"If we want to be able to share data, we need to store them in a trustworthy data repository. Data created and used by scientists should be managed, curated, and archived in such a way to preserve the initial investment in collecting them. Researchers must be certain that data held in archives remain useful and meaningful into the future." CoreTrustSeal
ICES has recently been accredited for our data management under the CoreTrustSeal programme - an international, community based, non-governmental, and non-profit organization promoting sustainable and trustworthy data infrastructures. We are now part of a network of over 100 certified repositories worldwide.
We spoke to some of those involved in the process to find out more.
David Currie, Marine Institute Ireland and chair of the Working Group on the Governance of Quality Management of Data and Advice (WGQUALITY)
"Data underpins the work of ICES and this provides a firm foundation for ICES services to be built upon. CoreTrustSeal is an internationally recognized data centre accreditation and shows that ICES Data Centre is following recognized best practices - not just within the marine world but within the global community of data centres.
It's a tangible recognition of the journey that ICES has embarked upon and as such is hugely welcomed.
WGQuality will draw on the knowledge and skills built by the Data Centre during the accreditation process and see how they can be applied to other areas of ICES advice delivery."
Sjur Ringheim Lid, Norwegian Marine Data Centre and Chair of the Data and Information Group (DIG)
"Accreditation shows users of ICES data that the Data Centre is a trustworthy data repository.
DIG has supported and participated in the process since the initial steps were taken back in 2018. Members of the DIG community that already had accreditation with CoreTrustSeal, such as the Norwegian Marine Data Centre where I am based, have given advice throughout the process and DIG have reviewed the application at key points in the accreditation process.
As an advice recipient, you can be sure that data managed by the Data Centre and used to support advice is being managed, curated, and archived using well documented, state-of-the-art methods."
Jens Rasmussen, Marine Scotland and Chair of Data Science and Technology Steering Group (DSTSG)
"There is an increasing recognition that as data collections are growing sharply, it is essential to have the right processes and guidance in place to keep pace. Member countries, advice clients, and stakeholders of ICES wants to know that the data are well looked after once it arrives, and accreditation helps evidence that in a transparent manner.
For the majority of data submitters and users in ICES, there is no immediate change resulting from the accreditation. The aim is not to disrupt current processes, but to strengthen them and make them both responsive and resilient.
There has been a lot of development in preparation for the accreditation. To mention a couple, new data flow diagrams are now being developed for all types of data that arrive in ICES. This will not only help the Data Centre, but also work on an overall quality management framework for advice for example. Another change that is still in development is the reworking of ICES Data policy. A proposal to adopt an open license for the majority of data will make ICES data sharing more transparent and aligned with similar organizations as well."
Obtaining accreditation does not mean that our Data Centre can rest on its laurels as the CoreTrustSeal cycle is to re-accredit every 3 years.
Neil Holdsworth, Head of Data and Information, notes that, "Data
management cannot afford to stay still, and the work of DIG with the Data
Centre to progress data governance, accreditation, and to continuously review
our policies, licensing, and services around data shows that we still have
a great deal of work to do to live up to the continuous improvement that is expected as part of the accreditation. This is an important step for ICES in delivering on the priorities of the Advisory, Science, and Strategic plans on quality assurance and a transparent evidence base for the knowledge generated in ICES."
Read more about ICES CoreTrustSeal accreditation.