1. What is a repository?
The CoreTrustSeal Glossary uses the CASRAI Dictionary’s definition of a repository:
“Repositories preserve, manage, and provide access to many types of digital materials in a variety of formats. Materials in online repositories are curated to enable search, discovery, and reuse. There must be sufficient control for the digital material to be authentic, reliable, accessible and usable on a continuing basis.”
Following this definition, a repository powered by the Dataverse software may include:
- All datasets in a Dataverse installation, such as the Qualitative Data Repository.
- Or only a subset of datasets in a Dataverse installation, commonly organized in Dataverse collections, such as the Tilburg University Dataverse collection, which is hosted by DataverseNL.
In either case, repositories with well-defined communities, whose collection support staff can apply expertise to ensure that its data publications follow those communities’ best practices, will have the most success with the CTS certification.
2. Thinking beyond the software
The software’s functionality alone should not be relied upon to meet the CoreTrustSeal requirements. For example, CTS certification requires that collection support staff describe their processes, policies, and expertise, usually in public-facing documents, and that they document steps for preserving data using archival-level storage formats. While the Dataverse software’s features and its integrations with other software can aid in meeting these requirements (e.g. for deposited tabular data in proprietary file formats like SPSS and Microsoft Excel’s XLSX, the Dataverse software can create archival-friendly tabular file formats), the software does not help with the more important tasks of developing and documenting processes, policies, and curatorial expertise.
Collection support staff should start by reviewing the certification’s Extended Guidance 2020–2022 (version 2.0). Collection support staff might also benefit from reviewing answers from the successful applications of other Dataverse repositories. This guide includes answers from three of these successful applications:
- Tilburg University Dataverse collection's CTS application
- Qualitative Data Repository's CTS application
- DataverseNO's CTS application
3. Considering the Dataverse software version
Lastly, most of the Dataverse software functionality and design principles described in this guide are present in all 4.0+ versions of the software. When the guide mentions functionality or design principles not present in all 4.0+ versions, the guide will include the version in which the functionality or design principles were introduced.