NIAID Helps Build TRUST in Digital Repositories

Funding News Edition: May 20, 2020
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NIAID is committed to building a robust data ecosystem to support its scientific research and public health missions. Case in point: Institute staff worked with several stakeholders to develop and endorse the Transparency, Responsibility, User focus, Sustainability, and Technology (TRUST) Principles, which serve as a common framework to facilitate communication among stakeholders and implement best practices in digital preservation.

The TRUST principles and guidelines for repositories are as follows:


Guidance for Repositories


Be transparent about specific repository services and data holdings that are verifiable by publicly accessible evidence


Be responsible for ensuring the authenticity and integrity of data holdings and for the reliability and persistence of its service

User focus

Ensure that the data management norms and expectations of target user communities are met


Sustain services and preserve data holdings for the long-term


Provide infrastructure and capabilities to support secure, persistent, and reliable services

To learn more about the common framework, read the Scientific Data article “The TRUST Principles for Digital Repositories” by NIAID’s Dr. Dawei Lin, et al.

Eleven organizations have already endorsed the TRUST Principles by making joint statements through the Research Data Alliance (RDA)—see The TRUST Principles: An RDA Community Effort.

Other NIAID Data Repository Activities

In addition to collaborating on the TRUST Principles, NIAID staff took part in NIH’s first Trustworthy Data Repositories Workshop in April 2019. The event brought together key data repository management personnel and NIH program, scientific review, and policy staff who work with data repository programs.

NIAID is also participating in two NIH funding opportunity announcements that emphasize the trustworthiness of digital repositories:

Previous Data Efforts

The TRUST Principles and the activities described above are just the latest in NIAID’s data management efforts. In fact, the Institute has a long history of recognizing the value of research data and adopting policies to accelerate open data and an open science paradigm.

As an example, NIAID endorses the FAIR Principles to make data Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable. Moreover, to ensure data are FAIR and available perpetually, the Institute has invested significantly in its data repositories ecosystem.

Thus, as the FAIR Principles define the essential characteristics of data objects to ensure that data are reusable by humans and machines, the TRUST Principles will ensure data are FAIR and preserve them over time.

NIAID is also leading the biomedical data repository community to endorse and implement Trustworthy Data Repositories. For instance, ImmPort, a repository for archiving immunological data, is the first certified Biomedical data repository by CoreTrustSeal, a community-based standard body. ImmPort has also been recognized as a recommended data repository by both Nature Research’s Scientific Data and PLoS One.

Learn More

Go to Data Science for additional information about NIAID’s data science portfolio and the group that coordinates it, the Office of Data Science and Emerging Technologies (ODSET).

Contact Us

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