Data Seal of Approval (DSA)

Publié le 15 juillet 2013, par Thérèse Hameau


The Data Seal of Approval ensures that in the future, research data can still be processed in a high-quality and reliable manner, without this entailing new thresholds, regulations or high costs. The Data Seal of Approval and it’s quality guidelines may be of interest to research institutions, organizations that archive data and to users of that data. It can be granted to any repository that applies for it via the assessment procedure.

Anyone who archives his or her data would like to be able to find, recognise and use it in the future. With electronic data this cannot be taken for granted, after all hardware and software are changing all the time. Making data future-proof can be accomplished by ensuring that data sets and metadata meet certain requirements. In consultation with large data producers and managers, the Dutch data archive DANS documented what those requirements need to be in the Data Seal of Approval, which have been further developed since and handed over to the DSA Board in May 2009.


Data Seal of Approval (DSA) Assessment

How may a repository acquire the Data Seal of Approval (DSA) from the Data Seal of Approval Board (DSA Board) ?
Achieving the DSA means that the data concerned have been subjected to the sixteen guidelines of which the assessment procedure consists. The repository will be permitted to display the DSA logo on its homepage and in other locations relevant to its communication in the realm of scientific and scholarly research.

Although the sixteen guidelines regard three stakeholders – the data producer (three guidelines), the data consumer (three guidelines) and the data archive (ten guidelines) – the data archive is seen as the main organization responsible for the repository. The data archive as an organization should take care of the overall implementation of the DSA in its own specific field.

Quality guidelines for digital research data



The quality guidelines formulated in this document are of interest to researchers and institutions that create digital research files, to organizations that archive research files, and to users of research data.
The objectives of the Data Seal of Approval are to safeguard data, to ensure high quality and to guide reliable management of research data for the future without requiring the implementation of new standards, regulations or high costs.
The Seal of Approval

  • Gives researchers the assurance that their research results will be stored in a reliable manner and can be reused
  • Provides research sponsors with the guarantee that research results will remain available for reuse
  • Enables researchers, in a reliable manner, to assess the repository where research data are held.
  • Allows data repositories to archive and distribute research data efficiently

About the guidelines


Fundamental to the following guidelines are five criteria, that together determine whether or not the digital research data may be qualified as sustainably archived :

  • The research data can be found on the Internet.
  • The research data are accessible, while taking into account relevant legislation with regard to personal information and intellectual property of the data.
  • The research data are available in a usable format.
  • The research data are reliable.
  • The research data can be referred to.
  • These criteria will be addressed below in the guidelines.


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