Certifying HAL as a trustworthy repository: the CoreTrustSeal process

Written by Agnès Magron

One of the fundamental purpose of HAL is to guarantee depositors the optimal management and protection of their data and files. The CoreTrustSeal certification is a framework and a guideline for the implementation of a data management policy, and represents an important step in promoting the international reputation of the platform. The HALiance project specifically includes a certification process in the work package dedicated to the FAIR principles.

The growing number of platforms where researchers can deposit and disseminate their scientific output, both publications and research data, is prompting research communities to organise in order to establish quality criteria for these platforms. Depositing data means entrusting it to infrastructures that must ensure that it is easy to find, accessible over time and reusable (FAIR principles). The two national plans for open science take this requirement into account by including a CoreTrustSeal certification process for the French repositories.

About CoreTrustSeal

The CoreTrustSeal (ou CTS) is an international, community based, non-governmental, and non-profit organization promoting sustainable and trustworthy data infrastructures. It offers to any interested data repository a core level certification based on the Core Trustworthy Data Repositories Requirements.  This universal catalogue of requirements reflects the core characteristics of trustworthy data repositories.
The CoreTrustSeal certification evaluates criteria relating to data repositories according to several levels of compliance. This certification step is important to ensure the reliability and sustainability of data repositories as well as the long-term preservation and data sharing.

CoreTrustSeal certification is based on 16 requirements evaluating the technical infrastructure and storage, data and metadata management, as well as the administrative and financial organization.
The certification is for 3 years.

An internal self-assessment process

Undertaking this certification process is an opportunity for HAL to assess its operations and methods against international standards shared by many repositories. The first step is to carry out an internal self-assessment on the 16 criteria. The audit helps to assess what is compliant, what needs to be improved in order to be compliant, and what needs to be implemented in order to comply with the core requirements. The emphasis is of course on quality, but also on the transparency of processes.

CoreTrustSeal certification is part of the HALiance project, one of the objectives of which is to guarantee HAL users that the data complies the FAIR principles. As part of this project, the CCSD has recruited a data steward to oversee the data life cycle. An initial internal assessment has already been carried out, with highly satisfactory results.

The use of protocols and standards, the long-term preservation for files and the storage of data in a secure data center already demonstrate that HAL is a reliable and trustworthy data infrastructure. To get the CoreTrustSeal certification help strengthen the trust of its users and enhancing its international reputation.

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