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CoreTrustSeal Certification Support Cohort & Funding

CoreTrustSeal Certification Support Cohort & Funding Recipients 2021-2022 

Repositories selected for funding and membership in the support cohort: 

  • Banque de données en santé durable (BDSD) de PULSAR, Université Laval 
  • Canadensys, Université de Montréal
  •, University of Prince Edward Island 
  • DataStream, Walter and Duncan Gordon Charitable Foundation 
  • Flowing Waters Information System (FWIS), Centre for Community Mapping 
  • Gambling Research Exchange (GREO) Data Repository 
  • Ocean Tracking Network Data Centre (OTNDC), Dalhousie University 
  • University of Alberta Dataverse 
  • University of Guelph Dataverse, including the Agri-environmental Research Data Repository (AERDR) and the University of Guelph Research Data Repository (UGRDR) 
  • University of Manitoba Dataverse 
  • University of New Brunswick Dataverse 
  • University of Victoria Dataverse 

Repositories selected to participate in the support cohort without funding: 

  • Canadian Astronomy Data Centre (CADC), NRC, Herzberg Astronomy and Astrophysics (NRC-HAA) 
  • Canadian Humanities and Social Sciences Commons repository, Implementing New Knowledge Environments (INKE) Partnership / Electronic Textual Cultures Lab (ETCL) at the University of Victoria 
  • Espace Dataverse de l’UQAM 
  • OLOS, DLCM Project, Université de Genève, Switzerland 
  • Scholars Portal Dataverse cohort 

CoreTrustSeal Certification Support Cohort & Funding (Now closed) 

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 and 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 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. 

Application process 

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. 

Applications will be screened for eligibility according to the eligibility criteria below. 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. If necessary, additional considerations may be applied to assemble a diverse and balanced cohort. 

Applications should be submitted using the form linked here. Please save a copy, complete all required fields, and submit the completed form via email to

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. 

Eligibility criteria 

The following criteria are mandatory. 

Applicants must: 

  • 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 in 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 this call, but are interested in participating in cohort activities, to contact us. 

Scoring criteria 

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. 

Additional considerations 

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