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.
An organization that merely provides access to data and does not do any archiving in its own repository, can achieve the DSA logo with regard to certain repositories, provided it regularly does the following:
• Take care of the implementation of all the DSA guidelines except 4,6,7,8 and 13;
• Store a copy of the data in another Trusted Digital Repository (TDR) that has at least acquired the DSA logo by implementing each of the sixteen guidelines (including 4, 6, 7, 8 and 13).
The completion of a DSA self-assessment in the online tool is the starting point for the awarding of the Data Seal of Approval.
The assessment lists the sixteen Data Seal of Approval guidelines. In the online assessment tool, the organization describes how these guidelines relate to the repository and how they have been implemented. The assessment reflects the current situation of the repository in a transparent and open manner.
The assessment is then reviewed by peers to determine whether an organization will be granted the Seal of Approval. This is not an audit, or a certification, just a review based on trust. The peer review is performed by a member of the DSA Board or another qualified individual appointed by the Board, depending on the subject matter coverage of the repository.
When approval is granted by the Board, the DSA logo may be displayed on the front page of the repository’s Web site. Appropriate HTML code will be provided by the Board. The code includes the 2010 DSA logo and a link to the organization’s assessment.
After the DSA is awarded, the Board places the approved assessment of the new DSA repository on datasealofapproval.org, using the name of the specific repository and a logo if provided.
The Data Seal of Approval is valid indefinitely but will need to be updated periodically if the repository wants to stay compliant with newly released standards by the Board. DSA repositories will be contacted automatically when an update is obtainable. The most current seal is the one issued according to the 2010 guidelines and can be recognised by the 2010 DSA logo.
For more information see DSA Assessment documentation or Apply for the Data Seal of Approval
Some interesting input for your own self assessment could be the case study the Archaeology Data Service (ADS) have made of their DSA application, which was publiced by the Digital Curation Centre (DCC): http://www.dcc.ac.uk/resources/case-studies/ads-dsa