The task for developing Data Seal of Approval was initiated by the two Dutch science organizations - the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) and the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) in 2008 to ensure that archived data can still be found, understood and used in the future. In spring 2009 the Data Seal of Approval was handed over to an international Board. The full DSA assessment process has been peer-reviewed by external auditors.

The quality Guidelines formulated in the Data Seal of Approval are of interest to data producers and institutions that create digital data, to organizations that archive data, and to consumers of data.

The objectives of the Data Seal of Approval are to safeguard data, to ensure high quality and to guide reliable management of data for the future without requiring the implementation of new standards, regulations or high costs.

The Data Seal of Approval

  • gives data producers the assurance that their data and associated materials will be stored in a reliable manner and can be reused;
  • provides funding bodies with the confidence that data will remain available for reuse and their investments will not be lost;
  • enables data consumers to assess repositories where data are held;
  • supports data repositories in the efficient archiving and distribution of data.

The criteria for assigning the Data Seal of Approval to data repositories are in accordance with national and international Guidelines for digital data archiving such as Kriterienkatalog vertrauenswürdige digitale Langzeitarchive as developed by NESTOR; Digital Repository Audit Method Based on Risk Assessment (DRAMBORA) published by the Digital Curation Centre (DCC) and DigitalPreservationEurope (DPE); and Trustworthy Repositories Audit and Certification (TRAC): Criteria and Checklist of the Research Library Group (RLG). Furthermore the following has been taken into account: Foundations of Modern Language Resource Archives of the Max Planck Institute and Stewardship of Digital Research Data: A Framework of Principles and Guidelines published by the Research Information Network. The DSA Guidelines can be seen as a minimum set distilled from the above proposals.

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