CoreTrustSeal reviewers make an invaluable contribution to the evolution of the trustworthy repository landscape. By contributing their time and sharing expertise, they help to increase the trustworthiness of data repositories. To continue strengthening the community of reviewers, the teams of the FAIRsFAIR project and CoreTrustSeal organised a series of virtual workshops. Between May 6-25, over 50 reviewers from around the world attended the first CoreTrustSeal Assembly of Reviewer Workshop series.

Interactive sessions

The series consisted of four interactive sessions with hands-on exercises and plenty of room for discussion. During the first session, participants learned about the wider certification environment and how the CoreTrustSeal foundation and the application process interact with each other. They also had the opportunity to get to know each other better by introducing themselves in smaller groups.

In sessions two and three workshop participants analysed and discussed mock samples of applicant statements in small groups, practicing their review skills, sharing their experiences and do’s and don’ts with each other. In the process, participants discussed and identified various ways to improve coherence across CoreTrustSeal reviews.

In the closing session, participants were invited to think ahead and focus on quality, coherence and confidence in the review process. They were also invited to reflect on short pitches of the CoreTrustSeal Board members, focusing on improving the application management tool (AMT), the elaboration approach of “CoreTrustSeal as a core”, and the topic of “Preservation for a Designated Community“.

Besides these more formal sessions, the open coffee hour was an excellent opportunity to network and ask any additional questions and exchange thoughts.

Next steps

Thanks to this series of workshops, CoreTrustSeal reviewers honed their skills by discussing practical questions and exchanging ideas about the review process and repository certification. In addition, “the organisation of this workshop series by the FAIRsFAIR project and the CoreTrustSeal Board strongly contributes to the improvement of the repository certification landscape and coherence in reviewer practices” (Marjan Grootveld, a CoreTrustSeal reviewer). Last but not least, reviewers have shared their valuable ideas and suggestions which will be used in fine-tuning existing guidance, guidelines and developing training materials for (future) reviewers.