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.

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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

COVID Tracking Project Data Now Available in Dryad

Following on the news of The COVID Tracking Project at the Atlantic (CTP)’s collaboration with UCSF and California Digital Library, Dryad is proud to announce our partnership with CTP to provide an accessible, citable, and long-term home for the data that has guided policy and expanded the capacity of the medical and scientific community to respond to COVID-19. Over the course of the pandemic, CTP tracked and made available national testing data for more than two months, when these counts were otherwise not available, and other factors necessary to guide the medical community to better understand the epidemiology and public health impacts of COVID-19. CTP was the main organization to have compiled data from all the U.S. states, as opposed to using federal or county data. These unique data— reported from every state March 7th, 2020 to March 7th, 2021— are now available in Dryad

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI), a philanthropy that is leveraging technology, community-driven solutions, and collaboration to build a more inclusive, just, and healthy future, was an early supporter of the CTP.

“In a time of unprecedented uncertainty, the volunteers at the COVID Tracking Project provided consistent, timely, and meaningful data on the direction of the pandemic. CZI was proud to support their comprehensive COVID-19 racial data tracker, and ultimately, their efforts to derive lessons that will help navigate future public health crises,” said Kishore Hari, Community Engagement Strategist at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. “We are thrilled to see this project archived at Dryad, UCSF, and California Digital Library, allowing researchers across the world to continue exploring the data and organizational records amassed by this incredible team.”

As the world continues to recognize the importance of data-driven and evidence-based research and policy, it’s become increasingly clear that broad access to data is essential to the advancement of research and clinical practice. Access includes having robust metadata to understand and reuse the data, in accessible file formats, and with the assurance of long-term preservation. 

CZI is a member of the Dryad community, covering the costs of curation and preservation for their grantees and supporting them in following best practices for open data. 

“Open infrastructures for scholarly outputs is a critical component of an open, reproducible, and verifiable scientific ecosystem, and CZI is proud to support our grantees like The COVID Tracking Project with a place to store, preserve, discover, and link research datasets,” said Carly Strasser, Open Science Program Manager at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.

Acknowledging shared values as community-driven organizations, CTS and Dryad found great similarities in approaches to making data openly available and reusable. By hosting these data, Dryad enables users around the world to analyze, cite, and build on these COVID counts that otherwise would not have been available during the first year of the pandemic. 

The COVID Tracking Project at the Atlantic’s Amanda French said, “We’re publishing COVID Tracking Project data in Dryad for two main reasons: to provide an authoritative citable version of the data we compiled from U.S. states in the first year of the pandemic and to make sure that the data will be available long after our website and GitHub organization have gone away. There are many copies of CTP’s data all around the internet in different versions (some of which probably have different values from each other), so now that our crisis response organization has largely disbanded, it’s important to us to know that a thoroughly vetted version of the critically important U.S. state COVID data that hundreds of concerned citizens helped to compile has a permanent home where researchers in all kinds of fields can find and use it”.

As CTP continues to wind down and further datasets are curated, they will continue to become available in Dryad.

Announcing Dryad & eLife’s seamless data publishing integration

Crossposted at “Inside eLife”

eLife and Dryad have long supported making research publicly accessible and reusable. Over the last years, Dryad has increasingly curated and published datasets supporting eLife publications. As the open science landscape continues to evolve, with a growing emphasis on best practices and making all research components openly available, both organizations recognize that the workflows need to be simplified. Working with eJournalPress, eLife and Dryad are pleased to announce Dryad’s first platform-based integration, allowing authors to deposit datasets to Dryad seamlessly through eLife’s submission process.

As authors submit research to eLife, they will be prompted about data availability during the full submission. Authors are welcome to deposit their data to any suitable disciplinary repository and, if data do not yet have a home, authors will have the opportunity to upload their data to Dryad.

By clicking on the button to submit data, relevant metadata from the manuscript submission will auto populate into Dryad’s form. Authors will be able to edit metadata, add additional metadata specific to the dataset, upload data (up to 300GB) to be curated, and upload any software or supplemental information that will be published at Zenodo.

After finishing the dataset submission, authors will be automatically brought back into the eJournalPress platform with the dataset DOI and citation filled in. If authors choose to keep their data private during the peer review process, the access URL will be included here as well. Dryad will status-call eLife to understand when the related manuscript has been accepted and then automatically release the dataset to be curated and published.

Removing barriers to publishing includes removing outstanding costs, and eLife will continue to support its authors in publishing their data by covering the costs of data submissions to Dryad. We are very pleased to better support our joint and growing research communities in making open access article and data publishing workflows more accessible and see this work as an important step towards improving the reusability and reproducibility of research.

Dryad’s Enhanced Features for Data + Related Research Objects

At Dryad we continue to focus on the two key pillars of data publishing: curation of data as well as seamlessly easy workflows. We are committed to designing solutions centered on meeting researchers’ needs for easy and responsible data publication. Understanding that research data is one component of open science, we have prioritized partnerships and integrations that allow for Dryad to continue focusing on curated research data while providing support for non-data objects submitted in tandem. In February, we launched the first of our Zenodo integrations allowing for software related to Dryad datasets to be published with proper license and citation. Soon after, we got moving on collaboration with one of our new partners, Open Knowledge Foundation and the Frictionless Data team, to explore automated data quality checks. Thinking through the evolving needs of researchers in publishing their data and other works, as well as our work ahead with Frictionless Data and Zenodo, we recognized the need to modernize and upgrade our submission interface and underlying technologies.

We are excited to share our enhanced upload features at Dryad

Dryad’s new interface, using a React framework, combines all types of uploads on one page, making it clear what types of files researchers would like to submit and which ones will be triaged and published at Zenodo. This allows for Dryad to now accept multiple types of related works for submitted datasets: software and now supplementary information. Because of our deep roots with publishers, we have long accepted supplementary files like figures and non-data that do not require or are not applicable for curation or a CC0 license. We are thrilled to be able to better support these submissions, in addition to code and software that are related to Dryad datasets.

Users are now welcome to upload data, or data plus any combination of software and/or supplementary information

Like with our previous release, these related files are queued up at Zenodo, available in our private for peer review access URL, and published in conjunction with the dataset

And the related identifiers are automatically added to the related works on the Dryad landing page as well as further linked up in our metadata that we send to DataCite

These enhancements allow for us to immediately support our submitting authors, but also allows for us to build on a more nimble framework for our future feature releases: we are busy developing our integration with Frictionless Data to auto-validate tabular data files submitted to Dryad for curation, and we are gearing up for our summer of journal integrations with eJournalPress and Editorial Manager.

As always, if you have any feedback or feature ideas that we should consider for supporting best practices in data and software publishing, please get in touch. 

Dryad Welcomes Interim Executive Director Patricia Cruse

By Johan Nilsson, Chairperson, Dryad Board of Directors

As Chair of the Dryad Board of Directors, it is exciting to see how much Dryad has grown over the past 10 years to a truly international and impactful organization. Year on year, we continue to curate and publish more datasets than years prior, and we’ve expanded our Dryad community bringing on institutions, funders, and publishers globally. This growth signifies the importance of data publishing and Dryad remains committed to building strong partnerships with publishers, institutions, and researchers. 

We are very much looking forward to bringing on our next Executive Director to drive Dryad’s continued success and are delighted by the many strong candidates that have already come forward. In the meantime, Dryad’s Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Patricia (Trisha) Cruse has accepted an appointment to the position of Interim Executive Director. Trisha brings with her many years of experience in data sharing, libraries, and non-profit organizations, including serving as Executive Director of DataCite. Most recently Trisha has worked with the Dryad team on membership strategies and outreach. With her unique perspective and expertise, Trisha is ideally positioned to lead Dryad during this transitional period. 

In her role as Interim Executive Director, Trisha will continue to sustain and move Dryad forward and is committed to the vision of supporting researchers in data publishing and data reuse. We are confident that Trisha’s experiences will allow her to successfully lead Dryad during this phase, working closely with the Dryad Board of Directors and team as we choose our next Executive Director.

As we prepare for the future of Dryad, we would like to extend our thanks to Tracy Teal for her leadership this past year. We are looking forward to this next chapter at Dryad, and we will continue to keep the community apprised as we recruit for a permanent Executive Director. 

Please feel free to contact me at chair@datadryad.org or Trisha at director@datadryad.org if you have any questions. 

New directions: leadership changes at Dryad

Many of us have been reflecting on the challenges of the past year. There is no individual and no organization that has not been affected by the changes and restrictions to our lives during the pandemic, whether personally or at work. When I started my position as Executive Director of Dryad in February 2020, little did I imagine that part of my job description – that of managing a remote team – would become the norm for almost every other organization and business around the world. But the challenges of the pandemic have also provided us with opportunities, such as rethinking how we work together, connect and communicate, while throwing a spotlight on the things we value most. 

How each of us takes this forward will differ. For me, working with Dryad as a mission-driven and not-for-profit organization has only reinforced how much I value working side by side with dedicated teams and board of directors to help strengthen the structural and operational foundations of an organization. In our case, this has meant building structures for Dryad to tackle the needs of the scholarly data community in an increasingly complex and international research data environment. 

With Dryad on a firm footing, I have decided to move on from my position in May 2021, to focus on building best practices for mission-aligned organizations to follow in terms of community and team engagement. As we have done at Dryad, I am excited to focus on supporting leadership development during times of recovery. I am sad to leave the amazing team, but I do this knowing that Dryad is on the right path and is well positioned for continued success. With the Dryad Board leadership, our current team, structures, community and resources, I am confident in the continued success of the organization in its next phase of development. But now is the time and opportunity for a new leader to navigate Dryad through its next chapter, which will be to operationalize its new strategy and further secure its governance and sustainability. 

It is truly an exciting time for Dryad and an opportunity for someone to take it to the next level. In the last year, we’ve renewed our emphasis in the community on open data and open infrastructure, in particular by formally aligning our practices with the Principles of Open Scholarly Infrastructure and by launching key international partnerships with like-minded organizations, such as Zenodo, and with the Open Knowledge Foundation. To build our community across a diverse range of disciplines we also founded a Scientific Advisory Committee. And focusing on our core values of integrity, we expanded and innovated our curation team and approaches, publishing over 8,000 datasets in 2020.

It has been a true honor to work with this community, team and the Board to help drive Dryad forward as a trusted global repository with an increasingly international community and membership. I’m enormously excited both for what is next for Dryad and for whoever will be at the helm. See the Executive Director job posting and come join us!