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!

Doing it Right: A Better Approach for Software & Data

The Dryad and Zenodo teams are proud to announce the launch of our first formal integration. As we’ve noted over the last years, we believe that the best way to support the broad scientific community in publishing their outputs is to leverage each other’s strengths and build together. Our plan has always been to find ways to seamlessly connect software publishing and data curation in ways that are both easy enough that the features will be used but also beneficial to the researchers re-using and building on scientific discoveries. This month, we’ve released our first set of features to support exactly that.

Uploading to Zenodo Through Dryad

Researchers submitting data for curation and publication at Dryad will now have the option to upload code, scripts, and software packages on a new tab “Upload Software”. Anything uploaded here will be sent directly to Zenodo. Researchers will also have the opportunity to select the proper license for their software, as opposed to Dryad’s CC0 license.

The Dryad upload form now includes an option to upload code files that will be triaged and sent to Zenodo

Those familiar with Dryad may know that Dryad has a feature to keep datasets private during the peer review period, with a double blind download URL that allows for journal offices and collaborators to access the data prior to manuscript acceptance. Zenodo hosted software will be included in this private URL and will be held from the public until the dataset is ready to be published.

Before submitting researchers are able to preview all uploaded files 
Private for Peer Review link allows for auto download of the Dryad data as well as the software files in Zenodo

After curation and publication of the dataset, the Dryad and Zenodo outputs are linked publicly on each landing page and indexed with DataCite metadata. Versioning and updating of either package can happen at any time through the Dryad interface.

Published dataset at Dryad prominently allows researchers to navigate to and download code files from Zenodo
Software package is downloadable at Zenodo, with proper license, and linked to the Dryad dataset

Elevating Software

Throughout our building together, we worked with researchers across scientific disciplines to both test the look and feel of the features but also to understand how data and software are used together. Through conversations with folks at Software Sustainability Institute (SSI), rOpenSci, Research Software Alliance (ReSA), US Research Software Sustainability Institute (URSSI) and leaders in the software citation space, we understood that while researchers may not always think of their R or Python scripts as a piece of software, integrations like this are essential to elevate software as a valued, published, and citable output. 

“This work between the organizations represents a massive win for open science and reproducibility. Besides the lack of incentives to share, a significant source of friction for researchers is the burden of preparing research artifacts for different repositories. By simplifying this process and linking research objects, Dryad and Zenodo are not only making it easier to share code and software, but also dramatically enhancing discoverability and improving data and software citation.”
– Karthik Ram, Director of rOpenSci & URSSI lead

Looking Forward

This release is the first set of features in our path ahead working together to best support our global researcher base. While we are building feature sets around Supporting Information (non-software and non-data files) for journal publishers, we know that this space is evolving quickly and our partnership will respond to both the needs of researchers as well as the development of best practices from software and data initiatives. We will keep the community apprised of our future developments and we are always looking to expand our reach and iterate on what we’ve built. If you believe there are ways that Dryad and Zenodo better support research data and software publishing, please get in touch.

Dryad’s Commitment to the Principles of Open Scholarly Infrastructure

Researchers, institutions, funders, and publishers have relied on Dryad for over 10 years to support open data publishing. Throughout, we have taken our responsibility as open infrastructure seriously. As a small nonprofit working in a crowded and complicated scholarly communications landscape, it has been our honor to serve as an exemplar for what is possible when you remain committed to the mission and to building coalitions with like minded organizations in order to achieve success.  

Since our founding, members of our board and our team have been involved in constructing best practices for open infrastructure organizations like ours. One foundational set was published as the Principles of Open Scholarly Infrastructure. Since these principles were first published as a blog post in 2015, our team has worked closely with the original authors and additional collaborators to ensure Dryad aligns internal processes and external commitments to reflect these principles.   

Our work continues to evolve and these principles remain influential in how Dryad evaluates our success and assesses our impact.  We understand that transparency is key to maintaining the trust we have built with our broad community.  The burden is on us to continuously show how our organization is durable, our long-term business model is sustainable, and that our governance is truly open and transparent.  

Running open scholarly infrastructure is a journey that takes time and care. In order to formalize our commitment to these goals, the Dryad Board of Directors earlier this month unanimously voted to affirm that Dryad is committed to the Principles of Open Scholarly Infrastructure. We hope that, by committing to these principles, we can preemptively address fundamental questions about accountability and sustainability that are inevitably raised regarding our services.

So how does Dryad currently meet POSI?

The Principles of Open Scholarly Infrastructure (POSI) proposes three areas that an Open Infrastructure organization can address in order to garner the trust of the broader scholarly community: accountability (governance), funding (sustainability) and protection of community interests (insurance).

As we look at how Dryad currently maps to the principles, please keep in mind three things:

  1. Items marked something as green, that doesn’t mean we think we do this perfectly. It simply means that we have internal processes that focus on this commitment and we have evidence that these processes have thus-far been working.
  2. The fact that something is green does not mean that we will rest easy. We could regress. Our processes need to be able to detect and address regressions.
  3. Our commitments need to be balanced. So we don’t want to do something to turn something green if it has an irreversible impact on another commitment. 
  4. The implication of #3 above, is that it may take us some time to meet all of the commitments. But again, this is a journey. 
Dryad POSI

 

 

Dryad & Frictionless Data

Guided by our commitment to make research data publishing more seamless and also re-usable, we are thrilled to partner with Open Knowledge Foundation and the Frictionless Data team to enhance our submission processes. Integrating the Frictionless Data toolkit, Dryad will be able to directly provide feedback to authors on the structure of tabular files uploaded. This will also allow for automated file level metadata to be created at upload and available for download for published datasets.

We are excited to get moving on this project and with support from the Sloan Foundation, Open Knowledge Foundation has just announced a job opening to contribute to this work. Please check out the posting and circulate it to any developers who may be interested in building out this functionality with us: https://okfn.org/about/jobs/

Call for Nominations: Dryad Scientific Advisory Committee

Dryad was founded over a decade ago by researchers who called for an open, accessible home for research data to be curated, archived and published. Since its founding, Dryad has long been rooted in researcher values, led by and serving various scientific communities. 

In recent discussions, and raised at a recent NSF supported workshop focusing on researcher perspectives, it has become clear that beyond our governing, Dryad should have a committee of scientists across disciplines and career stages who can advise on Dryad’s strategic directions and provide expert advice on field standards.

We are pleased to announce a call for nominations for the inaugural Dryad Scientific Advisory Committee. As Dryad’s current and future users include a broad diversity of individuals, disciplines of study, geographies, career stages and backgrounds, this Scientific Advisory Committee will reflect that global and diverse perspective, and operate using inclusive participation practices. This group will meet quarterly, provide feedback on strategic plans or initiatives and be an advocate for Dryad as well as relay community concerns to Dryad’s leadership. The time commitment involved will be 10-20 hours over the course of the year. 

Please consider nominating a colleague or yourself here. We ask in the nomination process that you please consider current or emerging leaders in their field of study and voices that may not already be represented in the open science community.

Dryad Scientific Advisory Committee Nomination Form

Questions? Please contact Dryad Executive Director Tracy Teal <director@datadryad.org>

Deadline for nominations is 2020 October 30 Anywhere On Earth, but we know there’s a lot going on right now, so nominations will still be accepted past this date.