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AUSSDA certified with Core Trust Seal

12.08.2020

AUSSDA proudly announces to be one of the first archives in Austria to receive the Core Trust Seal (CTS). The certification is the next milestone in AUSSDA’s establishment as a successful repository. Read more about the advantages for the archive and for you as depositors below.

Advantages of data archiving at AUSSDA

With the CTS certification, AUSSDA is officially listed as a reliable and sustainable data archive. Moreover, AUSSDA is the first "trustworthy repository" for social science data in Austria.

What does this mean if you would like to archive data with us?
More and more research funding agencies like the FWF require researchers to publish and share not only their results, but also the related research data. Therefore, granting access to research data and allowing for their re-use becomes increasingly important for funding agencies. The CTS certification proofs that AUSSDA is not only a professional and sustainable solution for archiving data, but also offers a competitive advantage in funding applications.
The AUSSDA CTS report outlines our professional management and preservation of research data in detail and is publicly available here. The report also contains a description of how we meet legal and technical requirements in order to allow for reuse of data.

Success for AUSSDA

Obtaining the CTS certification is a requirement enforced by CESSDA ERIC on all related service providers, a condition that AUSSDA now fulfils.
For AUSSDA, the CTS certification is also the acknowledgement of our professional work: The CTS is the formal confirmation that AUSSDA complies to international standards and that our processes and services are considered as good practice.
The AUSSDA Dataverse is among the first archives in Austria to receive the Core Trust Seal. In addition to AUSSDA, two Austrian archives offering services for the Humanities are also certified with the CTS: GAMS and ARCHE.

From kick-off to finish

AUSSDA worked more than a year for obtaining the Core Trust Seal, but eventually, it was worth the effort.
In February 2019, the AUSSDA team met for an internal kick-off meeting to work on the certification. The 16 requirements for being listed as a "trustworthy repository" can be summarized up in four areas:

  • Background information
  • Organisational infrastructure
  • Digital object management
  • Technology

As a first step, we used the CTS guidelines to estimate which compliance level (from 0 to 4) we already achieved and how we can further improve our work. Once this information was gathered, we rolled up our sleeves, revised documents, expanded our website, once again documented and improved workflows and processes, and screened our servers and software. It was an intense 8-month-journey until we were ready for submission in October 2019.
Two anonymous reviewers reviewed our application and provided feedback. After a short revision phase, our submission was accepted – and now AUSSDA is a CTS certified archive. The certification is valid for three years from 28 July 2020 onwards.

Lessons learned from the certification

The AUSSDA team put a substantial amount of time and effort into the certification process, but it was worthwhile. During the self-assessment, collaboration within our team was pushed to the next level, we have improved our work processes and rendered them more transparent. 
We are also happy to pass on our experience gained during the certification process. We have already given talks on this topic in national (workshop at the TU Vienna) and international (CESSDA Trust Group; ZPID) settings.
A big "thank you" goes to the AUSSDA team, our CESSDA partner archives and the reviewers for their feedback. The greatest "thank you” is dedicated to our depositors, who shared their data with us. Thank you for your trust!
If you are interested in our experiences in the certification process or if you have further questions, please contact us at info@aussda.at!

Stamp approval: AUSSDA is now CTS certified.
AUSSDA - The Austrian Social Science Data Archive has received the Core Trust Seal.