was created for its management. Hervé L’Hours, Preservation Manager and Chair of the Data Seal of Approval Board, said “these 16 Guidelines provide a way for repositories to demonstrate good data management through sustainable processes, thereby demonstrating their role as trusted nodes in the network of scientific data infrastructure. We look forward to working further with the World Data System to align our procedures and cooperate on repository certification


For data producers who would like to know more about creating reusable research data, the EUDAT Collaborative Data Infrastructure is leading two webinars on applying the FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable) principles and the Data Seal of Approval standard to research data. FAIR Data in Trustworthy Data Repositories webinars are on the 12 and 13 December, you can register online

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