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Dryad is seeking an energetic and enthusiastic Executive Director, ideally with experience in scientific or biomedical research, librarianship, or publishing, to oversee development and operation of the organisation during a period of rapid growth and transformation. The role reports to the Board of Directors. Externally, the postholder will be responsible for building relationships with stakeholders, customers and users of the Dryad Digital Repository. Internally, key responsibilities include organisational leadership and ensuring Dryad meets its objectives through sound financial management and oversight of day-to-day operations, with the support of a small but growing staff.  Review of applications will begin by September 1, 2014 and continue until the position is filled. For details please see the full position description and for inquiries please contact director@datadryad.org.

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Photo by David Iliff; license: CC-BY-SA 3.0

Dryad invites current members, prospective members, and other interested parties to attend the Annual Membership Meeting in Oxford, UK on the 24th of May.  This is the first open meeting of the newly incorporated organization and will be the last membership meeting before the introduction of deposit fees in September.  Attendees will learn about recent developments, get a preview of upcoming features, have a say in the governance of the organization, and weigh in on topics of relevance to the future of Dryad, its members and partner journals.  Speakers scheduled to present emerging issues include:

  • Marianne Bamkin of JoRD – Model journal policies and implementation
  • Jonathan Tedds  of PREPARDE - Review of data associated with publications
  • Simon Hodson of JISC – The use of grant funds for data archiving costs
  • Sarah Callaghan of the CODATA-ICSTI Task Group on Data Citation – Data citation principles
  • Martin Fenner of PLOS ALM – Tracking data usage and impact
  • Eefke Smit of STM – The how and why of repository certification
  • Susanna Assunta-Sansone of ISA and BioSharing - Helping researchers to collect, curate, analyse, share and publish data.
  • Bill Michener of DataONE – Relevance of the DataNet program to Dryad

The Membership Meeting will cap off a series of exciting events spotlighting trends in scholarly communication and research data:

  • The Now and Future of Data Publishing on 22 May – A daylong program featuring new initiatives and current issues in data publishing. Organized by the JISC together with a range of organizations including BioSharingDataONESTM and Wiley-Blackwell.
  • The ORCID Outreach meeting on the morning of 23 May and ORCID CodeFest from 23-24 May
  • A joint Dryad-ORCID Symposium on Research Attribution on the afternoon of 23 May.  The symposium will address the changing culture and technology of how credit is assigned and tracked for data, software, and other research outputs.  Keynote speakers Johanna McEntyre (Europe PubMed Central) and David DeRoure (Oxford eResearch Centre) will be joined by panelists Liz Allen (Wellcome Trust), Christine Borgmann (UCLA), Martin Fenner (PLOS), Neil Chue Hong (Software Sustainability Institute), Trish Groves (BMJ), John Kaye (British Library) and moderator Cameron Neylon (PLOS) to address the many faces of the issue.

You may register for events separately here and here through May 13th.  A block of rooms has been set aside at the Malmaison Hotel; enter corporate code OXER900 to receive a discounted rate. Please consult the Dryad membership meeting website closer to the event if you are interested in viewing the webcast.

We hope to see you there!

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Dryad is a nonprofit organization fully committed to making scientific and medical research data permanently available to all researchers and educators free-of-charge without barriers to reuse.  For the past four years, we have engaged experts and consulted with our many stakeholders in order to develop a sustainability plan that will ensure Dryad’s content remains free to users indefinitely.  The resulting plan allows Dryad to recoup its operating costs in a way that recovers revenues fairly and in a scalable manner.  The plan includes revenue from submission fees, membership dues, grants and contributions.

A one-time submission fee will offset the actual costs of preserving data in Dryad.  The majority of costs are incurred at the time of submission when curators process new files, and long-term storage costs scale with each submission, so this transparent one-time charge ensures that resources scale with demand.  Dryad offers a variety of pricing plans for journals and other organizations such societies, funders and libraries to purchase discounted submission fees on behalf of their researchers.  For data packages not covered by a pricing plan, the researcher pays upon submission.  Waivers are provided to researchers from developing economies.  See Pricing Plans for a complete list of fees and payment options.  Submission fees will apply to all new submissions starting September 2013.

Membership dues will supplement submission fees, allowing Dryad to maintain its strong ties to the research community through its volunteer Board of Directors, Annual Membership Meetings, and  other outreach activities to researchers, educators and stakeholder organizations.  See Membership Information.

Grants will fund research, development and innovation.

Donations will support all of the above efforts.  In addition, Dryad will occasionally appeal to donors to fund special projects or specific needs, such as preservation of valuable legacy datasets and deposit waivers for researchers from developing economies.

We are grateful for all the input we have received into our sustainability plan, and look forward to your continued support in carrying out our nonprofit mission for many long years to come.

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OSTP homepageOn Friday, the Obama administration made a long-awaited announcement regarding public access to the results of federally funded research in the United States.

There has been considerable attention given to the implications for research publications (a concise analysis here).  Less discussed so far — but just as far reaching — the new policy also has quite a lot to say about research data, a topic on which the White House solicited, and received, an earful of input just over a year ago.

What does the directive actually require?  All federal government agencies with at least $100M in R&D expenditures must develop, in the next six month, policies for digital data arising from non-classified research that address a host of objectives, including:

  • to “maximize access, by the general public and without charge, to digitally formatted scientific data created with federal funds” while recognizing that there are cases in which preservation and access may not be desirable or feasible.
  • to promote greater use of data management plans for both intramural and extramural grants and contracts, including review of such plans and mechanisms for ensuring compliance
  • to allow inclusion of appropriate costs for data management and access in grants
  • to promote the deposit of data in publicly accessible databases
  • to address issues of attribution to scientific data sets
  • to support training in data management and stewardship
  • to “outline options for developing and sustaining repositories for scientific data in digital formats, taking into account the efforts of public and private sector entities”

Interestingly, the directive is silent on the issue of embargo periods for research data, neither explicitly allowing or disallowing them.

In the words of White House Science Advisor John Holdren

…the memorandum requires that agencies start to address the need to improve upon the management and sharing of scientific data produced with Federal funding. Strengthening these policies will promote entrepreneurship and jobs growth in addition to driving scientific progress. Access to pre-existing data sets can accelerate growth by allowing companies to focus resources and efforts on understanding and fully exploiting discoveries instead of repeating basic, pre-competitive work already documented elsewhere.

The breadth of research impacted by this directive is notable.  Based on the White House’s proposed 2013 budget, the covered agencies would spend more then $60 billion on R&D.  A partial list includes:

  • The National Institutes of Health (NIH)
  • The National Science Foundation (NSF)
  • The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
  • The Department of Energy (DOE)
  • The Department of Agriculture (USDA)
  • The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
  • The National Institutes for Standards and Technology (NIST)
  • The Department of the Interior (which includes the Geological Survey)
  • The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • and even the Smithsonian Institution

We applaud OSTP for moving to dramatically improve the availability of research data collected in the public interest with federal funds.

You can read the full memo here: the data policies are covered in Section 4.

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Lee Dirks

We are profoundly saddened by the untimely and tragic death of our dear friend and colleague Lee Dirks, who was killed together with his wife Judy Lew in a road accident in the Peruvian Andes.

Lee had recently been elected to the Board of Directors for Dryad.  He also served on the Board of Visitors for the UNC School of Information Sciences (of which he was a proud alumnus) and was a member of the Board of the SILS Metadata Research Center.  Lee made a named for himself in recent years as Director of Education and Scholarly Communication at Microsoft.

Lee was a visionary information scientist, a warm and generous personality, and a man who loved adventure.  The number of people whose lives he touched in his own short life was staggeringly large.

Lee and his wife are survived by their two young daughters, who were at home in Seattle at the time of the accident.  Our thoughts are with them.  And we will miss Lee greatly.

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We are experimenting with a nimble new format for our newsletter, in which each item consists of an individual blog post.  All the news items are also available in one PDF document if you’d prefer.

  1. Stakeholder governance.  “The scientific, educational, and charitable mission of Dryad is to promote the availability of data underlying findings in the scientific literature for research and educational reuse. The vision of Dryad is a scholarly communication system in which learned societies, publishers, institutions of research and education, funding bodies and other stakeholders collaboratively sustain and promote the preservation and reuse of data underlying the scholarly literature.”  This Mission Statement is from Dryad’s new Bylaws, which were approved this month by a vote of its Interim Partners. Since its inception, Dryad been guided by the idea that an enduring community resource requires stakeholder governance…
  2. Sustainability planning.  Another important milestone was reached when the organization officially adopted a cost recovery plan to ensure Dryad’s sustainability.  The plan was the result of several years of deliberation among Dryad’s Interim Partners, experts in sustainability, and many prospective Member organizations…
  3. Summer 2011 Interim Board meeting. The governance and cost recovery plan emerged from a consultation process that culminated in a meeting of the Dryad Interim Board in Vancouver, Canada in July 2011. In addition to the governance and sustainability plans, participants also made progress on a number of important policy issues. Several of these bear on what content Dryad will accept…
  4. New funding from the US National Science Foundation. Earlier this year, the NSF, through its Advances in Biological Informatics program, announced a new award of $2.4M over four years to enable Dryad to scale up its technical infrastructure to support the rapidly expanding user base of journals and researchers, ensure that the repository is meeting the needs of that user base…
  5. New integrated journals.  In recent months, more journals have implemented submission integration with Dryad to make data archiving easier for authors.  Technically, the process entails setting up semi-automated communications between Dryad and the manuscript submission system of the journal.  Currently 24 journals have implemented submission integration…
  6. New features. A number of enhancements to Dryad have been made in recent months, including these three that were in high demand from users…

If you do not yet receive our newsletters by email and would like to, please sign up for our low traffic Dryad-announcements mailing list.

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What matters to you when looking for research data in a repository? UK based Digital Curation Centre is looking for Dryad users to complete a 10 minute questionnaire on this. Results will contribute to an assessment framework for Dryad, and the questionnaire includes entry to a competition for $80/ £50 Amazon tokens. DCC are carrying this out as part of the Dryad UK project, which also involves the British Library and Oxford University’s Image Bioinformatics Lab.

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