The Data Seal of Approval board hereby confirms that the Trusted Digital repository DANS: Electronic Archiving SYstem (EASY) complies with the guidelines version 2010 set by the Data Seal of Approval Board.
The afore-mentioned repository has therefore acquired the Data Seal of Approval of 2010 on April 12, 2011.
The Trusted Digital repository is allowed to place an image of the Data Seal of Approval logo corresponding to the guidelines version date on their website. This image must link to this file which is hosted on the Data Seal of Approval website.
The Data Seal of Approval Board
|Guidelines Version:||2010 | June 1, 2010|
|Guidelines Information Booklet:||DSA-booklet_2010.pdf|
|All Guidelines Documentation:||Documentation|
|Repository:||DANS: Electronic Archiving SYstem (EASY)|
|Seal Acquiry Date:||Apr. 12, 2011|
|For the latest version of the awarded DSA |
for this repository please visit our website:
|Previously Acquired Seals:||
|This repository is owned by:||
Depositing with a trusted digital repository, like EASY, has various positive effects on the quality of the research data and the communication about the quality. Depositing with an archive which is known in the research field stimulates the researcher to be very responsible in regard to methods and techniques that prevail in his field. It also makes researchers that perform substandard open to criticism by peers, and, in the case of obvious defects, this could lead to his contribution being withdrawn from publication via our repository.
In our guidelines we stimulate data producers to document their source material, research methods and publications related to the data. The obligatory use of DDI is considered for funded social science research projects. Each deposit and the accompanying documentation is evaluated by an archivist working with EASY. In case of insufficient clarity the archivist will contact the data producer and ask for more information. In rare cases the deposit may even be put back into draft mode, so the depositor can improve his submission.
Our archivists have each expertise in certain research fields and have a general knowledge about the research activities that take place in those fields. In this way they can judge the trustworthiness of a deposit.
As for the ethics. The archivists working with EASY also keep a close look on the possible existence of information in the research data that could identify individual persons. For generally available data this information will be removed. Where necessary the license contracts about the publication of private data will be checked.
DDI = Data Documentation Initiative (see http://www.ddialliance.org/)
In order to guarantee the use of the data in the future as well, it is important that the data are archived in preferred formats. A working group within DANS has compiled a list of preferred formats. It is a bare list of a limited number of formats, in which DANS has the highest confidence with regard to durability.
There are deposit guides for the following user categories: archeologists, sociologists and historians. There is a separate deposit guide for the project “Getuigen Verhalen” (series of video interviews with eye witness accounts of WOII). These deposit guides contain instuctions regarding preferred formats. The deposit guides can be found at: http://www.dans.knaw.nl/en/content/data-archive .
Depositors supplying their data within the framework of a previously agreed data contract with DANS (for example: data produced within the framework of a project subsidized by NWO Middelgroot or a Ministry) must provide their data in the formats agreed with DANS. No exceptions are made. In all other cases, depositors are urgently requested to deliver their data in preferred formats. When depositors are unable to do so, they can still have their data archived at DANS. In principle, DANS accepts all formats, and will preserve them to the best of their ability, but cannot guarantee durability in such a case.
• DANS will publish the list of preferred formats and, where applicable, amend/extend the text of this guideline.
Since DANS guarantees durability of data preservation, a follow-up may be of interest around a formal contract with depositors (incl. Service Level Agreement - SLA - document).
DANS developed EASY to this end. The depositor deposits the data into the system and adds the related metadata.
At the moment there are two metadata formats in EASY: Standard and Archeology. Standard is for everything that is not archeology, for example, social sciences or history.
When defining metadata fields in EASY, we are guided as much as possible by the specifications of Qualified Dublin Core; see http://dublincore.org/documents/dcmi-terms/ .
Obligatory fields are: Title, Creator, Date created, Description, Access rights, Date available, Audience (the latter only in Standard).
In Standard, the following fields are recommended: Contributor(s), Subject, Spatial coverage, Temporal coverage, Source, Identifier. The following fields are additional in Standard: Format, Relation, Language, Remarks.
With Archeology, the following extra fields occur on the first page: Archis research registration no., Alternative title, Contributor, (Copy)Rightholder, Publisher. In addition, Archeology has a few more specific fields and sometimes, there are more options for fields that also occur in Standard.
The policy is, thus, a mixture of voluntary and obligatory. Here as well, if there is a previously agreed data contract, the aforementioned fields are obligatory. DANS would like to make more fields obligatory, but has decided against it, as DANS feels that adding metadata may then become a threshold resulting in researchers not offering their data. As a general policy, the number of obligatory fields is therefore kept as low as possible.
At the level of files our archive detects some limited metadata: size, format (limited to JHOVE). If the depositor has more file metadata in xml format this can be imported in EASY.
DANS expects that more discipline-dependent (domain-dependent) metadata fields will be defined in EASY, notably within the framework of international infrastructural projects such as Clarin, Dariah and Cessda.
The mission of DANS is: “DANS is the national organisation responsible for storing and providing permanent access to research data from the Humanities and Social Sciences”.
DANS promulgates this mission as follows.
By means of activities oriented toward making research data accessible:
• By archiving research data and making them accessibly by means of the online archiving system EASY;
• Making agreements with organizations that finance research, give orders for research to be carried out or carry out research themselves, with the purpose of making data available to others;
• Targeted acquisition of research data;
• By participating in research into the need for data archiving in certain disciplines and thus developing contacts among representatives of those disciplines;
• By granting subsidies to small-scale data-archiving projects (KDP – Kleine Data Projecten, in Dutch);
• By issuing a quarterly in conjunction with other institutes: e-Data&Research with a circulation of 5000;
• Developing an activity-based cost model;
• Selecting academic heritage and making it available, by means of the ADA approach.
By means of activities oriented toward keeping research data usable:
• Development of preservation strategies;
• Converting research data into other formats.
By means of activities oriented toward international standardization and cooperation:
• By participating in the development of data infrastructures, for example CESSDA PPP, DARIAH, the DANS Text&Language investigation and other explorations;
• Developing and establishing a Data Seal of Approval;
• Developing and operating a Persistent Identifier infrastructure;
• By contributing to the DDI Tools Foundation.
By means of activities oriented toward reuse of research data:
• Giving scientific credits to researchers who make their data available to others by means of registration in Metis;
• Putting persons or organizations in the spotlight that encourage data sharing, by means of a data prize;
• Coupling of publications, data and research information;
• Creation of a demonstrator for enriched publications;
• Linking of data sets to articles in journals. (JALC);
• Linking of components of data sets to articles in journals. DataPlus;
• Organization of symposia around certain data sets.
For the EASY repository we don’t have a formal succession planning, but we are confident our mother organisation, the KNAW (the Royal Netherlands Academy for Arts en Sciences), will not let happen the loss of the data in EASY.
A follow-up may be required for the online publication of the DANS mandate/mission.
DANS is a department of the KNAW (the Royal Netherlands Academy for Arts en Sciences) which is a legal entity. We are not a separate legal entity on our own.
DANS feels a great responsibility regarding legal issues. The various contracts offered by DANS are completely in line with Dutch legislation and codes of conduct. To this end, extensive consultations have taken place with legal advisors.
At the moment, DANS distinguishes three types of contracts.
1) For every deposit, we enter into a standard contract with the depositor, the so-called “License Agreement”, in which we describe our rights and duties. See http://www.dans.knaw.nl/en/content/data-archive/terms-and-conditions .
2) Everyone who downloads data from EASY is bound to the General DANS Conditions of Use; see http://easy.dans.knaw.nl/style/other/general_conditions_DANS.pdf . In order to download data, one has to register and the registration procedure includes agreeing to these general conditions.
3) For depositors, there is a possibility for drawing up custom conditions in consultation with DANS for the use of a certain data set.
For every download or when asking permission for a restricted dataset, one agrees with the general conditions again, and where applicable, with the custom conditions.
Within the framework of the Privacy Protection Act (WBP), DANS also has a privacy regulation; see http://www.dans.knaw.nl/en/content/privacy-regulations-dans
Our procedures for data storage still need to be documented. We make incremental backups on tape of all our data every night to two separate locations. The tapes are replaced every five years. The file servers and tape backups are heavily guarded. Access from outside to our file server for maintenance is restricted to certain trusted ip numbers. In EASY it is impossible for registered users to change any data or metadata. Depositors can only change the FAQ of their deposit. Computer hardware is replaced every three years.
In the coming years we want to work on:
• Monitoring the integrity of the archive
• Testing the recovery procedure
Performing a risk management evaluation
DANS has a long history with regard to archiving of digital data. Our oldest files are 40 years old and originate from one of our predecessors, the Steinmetz Archive. So far, it has always been possible to offer the users usable data whenever they ask for them. Sometimes, it requires a considerable effort to get the data into a usable format. DANS has the necessary expertise in-house to that end.
At the moment, it is impossible to foresee whether all files in our archive are usable (or can be made usable).
• DANS will present its preservation plan and include a summary of it in this document;
• DANS will implement functions for better recognition of file formats and for converting files that are in formats which are in danger of becoming obsolete.
We want to start to develop a policy with regard to representation information (keeping data understandable by the designated community)
Follow-up may be required for the preservation plan review and associated documentation
We have external and internal, formal and informal documents which describe the steps our archivists take when dealing with deposits. These work processes are developed over more than 25 years and are written down in documents or implemented in archival workflows. A number of archival steps are nowadays performed by the depositors themselves, see http://www.dans.knaw.nl/en/content/data-archive for depositor guides. Our archivists then mainly check file formats, privacy and documentation. Privacy is further strengthened by a permission request procedure which can be put on a dataset.
The data producer = depositor will always remain the proprietor. DANS does in fact get a copy of which it must take good care, according to the terms of the license contract and the terms and conditions for use.
DANS also makes copies, for example for the benefit of backup and looks after them well.
With the aid of our online archiving system EASY, DANS gives researchers across the whole world the possibility to search for and access the deposited files, while taking access rights into account. The depositor may, if so desired, assess each download request.
DANS strives toward 24/7 availability of EASY. We don’t have a written crisis management plan. When our system breaks down, our estimate is that we can be back online in a couple of days. We need to work this out further. In case of short interruptions of our system, for instance in case of maintenance, we have a small stand-in system which produces an informational message to the users.
The electronic archiving system EASY currently has the following access categories:
1) Open access – all registered users may download freely;
2) Restricted access – registered users who wish to download, must first ask the depositor for permission via EASY;
3) Restricted access for archeologists – registered users, who are archeologists, may download freely;
Other access – the data cannot be downloaded via EASY, but must be obtained some other way. The data may be present at DANS, however.
Suggestion for areas of work in the short/medium term : SLA, disaster recovery plan, etc.
DANS distinguishes the following aspects: referring, finding, downloading and using.
With regard to referring the following applies:
• In order to be able to refer to data, DANS offers a persistent-identifier, which looks as follow “urn:nbn:nl:ui:13-xxx-yyy”, where “urn:nbn:nl:ui:13-“ is a fixed string that indicates the archive of DANS and “xxx-yyy” is a variable and has a unique value for every data set. To be able to call up the concerned data set on the internet, a resolver can be used http://persistent-identifier.nl/ ; the full link will then be http://persistent-identifier.nl/?identifier=urn:nbn:nl:ui:13-xxx-yyy. This link will be functional one day after publication of the data set by the archivist. The persistent identifier can be found in EASY in the field “Full Description” of a data set.
• When data sets in EASY are used in publications, a good bibliographic reference must refer to it. This is part of the normal quotation obligation in (scientific) research. The users of data from EASY are requested to indicate the persistent identifier. The persistent identifier is automatically assigned to each data set by EASY. A reference should be presented as follows: Data set deposited at DANS (www.dans.knaw.nl), creator, title (date creation), persistent identifier.
Example: Data set deposited at DANS (www.dans.knaw.nl ), C. Lesger, The housing market in Amsterdam, 1550-1850 (1980-1985). Persistent identifier: urn:nbn:nl:ui:13-9g3-4x7
• The user must include references to any publications when depositing in EASY. When the user or others publish anything after the data has been deposited, it can be passed on to an archivist at DANS who will amend the metadata.
DANS supports finding of the data in the following ways:
• All data sets are classified into recognizable categories upon publication.
• The data can always be found by means of searching the metadata, and by reading the metadata, which is always visible to anyone. DANS stimulates adding as many metadata as possible; see guideline 3.
• DANS will see to it that sufficient documentation is present with the data to be able to recognize and interpret the data well. Where possible, the documentation for restricted data sets will be published.
• DANS participates in NARCIS, http://www.narcis.info/ (“access to Dutch scientific information”), to create a bigger chance the data can be found.
• DANS opens up EASY for searching the metadata by Google.
• Everyone who wishes to do so can harvest the metadata by means of the OAI-PMH protocol.
We enable users to download data in a user-friendly manner. Within the framework of durability, DANS keeps an eye on whether the file can be opened with common software; see guideline 7. During downloading, the access category selected by the depositor and any present restrictions are safeguarded. For example: When access is restricted, the user must first ask the depositor’s permission via EASY. DANS is a proponent of open access (as long as there are no legal and privacy restrictions).
DANS archives with the reuse of the data as a goal. Our licenses enable reuse in most cases. The users are bound to legal regulations, codes of conduct that apply within science and to (custom) conditions in the license contracts; see guidelines 15 through 17. If a data set is created, derived from a data set downloaded from EASY, then the user must deposit this new data set in EASY at the same access conditions as the original.
Planned future activities:
Participate in federated search (national, international) in the future, so that data can be found in all the usual ways.
In practice, this has worked out well so far, that is, in the forty years of existence of DANS and its predecessors, no data were ever lost and no bit corruption occurred. Once deposited, files in data sets are never changed. New versions of a file may be added when there are only cosmetic changes. This is also important for the assigned persistent identifiers; they always refer to the same contents.
DANS does not allow depositors to implement changes themselves once their data is deposited.
• DANS wants to introduce a function in the next few years that is independent of the archive and automated to ensure that all data sets are still present, the metadata are intact, all files are still present in the data sets and they are in good shape (“Bit preservation” by means of checksums).
• In the coming years, DANS will conduct research into the usability of the Universal Numerical Fingerprint as a guarantee for statistics data.
DANS also closely monitors the developments within Planets, http://www.planets-project.eu/. See also guideline 7.
At the moment, DANS cannot give any formal guarantees that nothing has changed in the files over the years. If conversions took place during intake of files, or during distribution of files, we can currently give no further formal guarantees regarding the likeness to the original. With all conversions we are very strict on checking that the content remains the same.
With regard to authenticity, DANS is notably concerned with the contents of the files (the data) and the question who has done what to the files (author, depositor, archivist) and not so much with the outward form (presentation of the data). When the persistent identifier is assigned by us, it also concerns the authenticity of the contents.
• DANS wants to make a start with the registration of provenance data. This should answer questions such as: Who created the object? Who changed the object when and how (which actions took place and with which version of which software with which settings)? These provenance data must also be visible to the users, so that they can assess to which degree a file is authentic.
• DANS will store checksums and make them visible for all file versions (originally received or converted by us). The depositors will receive checksums of the files they have deposited, so that they have proof of the correctness of the version we took in our care.
• DANS will look into further guarantees regarding the identity of a depositor and regarding the identity of the creator indicated by the depositor.
For the long term, DANS is exploring possibilities for joining scientific peer review processes. It should then be visible in EASY who assessed a data set and what that assessment resulted in. Possibly, peer review may also have to take place anonymously at the discretion of DANS or of a trusted authority pertaining to the discipline to which a data set belongs.
As initial conversions (at deposit) are mentioned, are there any plan for future file format conversion (aka logical migration) when formats become obsolete ?
Comments and/ or URL:
There is considerable technical support for Ingest, Archival storage, Data management and Access.
The following is a summary of the OAIS Functions; see http://public.ccsds.org/publications/archive/650x0b1.pdf. The state of affairs is given between brackets, particularly whether automated support should be further developed, or that no support is required (the function is manual). Where nothing is indicated, automated support is in order:
o Checking (mainly manually)
o Prepare for archiving (mainly manually)
• Archival storage
o Store and return
o Preserve in good shape (improvements needed; see guidelines 11 and 12)
• Data management
o Manage metadata
o Manage management information (manually)
o Fulfill requests for information (manually)
o General steering of the archive (no automation)
o Negotiating regarding submission agreements (not applicable to DANS)
o Checking of deposits (see Ingest)
o Maintenance of the systems (manually)
o Monitoring (to be developed further)
o Reporting (various reports now automated; needs to be further developed)
o Migrations (to be automated in the future)
o Setting standards (manually)
o User support (manuals and help texts online, additional support via email)
• Preservation planning
o Ensuring long-term access
o Guarding and converting formats (this needs to be set up)
o Updating standards and policy (manually)
o Develop content model (this needs to be set up)
o Making data sets findable
o Giving access
o Guarding restrictions
With regard to the OAIS Reference Model, we are also looking forward to the self-assessments of other archives en to the assessment of our justification regarding the DSA guidelines by the international DSA board.
See the comments between brackets behind the above list of OAIS functions. Focus points: preservation planning - see guideline 7 - and account for originality/authenticity - see guidelines 11 and 12.
The general terms and conditions of use refer to this. A user has to agree in order to download the data, but DANS does not carry out any checks. In the event of demonstrable abuse, DANS will at first take steps, but will soon refer to the user's employer. In the event that it concerns a violation of the Personal Data Protection Act, DANS will submit this to an official for data protection at the employer of the abuser and/or the Data Protection Authority.
As the guideline indicates here, this is ultimately the responsibility of the data user.
• In case of abuse the worst measure would be: Refuse/deny access. Question: How can this be maintained (people can easily register again)?
We would like to discuss within DANS when and how more certainty about the identity of users should be acquired.
The general terms and conditions of use refer to this. A user has to agree in order to download the data, but DANS does not carry out any checks. For users of data sets with personal data, DANS has an obligatory procedure according to the Gedragscode voor gebruik van persoonsgegevens in wetenschappelijk onderzoek VSNU (English: Code of Conduct for Use of Personal Data in Scientific Research), in the general terms and conditions. The general terms and conditions incorporate the principles of “Open Access” and the Nederlandse Gedragscode Wetenschapsbeoefening VSNU (English: The Netherlands Code of Conduct for Scientific Practice, see http://www.vsnu.nl/Media-item-1/Code-of-conduct-for-scientific-practice-2004.htm ). With regard to abuse, see what is laid down in guideline 14.Protection of human interests is very important for us. See 14.
Guidance is provided, both in the printed guidelines and on our website, on how to handle confidential data.
The general terms and conditions incorporate the terms and conditions of the license agreement.
The general terms and conditions of use refer to the following: User has to agree in order to download the data, but DANS does not carry out any checks. In the event of demonstrable abuse: See what is laid down in guideline 14.