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The Data Seal of Approval is an award assigned to digital repositories that meet a robust set of requirements. The ADS was first awarded the Data Seal of Approval in March 2011 and it was renewed in 2013 when new Data Seal of Approval standards were released for 2014-15.

The criteria for assigning the Data Seal of Approval to data repositories are in accordance with national and international Guidelines for digital data archiving such as: Kriterienkatalog vertrauenswürdige digitale Langzeitarchive as developed by NESTOR; Digital Repository Audit Method Based on Risk Assessment (DRAMBORA) published by the Digital Curation Centre (DCC) and DigitalPreservationEurope (DPE); and Trustworthy Repositories Audit and Certification (TRAC): Criteria and Checklist of the Research Library Group (RLG).

Holding the Data Seal of Approval demonstrates the robustness and sustainability of our archival processes. Further information about our self-assessment with descriptions of how we meet each of its 16 guidelines can be found on the Data Seal of Approval website. An article 'ADS and the Data Seal of Approval – case study for the DCC' describing how and why we made the DSA application is available from the Digitial Curation Centre and would be useful reading for any other archive thinking of undertaking this process.

The ADS is also an associate member of the Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC) and was awarded the DPC's Decennial Award in 2012 for the most outstanding contribution to digital preservation over the last decade.

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