In 2014 the FAIR guiding principles for individual datasets were formulated. These are data principles which quickly have become very popular and are widely used now by all possible stakeholders in research data management.
The DSA, the Data Seal of Approval, contains criteria for the quality of trustworthy digital repositories and is a lightweight form of certification of those repositories. Recently, the DSA and World Data System (WDS) certification of ICSU, two independent certification systems, merged. On November 25th 2016 the WDS and the DSA Boards announced the availability of their unified and now “common” requirements. This involves some changes. The DSA remains a basic certification standard for “Trustworthy Digital Repositories”, based on a self-assessment of these guidelines by the repository itself that is peer-reviewed by external reviewers. Instead of 16 guidelines there are now 16 requirements to assess the trustworthiness of a repository. The FAIR principles are remarkably similar to the underlying principles of DSA.
What has all this to do with EUDAT?
In EUDAT’s vision building trust into the data infrastructure itself is an essential task. It should “enable European researchers and practitioners from any research discipline to preserve, find, access, and process data in a trusted environment”. To enable trust in its infrastructure EUDAT needs certification mechanisms. This is why EUDAT has chosen the DSA (now DSA/WDS) as its primary vehicle for certification. Heiko Tjalsma, Senior policy advisor, DANS - Data Archiving and Networked Services, gave a webinar on Trust & Certification earlier in 2016 and you can view the recording for more information.
The path to success within EUDAT has been laid out in a roadmap aimed at achieving DSA certification within the EUDAT infrastructure, indicating targets and methods needed. It sets out how the DSA, chosen by EUDAT as its instrument for certification of the CDI (Collaborative Data Infrastructure) nodes, will enable trust in the EUDAT infrastructure. A number of participants in EUDAT have expressed their ambition to reach DSA-certification within the near future. A number of these participants have already achieved this: CINES, DANS and recently DKRZ! They will be followed by others.
Everybody wants to play FAIR, but how do we put the principles into practice?
For more information tune in to the webinar on Monday 12 December or Tuesday 13 December bringing the Data Seal of Approval DSA and FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable) concepts together. Organised by DANS, EUDAT and OpenAIRE, the webinar offers an operationalization that can be implemented in any certified Trustworthy Digital Repository. In other words: “Everybody wants to play FAIR, but how do we put the principles into practice?”
Article published on 2 December 2016 & quthored by Heiko Tjalsma, Senior policy advisor, DANS - Data Archiving and Networked Services, The Netherlands