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How do I determine if my institution or another institution is best suited to handle my data?

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  • Identify the components of a trustworthy repository
  • Determine whether or not your institution (or institution selected to manage your data) fulfills the criteria for a trustworthy repository



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 Primary Trustworthy Digital Repository Authorisation Body (ISO-PTAB) is the anchor for the provision of ISO audit and certification of digital repositories and plays a major role in training and accrediting auditors. This web site is a central source of information about ISO-PTAB, auditors and audits.



  • Kroll, Matthew, David Minor, Bernie Reilly, and Michael Witt. “Digital Preservation (Session P6B).” Panel presented at the 7th International Conference on Open Repositories, Edinburgh, UK, July 2012. .

Panel of three perspectives of the ISO 16363: Trustwothy Digital Repository Certification in practice



This document is a technical Recommendation to use as the basis for providing audit and certification of the trustworthiness of digital repositories. It provides a detailed specification of criteria by which digital repositories shall be audited.

Fifteen years after the publication of Preserving Digital Information, we are close to having an international standard that sets out auditable requirements for the various functions of a digital repository, and another that establishes the criteria for organizations that certify those repositories as trustworthy. Many challenging digital preservation issues remain to be addressed, e.g., the best business model for those organizations that serve as trusted digital repositories, appropriate formats for long-term preservation, and the copyright and intellectual property issues associated with migration and emulation. Nonetheless, the presence of [ISO 16363 and ISO 16919] standards for trusted digital repositories marks a significant step forward.

  • Jones, Sarah, Alexander Ball, and Çuna Ekmekcioglu. “The Data Audit Framework: A First Step in the Data Management Challenge.” International Journal of Digital Curation 3, no. 2 (November 2008): 112–120.

The Data Audit Framework provides organisations with the means to identify, locate and assess the current management of their research data assets.  Armed with this information they are in a position to improve ongoing data management. In this article we share our experiences of implementing the Framework and report back on the kind of data issues researchers commonly face.  We also indicate how the Framework will be further developed before being released for widespread adoption.

In March 2000 RLG and OCLC began a collaboration to establish attributes of a digital repository for research organizations, building on and incorporating the emerging international standard of the Reference Model for an Open Archival Information System (OAIS). A working group was created to reach consensus on the characteristics and responsibilities of trusted digital repositories for large-scale, heterogeneous collections held by cultural organizations. A draft report was issued in August 2001 and in the extended comment period that followed a variety of interested individuals and organizations around the world contributed numerous thoughtful and helpful suggestions that have been incorporated into this final report.

Audit and certification of trustworthy digital repositories outlines actions a repository can take to be considered trustworthy, but research examining whether the repository’s designated community of users associates such actions with trustworthiness has been limited. Drawing from this ISO document and the management and information systems literatures, this paper discusses findings from interviews with 66 archeologists and quantitative social scientists. We found similarities and differences across the disciplines and among the social scientists. Both disciplinary communities associated trust with a repository’s transparency...We discuss the implications our findings have for identifying trustworthy repositories and how they extend the models presented in the management and information systems literatures.

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