The CoreTrustSeal

The CoreTrustSeal
by Trinity College Dublin

By the end of this section, you should be able to…

  • Understand the CoreTrustSeal
  • Describe how Repositories sign up to the CoreSealTrust
  • Understand the history of the Data Seal of Approval and the ICSU World Data System

big data EU Webnerd smallThe CoreTrustSeal is a recent development, formed from the combination of the ICSU World Data System, and the Data Seal of Approval (DSA). Repositories can apply for the CoreTrustSeal so that users can trust that it will treat their data to a high standard.

In order for repositories to make an application, and be assessed, they need to provide information on:

  1. The Repository Type (so that reviewers can understand the function of the repository)
  2. The Repository’s intended community (so that the reviewers can assess how the repository interacts with that community)
  3. The level of curation within the repository (so that reviewers can determine how the data is treated once it is deposited. Is the data kept unchanged, or are edits made to the metadata to make it more searchable, and if so how is this done, for example)
  4. Which partners does the repository outsource to, and what is the nature of that relationship (so that reviewers can ensure that all people who will be handling the content of the repository also do so to a high standard)
  5. Any other relevant information (just in case there is something else the reviewers should know)

The full list of requirements can be found here:   (PDF)

You can find more information on the CoreTrustSeal at

History of the CoreTrustSeal

As previously mentioned, the CoreTrustSeal is the reult of a merge between the ICSU World Data System, and the Data Seal of Approval.

The ICSU World Data System  (ICSU-WDS) was formed by the International Council for Science (ICSU), which aims to build ‘communities of excellence’ in data services through their member organisations.  ICSU-WDS was established in 2009, in response to a need for previous bodies working in relation to scientific data (also part of ICSU) to respond to modern requirements for data management.

The Data Seal of Approval (DSA) was result of a multinational collaboration between institution with a remit for the management of scientific data, and is managed by a Board bringing together: Alfred Wegener Institute (Germany), CINES (France), DANS (The Netherlands), ICPSR (USA), MPI for Psycholinguistics (The Netherlands), NESTOR (Germany) and UK Data Archive (United Kingdom).

While the The Data Seal of Approval was merged with the ICSU World Data System in 2017 to create the CoreTrustSeal, many of the issues faced by repositories under the Data Seal of Approval are still relevant.  You can see this in the video below of a presentation made in July 2017.


Peter Doorn, Director of DANS-KNAW, talks about the FAIR Principles and the Data Seal of Approval, and how trusted repositories can make use of them (from July 2017).


Image credits:

‘Big Data” by EU Webnerd – CC0 Public Domain, available from Flickr Commons, accessed 2nd Jan 2018

Congratulations!  You have completed the “Data Quality Assessment” section!

Your progress through the "Manage, Improve and Open Up Your Research Data" module