Data Seal of Approval – a guarantee of quality and availability

News: 2016-10-17

The certification of SND is a valuable mark of quality of research data. Such a guarantee is especially important in times when there are almost endless opportunities to deposit data online.

- The Data Seal of Approval confirms that all the processes at SND are carefully considered and quality assured. We are also transparent in what we do when making research data accessible and preparing them for dissemination, says Iris Alfredsson, senior adviser at SND. Together with Birger Jerlehag, Iris Alfredsson was responsible for the application for the certification.

To become certified under the Data Seal of Approval, five main criteria must be met:

  • The data can be found on the Internet
  • The data are accessible (clear rights and licences)
  • The data are in a usable format
  • The data are reliable
  • The data are identified in a unique and persistent way so that they can be referred to


Altogether there are 16 different guidelines to ensure the main criteria. Three of the guidelines are related to the data producers (especially researchers who deposit data), ten of them are focused on the process within the organization that receives data (SND in this case), and three of them are related to those using the data (for example, researchers who do secondary analysis).

The certification of SND is also an important part of the quality process within CESSDA (Consortium of European Social Science Data Archives), where SND is the Swedish service provider.
- In the near future, there will be a requirement from CESSDA that all service providers must undergo certification and comply with the guidelines, says Iris Alfredsson.