A Repository’s Guide to Taking Reasonable Steps Towards Achieving ISO 16363


To be trustworthy is to be reliable, dependable, honest, principled, ethical, incorruptible, and more. A trustworthy person demonstrates these qualities over time and under all circumstances.

A trustworthy repository demonstrates these qualities through the team that manages the repository and its responsible organization.

The requirements of a Trusted Digital Repository (TDR) in ISO 16363 can be tough to reach and tough to maintain. Challenges include: limited funds, limited resources and/or skills, and an unclear path to successfully achieve the requirements.

The ISO standard defines each requirement separately, but a successful certification recognizes that there are many cross-dependencies among the requirements. Understanding these dependencies leads to a more efficient path towards success.

At AGU we recognize that reaching the goal of the TDR ISO standard, or any set of data management objectives defined by an organization, has a better chance at success if the organization clearly knows their current capability, the improvements that are needed, and the best way to make (and maintain) those changes.

AGU has partnered with the CMMI® Institute to adapt their Data Management Maturity (DMM)SM model within the Earth and space sciences. Using the DMM, AGU developed a new Data Management Assessment Program aimed at helping data repositories, large and small, domain-specific to general, assess and improve data management practices to meet their goals – including becoming a Trustworthy Digital Repository.

The requirements to achieve the TDR ISO standard are aligned to the data management best practices

defined in the Data Management Maturity (DMM)SM model. Using the DMM as a process improvement tool in conjunction with the Data Management Assessment method, a team seeking the objective of the TDR ISO standard receives a clear road map to achieving their goal as an outcome of the assessment.

Publishers and agencies are beginning to recommend or even require that repositories demonstrate that they are practicing best practices or meeting certain standards. Data preserved in a data facility that is working on achieving a TDR standard will have the level of care desired by the publishing community as well as the science community.

Better Data Management results in Better Science.