Call for Applications: NDRIO-Portage CoreTrustSeal Certification Support Cohort & Funding
Portage is pleased to announce the launch of a CoreTrustSeal Certification Support Cohort and Funding call to support a group of Canadian repositories in achieving the requirements for CoreTrustSeal certification.
The purpose of this initiative is to advance FAIR principles for data (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable) and TRUST principles for digital repositories (Transparency, Responsibility, User focus, Sustainability, Technology); support excellence in and strengthen confidence in Canadian data repositories; and foster excellence in Canadian research by supporting a cohort of repositories in achieving, or progressing toward the achievement of, CoreTrustSeal (CTS) certification requirements. In so doing, we aim to build capacity in the broader community of Canadian repositories, for the benefit of all.
Repositories participating in the cohort will receive training and engage with peers through facilitated workshops, including peer and expert review of repository self-assessments. Each participating repository will receive funding in the amount of $10,000 to assist with the work necessary to achieve CoreTrustSeal requirements, prepare the required self-assessments, and cover the CoreTrustSeal application fee. Funding disbursements are expected to be distributed over the course of the project and may be partially contingent on participation in cohort activities and eventual submission of an application for certification to CoreTrustSeal. Participants must be willing to share knowledge and experience gained through this process to inform and promote repository certification more broadly.
CoreTrustSeal is a data repository certification that emerged in 2018 under the aegis of the Research Data Alliance. It represents a merger of two previous certifications, the Data Seal of Approval and World Data System certification and has achieved significant uptake as a community-driven, openly documented, and achievable certification. CoreTrustSeal aims to promote sustainable and trustworthy data repositories and envisions CoreTrustSeal certification as a “first step in a global framework for repository certification” that includes extended and formal levels of certification.
Applications are welcomed from Canadian repositories eligible to apply for CoreTrustSeal certification. CoreTrustSeal status may attach to “an applicant with direct responsibility for the curation and preservation of their collection objects’ data and metadata.” If you are unsure about whether your repository is eligible to apply for certification, please contact us before responding to this call.
Note: if you do not believe your repository is eligible for certification but are interested in participating in activities associated with this project without applying for funding, please contact us.
Applications must be signed by an official representative of the repository organization at an appropriate level of authority.
Upon receipt, applications will be screened for eligibility according to the eligibility criteria below. Next, they will be evaluated by a selection committee against the scoring criteria below and assigned a score which will be used in making selection decisions. As a last step, if necessary, additional considerations, also below, may be applied to assemble a diverse and balanced cohort.
Applications will be accepted until March 31, 2021.
Successful applicants will be notified by April 23, 2021.
Awards are subject to confirmation of federal government funding.
The confidentiality of applicants will be maintained during and after the selection process. Members of the selection committee will be required to declare any conflicts of interest that may exist between themselves and applicant repositories, and will be recused from the selection process as necessary. Successful applicants will be notified and individual feedback will be available to all applicants on request.
The following criteria are mandatory.
- Be a Canadian repository;
- Have a mission that includes the stewardship and retention of data;
- Have identified a designated community;
- Provide curation of data.
Please note: Canadian federal departments and agencies are not eligible to respond to this call.
Portage would like to emphasize that repositories need not commit to applying for CoreTrustSeal certification by March 31, 2022 in order to be eligible for this call. Repositories in doubt of their eligibility are encouraged to contact Portage for advice. Some flexibility on selection criteria, including mandatory criteria, will be considered.
We are also in a position to clarify that funds will be distributed irrespective of whether recipients have submitted an application for certification to CoreTrustSeal by March 31, 2022. Where participants have engaged meaningfully with cohort activities, funds will be disbursed in full over the course of the project.
Finally, Portage encourages repositories who are not certain of their eligibility for CoreTrustSeal certification or for this call, but are interested in participating in cohort activities, to contact us.
The selection committee will use the following criteria to assess applications and assign a score which will serve as the basis for selection decisions.
- Evidence of clear, senior management commitment to CoreTrustSeal certification.
- Identification of an office, team, or individual(s) who will participate in cohort activities and have lead writing responsibilities for the CoreTrustSeal self-assessment.
- Evidence that the repository serves its designated community.
- A clearly-articulated rationale for achieving CoreTrustSeal certification.
The selection committee may consider the following factors at the final stage of selection in order to assemble a diverse and balanced cohort:
- Regional distribution;
- Broad disciplinary coverage;
- Inclusion of repositories having previously achieved a repository certification.
Contact us at email@example.com
 See CoreTrustSeal Standards and Certification Board. (2019, November 20). CoreTrustSeal Trustworthy Data Repositories Requirements 2020–2022 (Version v02.00-2020-2022). Zenodo. http://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3638211
 Generally, applications for CoreTrustSeal certification are accepted from domain or multi-domain repositories. See however CoreTrustSeal, “Meeting Community Needs,” <https://www.coretrustseal.org/why-certification/meeting-community-needs/> and “CoreTrustSeal: Specialists, Generalists, and Technical Repository Service Providers: A request for community feedback,” available at CoreTrustSeal, “Request for Feedback – Specialists, Generalists, and Technical Repository Service Providers” <https://www.coretrustseal.org/why-certification/specialists-generalists-technical-repository-service-providers/> (accessed 22 Jan 2021).
 Ibid. CoreTrustSeal is considering its future approach for repositories beyond domain- and subject-based repositories – that is, for specialist and generalist repositories, and technical repository service providers.
 See CoreTrustSeal Trustworthy Data Repositories Requirements 2020–2022, supra note 1, at Background Information, Context (R0), “Brief description of the designated community,” p. 3-4. The repository must understand the “scope, knowledge base, and methodologies” of the user community or communities it serves.
 See ibid, “Level of curation performed,” at p. 3-4.