International data recognition sought for TERN

TERN is fully committed to providing data that are not only findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable but also standard-compliant. Thanks to a Qld Government RICF grant, TERN is applying to have its data e-infrastructure certified by CoreTrustSeal. Receiving the data-world’s tick of approval will provide independent assurance to users that TERN data are curated, managed and continuously made available to the highest international standards.

The CoreTrustSeal is available internationally to data repositories that meet a set of “Core Trustworthy Data Repositories Requirements”. The certification provided to successful repositories has resulted from cooperation between existing certification programs such as ICSU World Data System (ICSU-WDS) and the Data Seal of Approval (DSA).

CoreTrustSeal certification of TERN e-infrastructure will:

  • Give TERN users the assurance that the data they are using are of the highest quality, with world-best end-to-end collection, collation and archiving processes.
  • Ensure TERN data are fit for purpose and compliant with community requirements.
  • Further ensure data provenance and give TERN users assurance that data held in archives will remain useful and meaningful into the future.
  • Give assurance to TERN funders and partners that data are being managed, curated, and archived in such a way to preserve the initial investment in collecting them.

A high-level illustration of TERN’s data infrastructure architecture

Why is TERN seeking certification?

TERN is fully committed to providing data that are complete, clean, consistent, standard compliant and collaborative at different spatial and temporal scales. These attributes are the building blocks for data trusted by researchers, decision-makers and modellers.

Effective data management is paramount to achieve trust in the data collected and provided by TERN, says Dr Anusuriya Devaraju, TERN’s Senior Data Innovation Manager.

“Establishing trust in data is key to making data credible and ‘first-class assets’ to the Australian research and management communities.

TERN is always improving its data infrastructure, services and practices, and we have reached a point where we are now ready for to put ourselves to the toughest test, the CoreTrustSeal certification application.” 

Dr Anusuriya Devaraju, TERN

CoreTrustSeal certification will reinforce the trust in TERN services that has been demonstrated by their high level of usage over the past decade.

How and when can TERN get certified?

Obtaining the CoreTrustSeal of approval is not easy.  Despite receiving widespread attention from national and international initiatives to help organisations prepare for certification, only four Australian data repositories currently have the certification.

Despite taking up to a year to complete, the certification requirements are helping TERN to strengthen its data assets, e-infrastructure, data services, policies and practices in a systematic way.

“The certification process helps the repository to think ‘globally’ about the infrastructure, taking into account both technical and non-technical aspects, in support of a trustworthy repository.

A trustworthy repository preserves and offer a continued and reliable access of its data to its communities (e.g., researchers), and trustworthy data supports reproducibility in scientific research.”

Dr Anusuriya Devaraju, TERN

TERN is aiming to submit its application in the second half of 2021 and, all going to plan, receive CoreTrustSeal certification in early 2022. 

Importantly, several international partners of TERN, including USA’s National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) and Europe’s Integrated Carbon Observation System (ICOS), are also in the process of investigating or applying for CoreTustSeal certification.

Certification across national ecosystem observatories will play a major role in ensuring data interoperability across international collaborations, including the Global Ecosystem Research Infrastructure (GERI).

A detailed look at TERN’s data infrastructure architecture 

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