UK Data Archive gets CoreTrustSeal accreditation

Article dated: 9 June 2020

The UK Data Archive has been awarded the CoreTrustSeal, a certification that promotes sustainable and trustworthy data infrastructures by setting out requirements for trusted data repositories.

The Archive, based at the University of Essex, is the trustworthy digital repository (TDR) provider to the UK Data Service and the achievement of CoreTrustSeal sits alongside the recent accreditation as a data processor under the Digital Economy Act and its longstanding certification for information security (ISO27001).

The CoreTrustSeal tests compliance with sixteen requirements related to organisational governance, digital object management and technical infrastructure. Together, these provide an assurance that the data provided are from a trustworthy repository. The CoreTrustSeal is the successor to the Data Seal of Approval (DSA), which was the Archive’s previous TDR accreditation.

"Achieving this accreditation demonstrates the ability of the UK Data Archive to perform all of the relevant activities relating to providing long-term access to data of value to social science researchers," said the Archive's Repository and Preservation Manager, Hervé L'Hours.

The UK Data Service partners have a long history of contributing to best practice in trustworthy repositories.

The Service's Director, Matthew Woollard, was part of the original DSA Board and the Service was actively involved in developing the CoreTrustSeal through a Research Data Alliance Working Group. The CoreTrustSeal has now certified over eighty global repositories and has been recognised as the de-facto standard for repository certification for the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC).

The UK Data Service maintains board membership on the CoreTrustSeal and the assembly of volunteer peer reviewers. It is also the current leader of the CESSDA (Consortium of European Social Science Data Archives) Trust Working Group whose methods have influenced the repository support programme being developed for the Social Science and Humanities Open Cloud (SSHOC).

The work to improve repository and data standards is being continued through the alignment of the CoreTrustSeal with the FAIR principles which state that data should be findable, accessible, interoperable and re-usable as covered in this recent data impact blog.

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