The ICSU World Data System (WDS) and the Data Seal of Approval (DSA) are pleased to announce the launch of a new certification organization: CoreTrustSeal.

CoreTrustSeal offers to any interested data repository a core level certification based on the DSA-WDS Core Trustworthy Data Repositories Requirements catalogue and procedures. This universal catalogue of requirements reflects the core characteristics of trustworthy data repositories and is the culmination of a cooperative effort between DSA and WDS under the umbrella of the Research Data Alliance to merge their data repositories certifications.

CoreTrustSeal Data Repository certification replaces the DSA certification and WDS Regular Members certification. The CoreTrustSeal Data Repository online certification tool will become available before the end of 2017. New DSA applications will then be channeled through CoreTrustSeal. It is also expected that previously DSA-certified repositories will transition to CoreTrustSeal as they renew their certification. Likewise, WDS now requires its Regular Members applying for, or renewing membership to gain CoreTrustSeal Data Repository certification.

CoreTrustSeal is governed by a Standards and Certification Board composed of elected members representing the Assembly of Reviewers and appointed members representing the wider data repositories stakeholders. An ad hoc Board established by WDS and DSA is assuming its responsibilities until the founding Board is designated. An Advisory Committee will be also appointed to assist the CoreTrustSeal Board fulfill its mission and objectives.

CoreTrustSeal is a community based non-profit organization promoting sustainable and trustworthy data infrastructures. It is currently supported by a distributed Secretariat with in-kind contributions from WDS and DANS (Data Archiving and Networked Services) in the Netherlands.

Driven by the commitments to offer professional certification tools and services to data repositories and to support volunteer qualified reviewers conduct audits in optimum conditions, CoreTrustSeal is developing a sustainable business model. As an initial step a modest fee to cover administrative costs will be charged as of January 2018.

The CoreTrustSeal certification is envisioned as the first step in a global framework for repository certification which includes the extended level certification (nestor-Seal DIN 31644) and the formal level certification (ISO 16363). Ultimately, CoreTrustSeal will also endeavour to provide core level certification for other research entities such as data services and software.