Data Seal of Approval

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Who can apply for the Data Seal of Approval?

A: Basically every public or private institution with a mission to keep research data can apply for the Data Seal of Approval.

Q: Who as received the Data Seal of Approval so far?

A: Several data repositories have successfully applied for the Data Seal of Approval. The complete list can be found on the assessment page.

Q: Does the Data Seal of Approval have an expiry date?

A: 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 and receive the latest DSA logo. More information can be found under renewing the DSA.

Q: When I apply for a Data Seal of Approval, how long will it take to complete the process?

A: Once you apply for the Data Seal of Approval, you have three months to complete the self-assessment in the online tool. The amount of time and effort involved in the self-assessment depends on the maturity of the repository. A repository that has existing business process and records management procedures or has undergone other types of audits or certifications will typically spend less time preparing the DSA self-assessment.

In general, we find that while very well-prepared repositories may complete the assessment with only a few days of person time, the process usually takes from two weeks to two to three months to complete. It is often the case that multiple people in an organization need to contribute to the assessment, so it is difficult to estimate total person time during the self-assessment phase.

After submission of the completed self-assessment, the reviewer will get back to you within a period of two months. The reviewer will either award the Data Seal of Approval or ask for more information.

Others’ experiences can often be helpful as you start on the self-assessment. This case study involving the Archaeology Data Service may provide some useful guidance.

Q: How do you measure the impact of having the Seal? Does having the DSA lead to more deposit, users, etc.?

A: The impact of having the Seal is not easy to measure. Seal holders usually refer to qualitative benefits in the form of increased awareness of the value of their repositories to their communities and funders. 

Q: Should cultural heritage institutions apply for the DSA? 

A: Yes, the benefits of the Data Seal of Approval approach apply to libraries, archives, and museums as well as to repositories that distribute research data. Some national libraries have already received the DSA.

More Questions?

If your question has not been answered, please send us a message.



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