Data Management & Permanent Access to Digital Research Resources : learning from DANS Institute

DANS institute encourages researchers to make their digital research data and related outputs FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable), open if possible, and protected where necessary. Quality of DANS infrastructure is recognized by Data Seal of Approval (DSA), World Data System (ICSU-WDS), and Nestor SealDANS's activities are centred around 3 core services: Data Archiving, Data Reusing and Training & Consultancy. 

DANS is …

a service institute -  of the Dutch Academy KNAW and funding organisation NWO - , which promotes sustained access to digital research data. For this purpose, DANS encourages scientific researchers to archive and reuse data in a sustainable manner, by storing their data in a trustworthy repository such as its online archiving system EASY. 

Moreover, DANS carries out research into sustained access to digital information. Driven by data, DANS ensures that access to digital research data keeps improving, through its services and participating in (inter)national projectsnetworks and research.

For example, in 2016 INRIA 

- the French National Institute for computer science and applied mathematics, promoting “scientific excellence for technology transfer and society”-,

officially announced the collaboration with DANS with the launch of the Software Heritage website to create a publicly accessible Universal Software ArchiveThis project aims to further collect, organise, preserve and make accessible the source code of all open source software, in order to create an infrastructure for society, science and industry.

Software Heritage has already collected more than 20 million software projects, archiving more than two and a half billion unique source files.

Overall DANS activities contribute to continued innovation of the GLOBAL SCIENTIFIC DATA INFRASTRUCTURE.  


Datasets collected for a certain research purpose can also contain answers to research questions from very different research in the same or in another research discipline. This is certainly the case for historical data.

Moreover, new insights are gained by combining datasets, which is impossible if the data are not sufficiently described and available.

The availability of research data facilitates the reproduction of research, which is an important condition for science.

In recent years, DANS assisted various universities and institutes in developing research data management policy, in both short and long-term programmes.  While being focused on the support and innovation of its services, DANS makes digital information available in

  • EASY for long-term archiving (Read more about reusing data),
  • DataverseNL for short-term data management and
  • NARCIS, the national portal for research information with thousands of scientific datasets, e-publications and other research information in the Netherlands. DANS facilitates linking data, publications and other research information as persons, organizations and projects.

a sustainable form during the different phases (including data processes – from creation, enrichment and exploitation to analysisof the research cycle

Archiving data

Depositing your (open access) publications and research data will increase the visibility and findability of your research, for which DANS provides the following services:

  • Via DataverseNL you can already store and share research data during your research. DANS manages DataverseNL in the Netherlands and most universities are now connected.
  • After completing your research, research data are sustainably stored and shared via EASY, the DANS online archiving system.
  • You can provide and add other research data, such as your research projects and publications, using science portal NARCIS. DANS manages this portal.

Go to Depositing data

Reusing data

DANS encourages the reuse of research data (accessible via EASYNARCIS and DataverseNLby researchers or other interested parties, and the participation in (inter)national projects that focus on sharing research data.

Go to Finding data


DANS provides training in data management by providing training sessions

Essentials 4 Data Support is an introductory course for those who (wish to) support researchers with storing, managing, archiving and sharing their research data. DANS organizes this course together with partners of Research Data Netherlands (RDNL).


You can also turn to DANS for expert advice in data management and certification of archivesDANS services are approved by:

With this experience, DANS is able to coach you in the steps required for your digital repository.

Information managers and other stakeholders can rely on a framework of various international certification standards for digital repositories in order to assess and improve the quality of their work processes and management systems. ‘Trustworthy Digital Repository’ (TDR) is a term often used in this respect.

Three certification instruments, with increasing degrees of complexity and depth, are available:

The assessments vary in intensity from a peer review of completed documentation (self-assessment) in the case of DSA to a prepared on-site visit by an external audit team in the case of ISO. These instruments are mainly used in Europe.

Outside Europe, many repositories receive International Council for Science - World Data System (ICSU-WDS*) certification, which is similar to DSA certification. Data sponsors, producers and re-users may trust any managing body that has been certified according to one of the above standards.

@DANSKNAW also shares its knowledge by speaking at events, organizing various communications and supporting researchers.

If you would like further information about DANS activities, please contact DANS at [email protected]

*@ICSU_WDS started to create a Network of Early Career Researchers and Young Scientists. Want to join?


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