Build support, communicate needs, and plan ahead: FAIRsFAIR certification support programme makes headway!

22 February 2021

Recently, representatives from the ten repositories that have been selected for the FAIRsFAIR Certification Support initiative joined an online support workshop. The objective of the event was to discuss long-term preservation planning in relation to the CoreTrustSeal requirements and share best practices.

The online support workshop was joined by 17 representatives from the ten repositories that have been selected for the FAIRsFAIR Certification Support initiative. Prior to the workshop, FAIRsFAIR shared a preservation policy planning worksheet with the participants. The goal of the exercise was to mark progress of relevant policy components and help the repositories structure and plan their preservation policies. 

Policy examples 

During the workshop, Ilona von Stein (DANS) and Herve L’Hours (UK Data Archive) presented the preservation policies of their organisations. Participants had ample opportunities to ask questions and share their experiences throughout the workshop. They were very active in the breakout sessions facilitated by the support team.  

Overall, all ten repositories have a good understanding of preservation. While a number of them are just starting to develop their preservation policies, a few are already at an advanced stage, and will have their policies ready in the second quarter of 2021. 

Challenges and solutions 

The most common issues across all repositories in developing a preservation policy revolve around funding, the scope of data collection and meeting the specific needs of the repository’s different Designated Community. Some repositories also struggle with linking together CoreTrustSeal evidence expectations to current documentation for day-to-day work. 

To overcome diverse challenges to long-term preservation, the participants shared some solutions. They emphasised the need to build support at the senior management level and develop a formalised preservation policy. Next to developing in-house expertise or hiring experts in the area of preservation policies, they highlighted the importance of planning ahead and learning from other relevant initiatives. 

Next steps 

In the early spring, the participating repositories will be submitting their final applications to the CoreTrustSeal Board, marking an important milestone towards becoming trustworthy digital repositories. Their applications will be peer-reviewed by qualified members of the CoreTrustSeal Assembly of Reviewers. The FAIRsFAIR support team will keep supporting the repositories on their journey towards trust and FAIR.

More information

For more information about the workshop, please contact Linas Cepinskas and/or Ilona von Stein.

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