The certification is against the CoreTrustSeal, successor to the Data Seal of Approval, the selected TDR standard chosen by CESSDA to signify compliance with trust best practices.
“CESSDA service providers acquiring an internationally recognised certification such as CoreTrustSeal is the best signal that we can send that CESSDA offers high quality data services based on a network of trusted repositories all across Europe,” stated Ron Dekker, Director of CESSDA ERIC.
When a country joins CESSDA, it assigns a national service provider to undertake all tasks related to acquiring, curating and providing access to social science data in their own country and across Europe. These service providers play an active part across all CESSDA activities.
A high number of certified service providers has been achieved with the support of the Trust Working Group (also Trust Group), created by CESSDA to offer guidance and support on this important topic. The Trust Working Group is tasked with introducing service providers to TDR and the CoreTrustSeal, as well as offering both workshops to cover the requirements and supporting evidence in detail, and pre-submission internal peer-reviews of self-assessments by service providers. All service providers can also request advice and guidance on particular issues directly to the working group members.
Though it is expected that the number of certified providers will continue to rise over the coming years, the Trust Group also supports those not yet in a position to apply. A key factor in the CESSDA strategy is to strengthen and widen its membership. The Trust Group supports these new and aspiring service providers which may face challenges ranging from being in the early archival design phase, to needing support in developing appropriate evidence, or simply facing a lack of the national funding necessary to mature.
“The fact that nine out of CESSDA’s seventeen service providers are currently certified, with others on their way, is a positive sign for CESSDA as a distributed research infrastructure. It shows that the CESSDA data repositories are keen to adopt best practice and apply the latest standards. I would like to thank Heiko Tjalsma from DANS for his stewardship of the Trust Working Group as part of the successful CESSDA Strengthening and Widening project, I look forward to working with the group members and CESSDA service providers,” stated Hervé L’Hours from UK Data Service, recently appointed Chair of the CESSDA Trust Working Group.