status: Recognised & Endorsed

Chair (s): Lisa de Leeuw, Jonathan Crabtree

Group Email: [group_email]

Secretariat Liaison: [field_secretariat_liaison]

The current version of the CoreTrustSeal Requirements can be found at: 

The CoreTrustSeal Maintenance Group is the successor to and maintains the outputs of the Repository Audit and Certification DSA–WDS Partnership WG. The original Working Group was created at the request of RDA members who sought a single set of ‘core’ level Trustworthy Digital Repository (TDR) Requirements and an associated assessment and certification process delivered through a sustainable service provider. 

The working group resulted in the 16 CoreTrustSeal Requirements in 2016, and these have been revised and maintained over time  in coordination and cooperation with the RDA. The CoreTrustSeal Standards and Certification Board ( is a not-for-profit foundation (Stichting) status under Dutch law. 

The CoreTrustSeal Maintenance Group seeks and encourages the widest possible input into the process of maintaining and revising the requirements, which takes place every three years. The goal of the CoreTrustSeal is to maintain alignment with current practices while offering a low-barrier-to-entry ‘core’ level of certification that is broadly applicable to repositories that offer active preservation and meet the agreed criteria with their organisation infrastructure, digital object management, technology and security practices. 

The original working group case statement noted that “To ensure the quality and usability of shared data, the long-term preservation of these data in sustainable digital repositories is a sine qua non. Data that are created and used by science and scholarship need to be managed, curated, and archived so that the substantial investments in preparing and presenting the content and tools will not be lost. Certification is fundamental in guaranteeing the trustworthiness of digital repositories, and thus in sustaining the opportunities for long-term data sharing and corresponding services.”


Members of the original working group included two organisations that had  evolved and operated independently. The Data Seal of Approval (DSA) had a primary focus on digital repositories in the Humanities and Social Sciences while the ICSU-WDS World Data System repositories emerged from the Earth and Space Sciences. Both initiatives had a multidisciplinary mission. 

The resultant CoreTrustSeal criteria now undertake a key role in the membership process for WDS Regular Members, while the DSA merged into the newly formed CoreTrustSeal Foundation.


Plenary participation


CoreTrustSeal Maintenance WG


New Requirements Status

Discussion of future revisions workflow


Next Steps