CARL and Portage Endorse the TRUST Principles for Digital Repositories

July 31, 2020 – CARL and Portage are pleased to announce their endorsement of the TRUST Principles for digital repositories

Digital information increasingly drives the research process and enables broad access to research data and other types of digital collections. This access is often provided via digital repositories, and as the scholarly enterprise becomes increasingly reliant on them, it is important that they demonstrate the ability to appropriately manage their data over the long term. 

The Trust Principles help ensure the trustworthiness of digital repositories by guiding and promoting discussion and implementation of best practices for data management and digital preservation. The principles are:

  • Transparency about specific repository services and data holdings that are verifiable by publicly accessible evidence. This requires clear policy statements for both the repository and its data holdings, as well as clearly articulated timeframes for digital preservation.
  • Responsibility for ensuring the authenticity and integrity of data holdings and for the reliability and persistence of its service. This can be demonstrated by clear commitments to community standards for metadata and curation best-practices, providing access to data holdings via APIs, and effectively managing intellectual property rights and, if applicable, sensitive data.
  • User focus so that the data management norms and expectations of target user communities are met. This can be accomplished by providing clear metrics of use, effective discovery mechanisms, and through monitoring the community to ensure their needs are being met as expectations evolve.
  • Sustainability of services to preserve data holdings for the long-term. Key elements here are a commitment to long-term planning, sustainable funding sources, and the governance mechanisms necessary for long-term preservation. 
  • Technology to support secure, persistent, and reliable services. This involves not only the implementation of appropriate standards, tools, and technologies, but also the ability to effectively detect and respond to security threats. 

The TRUST Principles are the result of a year-long consultation among stakeholders in the digital repository community, led by Research Data Alliance (RDA).  With this endorsement, we join over 25 organizations committed to the stewardship of digital resources and, in particular, digital research data. 

The research library community is well positioned to advance the TRUST principles. Whether providing national-scale research data repositories like Portage and Compute Canada’s FRDR, helping Canada’s repository managers define a strategic vision through the Open Repositories Working Group, or ensuring long-term preservation of the scholarly and cultural record through the Digital Preservation Working Group, CARL and Portage are committed to increasing awareness and implementation in Canada of the best practices provided by the TRUST Principles.

“Recent events have underscored that for researchers, reliable and sustained access to high quality digital materials is crucial to the academic enterprise. Collectively, digital repository infrastructure in Canada has helped researchers continue their important work during these turbulent times. CARL’s endorsement of the TRUST principles demonstrates our deep commitment as academic libraries to the communities we serve, and to providing them with access to the data and information they need.”

    • Dale Askey, Vice-Provost & Chief Librarian, University of Alberta, and Chair, CARL Digital Preservation Working Group

“Digital repositories are foundational to effective data stewardship, discovery, and access, but we need to ensure this foundation is solid and enduring. Through this endorsement, Portage underscores the importance of adopting and adhering to the TRUST Principles in achieving this goal for generalist and discipline-specific repositories alike.” 

    • Jeff Moon, Director, Portage Network

More information on the TRUST Principles can be found in Lin, D., Crabtree, J., Dillo, I. et al. The TRUST Principles for digital repositories. Sci Data 7, 144 (2020).

ABOUT CARL: CARL provides leadership on behalf of Canada’s 31 research libraries, enhancing their capacity to advance research and higher education. It promotes effective and sustainable knowledge creation, dissemination, and preservation, and advocates for public policy that enables broad access to scholarly information. 

ABOUT Portage: Portage was launched by CARL in 2015 to contribute to the shared  stewardship of research data and to address specific gaps in national research data management (RDM) infrastructure in Canada. Initiated as a library-based network, Portage now collaborates with a broad range of stakeholders and partners locally, nationally, and internationally to build capacity and to develop services and infrastructure. Over 160 experts from 60 institutions across Canada actively participate in Portage committees and infrastructure projects, with coordination provided by a national secretariat.

Media Contacts:
Susan Haigh
Executive Director, CARL

Jeff Moon
Director, Portage Network