U.S. Policy: Dryad’s role in the NIH’s new Policy for Data Management and Sharing

Building on its longstanding commitment to data sharing, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has introduced an updated Policy for Data Management and Sharing, with the goal of expediting “the translation of research results into knowledge, products, and procedures to improve human health” and enhancing public trust in publicly funded research. As the world’s largest public funder of biomedical research, NIH policies have an outsize impact on research practices.

Following the policy, from January 25, 2023, all projects seeking NIH-funding will be required to submit a data management and sharing plan at the application stage and to follow it over the course of the project lifecycle. The policy sets a clear expectation for researchers “to maximize the appropriate sharing of scientific data.” Let’s unpack a few features of “appropriate” data sharing according to the policy, and take a look at how Dryad helps researchers readily comply with the requirements. 

  1. Use of established repositories. The policy “strongly encourages the use of established repositories,” for data sharing. Data hosted on personal or institutional devices or cloud storage accounts is vulnerable to loss or alteration, and may lack the metadata and contextual material needed for its interpretation and reuse.

    Dryad has over a decade of experience providing high-quality data publishing, curation, and preservation. All data published with Dryad is open by default, preserved in the CoreTrustSeal-certified Merritt repository, and curated by our expert team to ensure it has appropriate metadata and context for discovery and reuse. As an independent and multidisciplinary repository, Dryad welcomes all researchers, regardless of institutional affiliation, research area, or funding source.

  2. Timely publication. The policy asks researchers to make data accessible “as soon as possible, and no later than the time of an associated publication, or the end of performance period” and for the length of time they anticipate it being useful for the larger research community and/or the broader public.

    Dryad’s team of expert curators works to minimize the delay from submission to publication and can work with authors to time data to go live at the same time as an associated publication. All data published with Dryad are retained indefinitely, mirrored in multiple locations, and routinely curated to ensure bit-level integrity over time. 

  3. Data quality assurance. Data sharing is more than a box to check–it’s a practice intended to enable and promote reuse by other researchers. The policy therefore asserts that, to be compliant, “data should be of sufficient quality to validate and replicate research findings.”

    Dryad’s hands-on curation process ensures that data published with us meet this standard. Our team of expert curators reviews each submission with an eye towards metadata quality, usability of files and code, and identification of any sensitive data. Where needed, they correspond with authors to resolve issues and enhance metadata quality. Dryad provides DOIs; permits dataset versioning; and links the dataset with associated research outputs and any software or code needed for replication. Each of these features contributes to a high-quality data publication that is meant to be shared, reused, and built upon.

Dryad’s focus is always on how to make high-quality data publishing as easy as possible for the researcher. By building best practices into our infrastructure and workflows, we ensure that researchers, and the institutions that support them, can trust us to steward their data in compliance with current and future funder policies. 

Dryad is grateful to have had the opportunity to offer feedback into the design of this policy and to be helping other generalist repositories to establish common approaches to support NIH-funded researchers as part of the NIH Generalist Repository Ecosystem Initiative (GREI). Learn more.

Job opening: Full-time data curator (Remote, USA)

Dryad is now recruiting for a Data Curator to help drive and maintain the highest standards for research data curation quality and efficiency. Our future Data Curator will perform data curation tasks, and assist with process improvements, policy implementation, recruitment, and training. 

Qualifications

To thrive, grow and be successful in this role, the candidate should have at least one higher education qualification in biology (preferred) or related research experience and possess the following:

  • Experience working with data in either a research or curation capacity (quantitative and qualitative)
  • Skilled with multiple types of research management and analysis software, both open source and proprietary (such as TextEditor, QGIS, Octave, ImageJ, RStudio)
  • Excellent skills in time-management, organization, collaboration, and communication – verbal and written

Responsibilities

  • Curate and publish research data: evaluate metadata to comply with Dryad’s guidelines for publication, working in collaboration with authors to make data openly available to access and reuse
  • Maintain high standards for curation service delivery, including responsiveness, speed, quality and integrity
  • Maintain relationships with editors, ensuring clear, open and consistent communication about ongoing curation and publication as well as Dryad policies and service
  • Assist with creating and maintaining Dryad documentation
  • Participate in team recruitment and training efforts:
  • Identify opportunities for process optimization and assist with implementation

Important Characteristics

  • Customer service-oriented 
  • Ability to work with minimal supervision
  • Able to work individually and within a team
  • Proactive and committed to continuous improvement
  • Passionate about open science and Dryad’s mission

Helpful but Not Required

  • Familiarity with citation styles and formats, DOIs and other identifiers, indexing services and databases, and citation management software
  • Exposure to metadata standards (XML, etc.)
  • Experience in programming (R/python) and data analysis

Compensation and Benefits

This is a fully remote, full-time hourly position based in the United States. We offer benefits and competitive compensation of $18-23/hour, depending on experience. 

US candidates must be based in any of the following states: 

California, Florida, Indiana, North Carolina, Nebraska, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia,  and Washington.

Equal Employment Opportunity

Dryad is dedicated to providing a welcoming and supportive environment for all people, regardless of background or identity. We are an equal opportunity employer and give consideration for employment to qualified applicants without regard to age, race, color, religion, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, marital status, disability or protected veteran status, or any other status or characteristic protected by US federal, state, or local law. We encourage all qualified individuals to apply.

To Apply

Please submit a resume or CV and cover letter expressing why the Data Curator role at Dryad would be a good fit for you – to jobs@datadryad.org. Applications without a cover letter will not be considered. Informal inquiries are very welcome, to our Head of Publishing Services, Jess Herzog via jherzog@datadryad.org. The position is open now and applications will be considered on a rolling basis until the role is filled. Informal inquiries are very welcome. 

20 September 2022

U.S. Policy: Evaluating Dryad’s Alignment with the National Science and Technology Council’s Desirable Characteristics of Data Repositories for Federally Funded Research

In May, The National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) released “a consistent set of desirable characteristics for data repositories” to help government agencies provide guidance to their research communities on selecting appropriate data repositories. These characteristics, covering a range of features from organizational sustainability to data quality assurance, will help to ensure that data resulting from federally funded research is broadly accessible, robustly curated, and preserved over the long term. 

As a mission-driven data publishing platform curating tens of thousands of data sets, many originating from federally funded research, Dryad is grateful to have had the chance to submit feedback in anticipation of these recommendations and is now pleased to share the ways in which our infrastructure and services naturally align with the NSTC’s recommendations. 

Organizational Infrastructure

Free and Easy Access

The repository provides broad, equitable, and maximally open access to datasets and their metadata free of charge in a timely manner after submission, consistent with legal and policy requirements related to maintaining privacy and confidentiality, Tribal and national data sovereignty, and protection of sensitive data.1

Dryad publishes research and associated metadata data exclusively under a Creative Commons Zero (CC0) License to ensure broadest possible dissemination. We make data publicly available only after it is curated by our team – ensuring that data are appropriate for sharing openly under a CC0 license, sensitive information has been removed, files are accessible and understandable for other users, and descriptive metadata are provided to facilitate downstream discovery and reuse. Dryad does not publish datasets containing identifiable human subject information; our curation process ensures that data pertaining to human subjects are properly anonymized. Our team of expert curators works to minimize the delay from submission to publication. 

To further equitable access and representation, Dryad offers fee waivers for submissions originating from researchers based in countries classified by the World Bank as low-income or lower-middle-income economies. We support the CARE Principles for Indigenous Data Governance and look forward to developing a common vision for implementation with other repositories. 

Clear Use Guidance

The repository ensures datasets are accompanied by documentation describing terms of dataset access and use (e.g., reuse licenses and need for approval by a data use committee).

Our curation team checks that data are appropriate for sharing under a CC0 license, and that open sharing isn’t restricted by prior agreement, such as with study participants. The use of CC0 reduces any legal and technical impediments, be they intentional and unintentional, to the reuse of data.

Risk Management

The repository has documented capabilities for ensuring that administrative, technical, and physical safeguards are employed to comply with applicable confidentiality, risk management, and continuous monitoring requirements for sensitive data.

Through our curation process, submissions including sensitive data are either adjusted by the authors to anonymise or otherwise shield details (such as location information for endangered species) or turned away. Dryad does not publish sensitive data.

Retention Policy 

The repository provides documentation on policies for data retention.

Our policies to permanently preserve and archive deposited data are set out in our Terms of Service

Long-term Organizational Sustainability

The repository has a plan for long-term management of data, including maintaining integrity, authenticity, and availability of datasets; has contingency plans to ensure data are available and maintained during and after unforeseen events. 

All data published with Dryad are preserved in Merritt, a CoreTrustSeal certified repository maintained by the California Digital Library (CDL). Merritt ensures bit-level preservation and actively manages three copies of all files and digital objects in the system through use of external (cloud) storage providers distributed across two geographic regions. Dryad’s full data portfolio is also mirrored in Zenodo. CDL assures permanent preservation of data deposited with Merritt. As a core service of a well-established institution, the CDL benefits from secure permanent funding, providing reasonable expectation of its long-term sustainability. In the event of unforeseen circumstances, CDL commits to “make reasonable efforts to find another curatorial organization … willing to take on custodial responsibility for all managed content.”  

Digital Object Management

Unique Persistent Identifiers

The repository assigns a dataset a citable, unique persistent identifier (PID or DPI), such as a digital object identifier (DOI), to support data discovery, reporting (e.g., of research progress), and research assessment (e.g., identifying the outputs of Federally funded research). The unique PID points to a persistent location that remains accessible even if the dataset is de-accessioned or no longer available.

Every dataset submitted to Dryad is assigned a Datacite DOI. After publication, datasets can be versioned. All versions of a dataset will be accessible, but the dataset DOI will always resolve to the newest version. 

Metadata

The repository ensures datasets are accompanied by metadata to enable discovery, reuse, and citation of datasets, using schema that are appropriate to, and ideally widely used across, the communities that the repository serves.

Dryad is a generalist open data publishing platform that invites submission of any research data that doesn’t already have a home in a specialist repository. As such, our metadata schema and curation process are designed to be broad and inclusive. We support the Datacite metadata schema out-of-the-box and require that broadly applicable infrastructure PIDs such as ORCID, FundRef, and ROR are tied to every publication, and use the OECD classification to capture fields of study. 

Curation and Quality Assurance

The repository provides or facilitates expert curation and quality assurance to improve the accuracy and integrity of datasets and metadata.

Dryad is the first generalist open data publishing platform to introduce curation. Our team of expert curators check every submission to ensure the validity of files and metadata. Where needed, they correspond with authors to resolve issues and enhance metadata quality. Our curation process ensures that all datasets published with Dryad can be appropriately accessed and reused.

Broad and Measured Reuse

The repository ensures datasets are accompanied by metadata that describe terms of reuse and provides the ability to measure attribution, citation, and reuse of data (e.g., through assignment of adequate and openly accessible metadata and unique PIDs).

In addition to providing DOIs for every dataset, Dryad provides suggested citations for all datasets and publishes usage metrics that conform with Make Data Count standards. 

Common Format

The repository allows datasets and metadata to be accessed, downloaded, or exported from the repository in widely used, preferably non-proprietary, formats consistent with standards used in the disciplines the repository serves.

Dryad requires datasets to use open, common file formats. Our curators check that files can be opened with widely available software. Dryad uses the DataCite metadata schema and JSON metadata records for all datasets can be accessed through our API.

Provenance

The repository has mechanisms in place to record the origin, chain of custody, version control, and any other modifications to submitted datasets and metadata.

Dryad retains a full audit trail throughout the curation process, recording every action taken. Every dataset submitted to Dryad is assigned a Datacite DOI. Any edits made to a dataset after publication will create a new version of your submission using a versioned DOI. Dryad’s curation team reviews and publishes changes and makes the most recent version of the dataset available for download. Prior versions, organized by date of publication, also remain accessible and downloadable.

Technology

Authentication

The repository supports authentication of data submitters. The repository has technical capabilities that facilitate associating submitter PIDs with those assigned to their deposited digital objects, such as datasets.

Depositing authors are required to authenticate via ORCID. If depositing authors provide contact information for their co-authors, Dryad also prompts those authors to authenticate with ORCID.

Long-term Technical Sustainability

The repository has a plan for long-term management of data, building on a stable technical infrastructure and funding plans.

All data published with Dryad are preserved in Merritt, a CoreTrustSeal certified repository maintained by the California Digital Library (CDL). Merritt ensures bit-level preservation and actively manages three copies of all files and digital objects in the system through use of external (cloud) storage providers distributed across two geographic regions. All data files are stored along with a SHA-256 checksum of the file content. Regular checks of files against their checksums are made. The audit process cycles continually, with a current cycle time of approximately two months.

Security and Integrity

The repository has documented measures in place to meet well established cybersecurity criteria for preventing unauthorized access to, modification of, or release of data, with levels of security that are appropriate to the sensitivity of data (e.g., the NIST Cybersecurity Framework).

Dryad is GDPR compliant and follows best practices for privacy and security. Users who do not Submit Content to Dryad are not asked to provide any personally identifying information. Dryad implements and follows commercially reasonable electronic security measures to secure the systems through which information is collected or stored. Security protections, and all other elements of this policy, extend to data copies and backups implemented for business continuity. For site security purposes, and to ensure that this service remains available to all Users, we employ software programs to monitor traffic and to identify unauthorized attempts to upload or change information or to otherwise cause damage. In the event of authorized law enforcement investigations, and pursuant to any required legal process, information from these sources may be used to help identify an individual.

1 Italicized quotes at the beginning of each section are taken from the Desirable Characteristics of Data Repositories for Federally Funded Research.

Community update, July 2022

Here are a few updates from Dryad that we hope folks will find of interest. If you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to contact us, via hello [at] datadryad [dot] org.


First up: Our long-time Product Manager Daniella Lowenberg is taking on an exciting new appointment at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as Senior Advisor for Data Governance and will be leaving Dryad later this month. In her new role, Daniella will lead the development of strategy and systems to support public and restricted access to human services data. For more details about her assignment, please check out the University of California announcement here. While we’re sorry to lose her, we’re also so excited for Daniella to take on this amazing opportunity.

It’s difficult to overstate the extent of Daniella’s contributions across our organisation; I know she’s been a valuable, responsive, and knowledgeable collaborator for many of you, as well as a driving force behind data publishing and standards-setting over the last several years. Her loss will be felt deeply – as deeply as her energy, character and expertise have infused Dryad since 2018 and will energise us as we move forward. Please join me in congratulating Daniella on her fabulous new role. She can be reached via Daniella.Lowenberg [at] ucop [dot] edu.

Daniella leaves us in style – posting just last week the outcomes of her collaboration with data scientist and ecologist Karthik Ram and plans to make Dryad more data science friendly. We’ll be improving data quality at submission, considering substantial changes to the interface, and exploring feature sets around file manifests, tabular file previews, rendered READMEs, README templates, and much more.  

Welcome to new team & community members

Many of you will now have met Mark Kurtz, Dryad Head of Business Operations, who joined us in March. Not one for fanfare, Mark didn’t want us to press-release his joining the team, but we must say how thrilled we are to have him on board and what a difference it’s made to have such a skilled and experienced operator on hand. You can learn a little more about Mark on our team page. We’re soon to be joined by a new Senior Full Stack Developer and a Head of Partnership Development (for which we’re still inviting applications). We hope to announce all the new members of the team (including Mark!) in the Autumn. 

Dryad is also pleased to welcome a number of new members to our growing community: the Australian Wine Research Institute (AUS); Hindawi (UK); Northwestern University (USA); Rockefeller University (USA); University of Rochester (USA); and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USA)

NIH GREI Initiative

At the beginning of the year, the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Data Science Strategy announced the Generalist Repository Ecosystem Initiative (GREI) which we are pleased to be a part of. We’re working with five other generalist repositories “to establish consistent metadata, develop use cases for data sharing, train and educate researchers on FAIR data and the importance of data sharing” and look forward to working closely with NIH in preparation for the updated  NIH Data Sharing and Management Policy roll-out in 2023. 

Bits and bobs

Catching up after COVID, we’ve now released our Annual Report for the fiscal year 2021 (FY21) (summer 2020 to summer 2021). FY22 is coming soon.

And – finally – at a Database Sustainability Symposium hosted by Phoenix Bioinformatics in March, Jen spoke about Dryad’s community of support, our commitment to the Principles for Open Scholarly Infrastructure (POSI) and what I’ve come to grasp about our 15-year history. If you’re interested, take a look.

Making Dryad More Data Science Friendly

Daniella Lowenberg & Karthik Ram

As we enter year three of the pandemic, it has become clear that many aspects of our lives have permanently changed. Travel and fieldwork, especially in remote locations, were never easy to begin with. Now, these efforts have become much more challenging to organize and execute, serving as a constant reminder that the data we collect must be carefully curated and reliably made available to future researchers. 

The Dryad team has been making steady improvements to platform infrastructure for many years, kicking off with the  CDL partnership and platform re-launch in 2019 . Through various outdoor meetings during lockdowns, we explored various ways to make Dryad even more researcher friendly, especially in the context of data quality and data reuse. The last years of Dryad integrations have been so heavily focused on submission in line with goals to increase awareness and feasibility of publishing data: publisher integrations, integration with Zenodo for software and supplementary information, tabular data checks with Frictionless data. These integrations have been greatly powerful and necessary for supporting research data publishing. Now, it’s time to focus that level of investment on researcher reuse of Dryad datasets.

In Q2 of 2022, we carried out a detailed analysis of the Dryad corpus and the API. Dryad hosts more than a million data files across over 48,000 data publications. Tabular data files (csv, tsv, and Excel) make up at least 30% of the submission (far more are in compressed files), followed by various image formats, and miscellaneous supporting files (scripts, notes, and readme files). At least 13% of files are opaque zipped files that contain collections of tabular or fasta files. Usage instructions were sparse and README files historically were poorly structured. 

In 2021 Dryad partnered with the Frictionless project to run data validation across all new submissions. An analysis of 46,823 tabular files revealed that 85% of the files didn’t have any obvious validation issues, 10% with problems, and 4% with more serious errors. Dryad continues to run Frictioness validation during the submission process but doesn’t yet enforce compliance before submission. 

From these results and from listening to various research communities it’s clear that with any data publisher, and especially with Dryad, the value needs to lie in the usability of published datasets. Dryad has put a plan in place to improve data quality at submission, a time when researchers are best equipped to address any problems with their datasets. We have also put a plan in motion to make substantial changes to the API and the interface. In the future, we will explore feature sets around file manifests, tabular file previews, rendered READMEs, README templates, and much more.  

The last decade has proved that it’s possible to get mass adoption of researchers to comply with open data policies: tossing their data over a wall to the repository, including a data availability statement (rarely with a data citation – insert Daniella’s many rants some of which are available here), and feeling like they’ve met the mandate. But at what point is this useful? It’s not if the data aren’t being reused and especially if the data are not able to be reused. 

Dryad’s mission remains to advance scientific discovery through curated open data access and driving this forward we will be focusing on feature sets centered on: reusability, machine usability, and pluggability. This includes aligning with popular data science tools, educating researchers along the submission process with more complex checks and automated tooling for quality, and rethinking how users access and compute with data published in Dryad. 

As the adoption of executable notebooks becomes more mainstream in the research community, Dryad is committed to meeting these researchers where they are headed, with a data-science-friendly research repository.

The Dryad Collaboration: An invitation to libraries

Jen Gibson, Executive Director 

At the Winter meeting of the Coalition for Networked Information (CNI) in December, I had the chance to present for the first time (for me) Dryad’s invitation to collaborate for academic and research libraries. It was three years ago, at this same meeting, where library colleagues met to discuss Dryad’s prospective role and how we might supplement ongoing initiatives for open research and repository systems on campus. 

I’ll revisit the highlights of my presentation here, with an open invitation to academic and research libraries and their networks to please get in touch to discuss further. Please don’t hesitate to contact me via jgibson[at]datadryad.org. 

CNI has shared a video of the presentation, here. I am introduced by John Chodacki, Director of UC3 at the California Digital Library, who speaks to their motivations for investing in Dryad.

_______________________

At the time of writing, our institutional membership program has connected Dryad with forty three academic institutions. It’s a program for institutions designed by institutions, having been developed at a workshop of academic and research library representatives in 2019. Institutional member dues represent 25% of Dryad’s non-grant revenue at the moment. 

Our members are listed here. Given the chance to read it, I hope readers would notice that small and large institutions are represented, and that we have some geographical reach – although we want to have much more. 

The proposal

We’ve designed the fees to be cost-effective ($3,000 for teaching institutions and $13,000 for the largest research institutions), and it’s not always the library that pays. The Dryad collaboration is a compelling proposition for information technology services and research administration, as well.

In recognition of their investment, Dryad members receive a breadth of benefits, from unlimited data publishing deposits (for submissions affiliated with your institution) and an activity dashboard to prominent branding and technical support. Dryad members have the power to vote in our annual election of governing board members – helping to preserve Dryad as a community-owned resource with community interests in mind. And, many use our API to integrate Dryad data and metadata with local resources – whether mirroring all our research data in their local institutional repository, or adding just the metadata to their catalogue, for example. 

Our member benefits are set out on our website, here

The incentive 

Before revisiting why institutions have invested in the Dryad collaboration, allow me to emphasise that we’re a data publishing platform and community committed to the open sharing and re-use of all research data. We’re part of a network of interconnected systems and initiatives that advance open research using modern technology, and sit alongside domain repositories, institutional repositories, other generalist repositories, and other services, such as the Data Curation Network.

Our vision is for all research data to be openly available and routinely re-used, and we help by enabling and promoting the re-use of research data through the Dryad platform and our integrations. We make it easy and powerful to share, and compelling to reuse research data.

Institutions are investing in Dryad because: 

  1. We’re a powerful ally in achieving your open research strategy
  2. Many research communities already come to Dryad to share their data
  3. Our integrations with publishers help capture data at the right moment, as part of a focal workflow
  4. We help advocate for – and exemplify – best practises in data sharing and the potential for data re-use
  5. We share your values. As a non-profit organisation, we’re driven by our mission and vision, and want to contribute to a global environment for research that is equitable and inclusive as well as open. 

All that said, one of the key questions for our institutional partners is how we supplement institutional and other campus repositories, which have already drawn significant investment. So, a couple of points to help: 

  • The first is that Dryad publishes data exclusively, while IRs and other generalist repositories publish a wide range of content.
  • The second is, as above, that members can mirror our metadata and/or data in other repositories (including Dataverse, for example) or catalogues. 

Dryad’s aim is to connect and support, to be an important part of our members’ puzzle, rather than a one-stop shop. 

The potential

As a new Executive Director, I see a lot of potential here, and know that Dryad has gained some traction with the program in the last couple of years, but I wonder what our readers think. 

In closing, I’d like to offer a few thoughts on the future shape of our collaboration, given my past experience working with academic institutions on open research programs. 

  1. First, given my work at SPARC and on projects like Open Access Week, I can’t help but ask if we shouldn’t collaborate around open data advocacy and education? Can Dryad be a ‘depository’ or locus for organised outreach? How do we leverage the momentum, and help connect information and resources with those who need them?
  2. Second, having worked so closely with researchers over the last ten years, working to convince them to change their publishing behaviours and how they judge their fellows, I can’t help but wonder what power there may be in – finally – altering research assessment, if we’re able to get people to interact with and use the data. If we can bring it to life for them, make the data compelling to reuse, and create a feedback loop for researchers who do share, could we move researchers to begin crediting data sharing themselves?? 
  3. And, finally, there is great interest in helping community-driven and open-source initiatives to persist and thrive in a competitive marketplace. I’m certainly interested, and have a number of plans for Dryad. I wonder how my plans sit with yours, and how we work together to achieve this.

I’ll look forward to working with all our current and prospective members in refining our offering and collaborating to advance open research.

Again, your thoughts are very welcome, to jgibson[at]datadryad.org.

Welcome to our newest Board members

Jen Gibson, Executive Director 

Dryad is pleased to announce the members of our Board of Directors for the 2021-2022 term. The added expertise of our newest members, together with the ongoing commitment and insights of the other accomplished individuals already serving, gives me great confidence that we have the support and guidance needed to navigate a lively and changing landscape in research data over the coming year. 

The Dryad Board of Directors is composed of 13 individuals who represent different stakeholders and voices in open research data publishing. They are recruited for their particular skills or perspectives, according to the needs of the organisation each year, and ratified by a vote of the Dryad membership. Each member serves three years, and assumes responsibility for overseeing the healthy performance of Dryad as a non-profit organisation and the realisation of our mission: to enable and promote the re-use of research data. The California Digital Library, a major partner to Dryad, is represented on the board, as an ex-officio member. We are incredibly grateful to our board members, past and present, for their commitment of time and expertise. 

This year, we would especially like to thank outgoing members Paolo Mangiafico (Duke University, USA) and Paul Uhlir (Information Policy Consultant, USA) for their work on the board. Paolo and Paul’s counsel will be remembered, and will be a support to Dryad for months to come.

We would also like to thank Wolfram Horstmann (Göttingen University, Germany) and Caroline Sutton (Taylor and Francis, Norway) for stepping forward for their second terms. They are both well-poised to help Dryad to navigate the challenges and opportunities before us.

Finally, we offer a warm welcome to our newest members Ian Mulvany (British Medical Journal, UK) and Iratxe Puebla (ASAPbio, UK) whose experience with open research broadly, technology, strategy, publishing, publishing ethics, preprints and more will help us ride the tides of change in open research data communication and publishing.

The full Dryad Governing Board now includes:

  • Scott Edmunds, GigaScience (CHN)
  • Brooks Hanson, American Geophysical Union (USA) 
  • Wolfram Horstmann, Göttingen State and University Library (GER)
  • Catriona Maccallum, Hindawi (UK)
  • Ian Mulvany, British Medical Journal (UK)
  • Fiona Murphy, MoreBrains Cooperative (UK)
  • Johan Nilsson, Oikos Editorial Office (SWE)
  • Naomi Penfold, Science Practice (UK)
  • Iratxe Puebla, ASAPbio (UK)
  • Judy Ruttenberg, Association of Research Libraries (USA)
  • Caroline Sutton, Taylor & Francis (NOR)
  • Jason Williams, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (USA)
  • Günter Waibel, California Digital Library (USA)(Ex-officio)

More information is available at https://datadryad.org/stash/our_governance

Feedback and questions are always welcome, to hello@datadryad.org

What’s on at Dryad: News from our Autumn Community Meeting

The Dryad Team

Dryad researchers, members, publishers, partners, funders and fans will be interested to see the headlines from our recent Community Meeting, where we introduced our new Executive Director, latest services for researchers, and incoming board members. 

The one-hour recording is now available, but read on for a quick summary.   

At the 2021 now-Annual Dryad Community Meeting:

  • We were welcomed by our Board Chair, Johan Nilsson, who is also Associate Director of the Oikos Editorial Office in Lund, Sweden.
  • Johan introduced our new Executive Director, Jennifer Gibson (Jen), who described some of her favourite projects from work at eLife, SPARC, FORCE11, and OASPA. 
  • We shared the latest numbers from the Dryad platform: ​​175,000+ researchers, 32,000+  international institutions, and 1,200+ academic journals represented – plus 43,000+ data publications (a ~20% increase on the year before).
  • We welcomed 13 new members and publisher partners from five countries.
  • Our Product Manager Daniella Lowenberg summarised additions to the platform, including: 
    • Our early commitment to the Principles of Open Scholarly Infrastructure 
    • Integrations with Zenodo, to help authors share software and supplementary information alongside their data 
    • Workflow integrations for eLife and all journals on Editorial Manager
    • The integration with Frictionless Data, to help users check their tabular data files for errors before loading 
    • The Atlantic’s COVID Tracking Project data, which is now available at Dryad 
  • We’re grateful to Jose Benito Gonzalez from Zenodo, Lilly Winfree from Frictionless Data, and Amanda French at COVID Tracking Project for joining us to speak to each of those projects.
  • Jen talked about near-term priorities and the start of plans for the New Year, thanking recent directors Tracy Teal and Trisha Cruse for their leadership of Dryad and contributions to helping put us in such a strong position for moving forward.
  • Johan introduced recommended candidates to join the Governing Board: Iratxe Puebla (ASAPBio), Ian Mulvany (BMJ), and Caroline Sutton (Taylor and Francis) and Wolfram Horstmann (University of Göttingen), who would serve their second terms. 

We concluded with a great, informal discussion, which we won’t share in the recording. You’ll just have to join us next time!

If you have any questions or other thoughts to share, feel free to add a comment below, or email us at hello@datadryad.org

Metadata Game Changers, Stanford University, and Dryad receive NSF Funding to improve metadata quality and connect repositories

Metadata Game Changers, the Center for Expanded Data Annotation and Retrieval (CEDAR) at Stanford University, and Dryad are thrilled to announce their joint National Science Foundation two-year EAGER award focused on increasing the quality of disciplinary metadata and bridging the gap between generalist and disciplinary data repositories. 

Increasing the quality of metadata for past and future datasets requires interoperable, seamless workflows. This team will be working together to pilot approaches that increase the quality of datasets deposited into the Dryad data repository while streamlining the submission processes. Examples of these pilot projects include displaying the right scientific metadata schema for datasets depending on standard fields in Dryad, as well as using metadata fields to flag datasets that would be best fit at a disciplinary repository (and piloting integrations with those repositories).

The approach will rely on the ability of the CEDAR technology to acquire and encode standardized metadata for different scientific communities, using established reporting guidelines for different classes of experiments and standard terms for authoring  metadata.   Much of this work also depends on developing learning algorithms based on the last 40,000+ published datasets in Dryad.

“Existing metadata are an exciting learning set for discerning patterns that can be used to streamline the metadata creation process. We want to  ensure that data are being submitted to the best fit repository with the right metadata,” said Ted Habermann.

The goal of these pilot explorations is to understand and build interoperable, open source approaches for repositories to use to improve the quality of metadata and datasets published and begin to find ways that disciplinary repositories and general repositories can collaborate to more effectively support the research community.. 

The work ahead will be led by Principal Investigator Dr. Ted Habermann and the team welcomes feedback or ideas from the community. For more information, follow along at our blogs (Metadata Game Changers, Dryad, and CEDAR) or get in touch at ted@metadatagamechangers.com.

Dryad appoints Jennifer Gibson as Executive Director

Dryad, the open-access repository and curation service for international research data, has announced that Jennifer Gibson (née McLennan) will join as Executive Director this October. An accomplished non-profit executive and open science advocate, Gibson’s leadership will help Dryad navigate a time of ambitious growth and transformation. 

Dryad was established by researchers in 2009 and is now home to over 40,000 datasets across scientific disciplines and across the globe. Academic institutions, publishers and funders partner with Dryad to support broad adoption of best practices in data publishing. 

As Executive Director, Jennifer will manage the remote, multidisciplinary Dryad team, ensure the organization meets its objectives, provide full oversight of operations, and directly report to the Dryad Board of Directors. She will have primary responsibility for leading the continuing development of Dryad and expanding international and strategic partnerships with journals, scientific societies, research institutions, libraries, and funding organizations.

“At a time when submissions and community growth are rapidly increasing and Dryad is launching innovative projects and collaborations, Jennifer’s experience is an excellent match for Dryad,” adds Johan Nilsson, Associate Director of the Oikos Editorial Office in Lund, Sweden, and Chair of the Dryad Board of Directors. “The Board has great confidence that, with her leadership, Dryad stands to chart an even more exciting path into the future of data publishing.” 

Jennifer joins Dryad from eLife, the research funder-backed initiative to transform research communication, where she currently serves as Head of Open Research Communication, in Cambridge UK. As a founding member of the eLife team, Jennifer has worked since late 2011 with researchers, funders, publishers, developers and others to explore fresh paths toward accelerating science through open research practices and open technology innovation. Prior to eLife, she served as Director of Programs and Operations for SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resource Coalition), in Washington, DC. 

“I’m incredibly excited to work with Dryad,” Jennifer says. “As more open research practices take hold across various disciplines, we have a special opportunity to increase the profile of events and objects from across the continuum of research. There is tremendous value in bringing data to the foreground of discovery, to the attention of researchers and to the machines that aid them. Dryad, along with its community of research institutions, publishers, and funders, is well-poised to further realise this potential and I look forward to being a part.”  

Jennifer takes over from Interim Executive Director Patricia Cruse on October 11 and will be based in London, England. 

For Jennifer’s full profile, visit https://www.linkedin.com/in/jmclenna. Her high-resolution image is here: https://bit.ly/37DsZTn 

For more information about Dryad’s recent work, visit our blog at https://blog.datadryad.org

For more information and to request an interview, please contact: director@datadryad.org