There is a new organization in the certification world for digital repositories: CoreTrustSeal.The new organization is replacing the original Data Seal of Approval community (consisting of a General Assembly, peer reviewers of the applicants and a Board). The merge between the DSA and World Data System in 2016 led to a name change ( DSA-WDS Core Trustworthy Data Repositories Requirements ), a slightly changed set of 16 requirements, where in some cases the influence of the WDS is visible and now finally to a new organization. In the Netherlands we made a translation into Dutch of these requirements, as various organizations in our country are currently preparing themselves for this seal.
According to the new website, already 130 data repositories acquired this basic or core certification over the years. The threshold changed a bit over the years and one can expect that the barrier will certainly not become lower now that certification gets more and more attention. Some of certified repositories seals currently however date from 2011 and one can doubt whether the seal still reflects the actual situation.
The new organization CoreTrustSeal reflects an ambition to professionalize the basic/core certification of digital repositories, where certification will be seen as a business opportunity. Until now acquiring a seal was free of charge but one can imagine that is not a sustainable solution. New applicants will need to pay a small ‘administrative fee’.
One of the requirements is that an organization is transparent and publishes the documentation that led to the CoreTrustSeal. Previously – in the DSA-era – this was visible on the website where the seal document was published with all the (sometimes dead ) links in it. Now however only the name of the organization is mentioned and the year they acquired the seal. For peer review and for transparency this is certainly not enough: colleagues must be able to see on which information the seal was based. Get inspiration from it and use it as a guideline to compose their own set of documents when they apply for a seal. Questioned so, the CoreTrustSeal organization told me that this is temporarily and that the website will be updated with the previous information in order to be as transparent as possible about the certification procedure.
The CTS is the first level of certification, after which an organization can go for an extended level (via the nestor seal) or the formal level for the ISO 16363. Since a few months PTAB is the only official organization with the permission to perform this formal audit.