16 March 2021


The journey to CoreTrustSeal certification has begun for the fourteen data repositories selected through an open call in 2020 to receive support from SSHOC.

In terms of the undertaking by a SSHOC task group dedicated to certification support, these repositories will receive assistance and guidance related to the certification process along with feedback on their pre-submission self assessments.  

Individual Assessments

Activities kicked off in October with one-on-one consultation sessions during which the status of each repository was assessed. Given that the repositories are in varying stages of preparation with some poised to make a formal application, the assessment sessions enabled the SSHOC team to identify areas for improvement on a case by case basis and make specific recommendations regarding the enhancement of practices. These consultation sessions will continue in 2021 to ensure the needs of each repository are individually met and that full support is provided throughout their process.

Certification Support Webinar

To further assist the repositories, they were invited to a certification support webinar at the end of January 2021. This gave the participants an opportunity to ask questions about the certification process and discuss the challenges they face. 

SSHOC Task team members Mari Kleemola (Finnish Social Science Data Archive) and Hervé L’Hours (UK Data Service) addressed questions about the resources and evidence required for certification. They noted that certification does require work, but it is not as daunting a task as it may feel, particularly when documentation and processes are already in place.

Common Challenges

Representatives from five of the 14 participating repositories, DAIS - Digital Archive of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Center for Socio-Political Data (CDSP), Corpus OVI, mdwRepository and DARIAH-DE Repository presented their repositories and current processes. While each has unique challenges in certification, the discussion showed there are also many common questions.

Some of the common issues pertained to, for example, whether supporting documents should be translated into English and how the repositories in complex, hierarchical organisations decide the level at which they self-assess their practices. Answers to these and other questions can be found in our Certification FAQs.

The support provided by SSHOC includes offering constructive feedback on pre-submission self assessments performed by repositories. The team works in close cooperation with the FAIRsFAIR project and with other EOSC projects active in supporting data repository certification. FAIRsFAIR, for instance, aims to align the FAIR Principles with the CoreTrustSeal requirements. The EOSC Executive Board FAIR Working Group has recently published their Recommendations on certifying services required to enable FAIR within EOSC.

Browse the full list of supported data repositories and the Certification FAQs

Improved and FAIR data Repositories - SSHOC Trusted Repositories (SSHOC Trust Support)