Promoting our Open Source Communities

Dryad believes in the power and potential for Open Source solutions to tackle the challenges that face scholarly communications.  As part of this strategy, the Dryad platform is completely Open Source and our code is made publicly available on GitHub.  In addition, we are continuously striving to build partnerships with other Open Source projects and help grow the Open Source communities we rely on.

In an effort to promote and elevate Open Source projects from across the scholarly communications space, Dryad is proud to partner with eLife Innovation (elifesciences.org/about/innovation) and FORCE11 (force11.org) on a series of Open Source Community Calls. These calls are an informal way to discuss and learn about emerging and established projects that promote open approaches to publishing datasets, articles and preprints as well as discovery, evaluation, and more.

The goal of each call is to allow for Open Source projects to give updates on recent releases or significant changes. Each call will have pre-selected presenters as well as time set aside for additional attendees to jump in with their own updates. All webinars will be recorded and summarized for future reference.

Next Call: February 25

The next call will be on Tuesday, February 25, 2020, 8am PT / 11am ET / 4pm GMT.  Whether you have developments to share, or simply would like to listen in to hear what’s new, please register to join the call.

On February 25, we will hear from:

  • Popper, a tool that allows researchers to automate the execution and validation of computational and data-intensive experimentation workflows;
  • Outbreak Science Rapid PREreview (OSrPRE), a platform for the rapid review of outbreak-related preprints;
  • Open Climate Knowledge, a fully open, collaborative research project to gather climate change knowledge using data-mining and open publishing; and
  • Open Publishing Awards, update from the organizers of an annual celebration of the Open Source software that supports our publishing communities.

Please join us for a lively discussion as project leads and contributors from across the world share their work on exciting projects that are using cutting-edge technology to drive forward open science and research communication.

Join the discussion

More details about the presentations and the opportunity to contribute your own updates are on the open agenda. Please register to join the call.

The agenda is open to anyone who would like to present, in five minutes or less, an open-source project that has relevance to open science and research communication

Welcoming the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to Our Member Community

We are proud to welcome our first philanthropy to join the Dryad member community: Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI).

By joining Dryad, CZI will cover the cost of curation and preservation for their grantees’  data publications, supporting them in following best practices for open data.

“The discoverability and availability of research data is a critical component of an open, reproducible, and verifiable scientific ecosystem, and Dryad provides essential infrastructure in support of this mission. The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative is pleased to join the Dryad community.”

– Alex Wade, Open Science Program Manager (CZI)

We are thrilled that CZI will be joining publishers and institutional members in lowering the barrier for researchers to publish their curated research data. For more information about our memberships and to join the community, get in touch.

Institutional member round-up and shout-out

As we settle in to the new year, we’re thrilled to report that Dryad’s institutional member community continues to expand and diversify. This should only pick up steam as we welcome our new Executive Director Dr. Tracy Teal next month, who brings significant community-building experience.

We applaud these new Dryad members in their efforts to support data stewardship and research on their campuses and beyond:

* (our first Australian institutional members!)

The Twitterverse seems excited by these developments:

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To join as an institutional member, contact us today!

Deep Roots & Strong Branches: A Recap and Preview of Dryad’s Development Plans

Happy 2020! Kicking off the new year, our product development team wanted to take a moment to introduce our development processes and provide a glimpse into Dryad’s future directions. 2019 was an exciting year with our growth of 15% in submissions and the release of our new Dryad. This release was the culmination of a year and a half of work building a new, combined product development team (at Dryad and CDL) and developing new features to support Dryad’s user base. Since then, the work has not stopped. Our team has been working to continually meet user needs and better our services. 

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Members of the Product Development Team launching the new Dryad in September, 2019 (Left to Right: Daniella Lowenberg, Ryan Scherle, Marisa Strong, Scott Fisher, Brian Riley)

 

The Dryad development process

The Dryad product development team follows agile methodologies, working and releasing in  two-week sprints. This means we prioritize feature development and bug fixes based on user needs (which are ever evolving). This work is tracked on our public project board here.  Feature development also includes working with our user experience team to design interfaces that are both accessible for and understood by our users. Outward-facing features are tested for specific user groups (researchers, curators, members, etc) before development and before each release. At the end of each sprint, we post our release notes covering at a high (and sometimes technical) level what was completed. 

This type of development work means that we depend on community feedback to help identify the features necessary for making data publishing as easy as possible and for ensuring that published datasets are usable. There are hundreds of features we would love to build or enhance, and hearing productive feedback from the community helps to guide our development priorities. If you have a feature request, or would like to report a bug, you may log a ticket here. Our product manager consistently grooms through cards and will be in touch with more questions when that work is prioritized.

What we’ve been building

In the last three months, we have been primarily focused on ensuring the new platform can support the growing Dryad community. This means building up a robust, accessible platform and enhancing researcher facing features.

One of Dryad’s key strengths is its high adoption rate. This means that the platform receives heavy traffic loads. To support these loads over the long term and as the user base grows, we have been putting in various reinforcement features like load balancing our servers, improving reliability of our downloads, and actively monitoring/blocking bots as necessary to ensure the site can avoid any downtime.

Our other development work has included addressing accessibility and feature optimization, including:

  • Adjustments to our interface to be a more accessible service for our users
  • Enhancements for the auto-fill features (journal name, institutional affiliations) to reduce lag and better the author submission process
  • Updating our DataCite schema, allowing for Dryad to send author institutional affiliations (RORs) to DataCite, enabling better tracking of dataset publications by affiliation and support consumption by initiatives like FREYA and Make Data Count.

This foundational work is key to strengthen the system and prepare for new feature development work in 2020 and beyond. 

Where we are headed

Continuing to work in our two-week sprints, we will be building essential features for the researchers using Dryad (e.g., integrations, geolocation) as well as more complex functionality for our growing institutional and publisher member communities (e.g., integrations, reporting, data metrics aggregation). We also have embarked on a couple of larger projects that we are excited to share.

  • Zenodo – Dryad Partnership: Following on our announcement in July, 2019, we have embarked on a project to integrate Zenodo and Dryad, with a goal to provide researchers with a more seamless data, code, and other materials publishing process. While the initial work has already been scoped, our official kick-off meeting is in a couple of weeks and we will update the community shortly thereafter with our project plans.
  • Editorial Manager & ScholarOne Integrations: Since many Dryad authors publish data in conjunction with an article, we have been building a direct integration with Editorial Manager, a leading journal submission platform. This work will allow for researchers submitting to a journal that uses Editorial Manager to have the option to publish their data at Dryad without actually leaving the Editorial Manager (article submission) system. We look forward to sharing more information about this implementation in the spring. We have also been working to map a similar integration with ScholarOne that will enable thousands of journals to integrate directly with Dryad.

Our open REST APIs are documented and available for use. We have been talking with undergraduate and graduate level students looking for coding projects to build integrations into our platform with R, Python, Jupyter, rOpenSci, and Binder. If you are interested in working with our APIs, get in touch!

We have a busy year ahead and we look forward to working with both researchers and research supporting communities, continuing to make data publishing as seamless as possible. Follow along our blog and twitter for further updates.

 

Tracy Teal named new Dryad ED

tracytealAfter an extensive search led by Dryad’s Board of Directors, we are proud to announce that Dr. Tracy Teal will join Dryad as Executive Director beginning February 17, 2020. She has extensive experience leading a global, community-oriented non-profit, and we’re looking forward to working with her towards Dryad’s vision of a world where research data is openly available, integrated with the scholarly literature, and routinely re-used to create knowledge.

The Board and staff are extremely pleased that Tracy will be joining Dryad and believe that her extensive experience building communities and growing membership will help Dryad continue its upward trajectory. BOD Vice-Chair Johan Nilsson states:

We are very happy to welcome Tracy as our new Executive Director. With Dryad’s partnerships with CDL and Zenodo and the recently launched institutional memberships, we have very exciting times ahead of us. We are fully confident that Tracy’s background and enthusiasm for open science makes her perfectly positioned to lead Dryad into this future.

Tracy was most recently the Executive Director of The Carpentries and a co-founder of Data Carpentry, where she helped lead the organization through growth and transition. She received her PhD in Computation and Neural Systems from California Institute of Technology and was an NSF Postdoctoral Researcher in Biological Informatics. She worked at Michigan State University as a Research Specialist with the Institute for Cyber-Enabled Research and then as an Assistant Professor in Microbiology. Throughout her career she’s been working to empower people to work with data. Tracy told us:

I am honored to be joining the Dryad team and have the opportunity to continue working to democratize data with the Dryad platform, partnerships and community. Data sharing, access and re-use as a public good is essential to the future of knowledge creation and the potential impact of data on science and society.

Building on our Successes: Past and Present

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With the release of our new platform, we wanted to reflect on past successes and share our plans for the future. In this post we highlight how we have built upon Dryad’s historical strength and success to create an even better data service, and how we have expanded our mission and business model to broaden access and usage, and deepen community engagement.

Same mission, new team

In May of 2018, Dryad and the California Digital Library (CDL) partnered to accelerate research data publishing. The partnership has focused on the assessment and revamp of Dryad’s policies and infrastructure, ensuring that Dryad’s service is aligned with the data publishing infrastructure and support needs of the scholarly research community. Dryad’s primary mission continues to be to provide a platform for research data to be curated, published, and shared openly across research communities. 

It has been a very productive year for Dryad. In partnership with CDL, we have upgraded many of our day-to-day operations. For example, our product development team now includes staff from both CDL and Dryad working together on new features and integrations, and rebuilding the architecture underlying our service. However, the partnership does not change the overall mission of Dryad or the way the organization is governed. We remain an independent 501(c)3 governed by a 12-person board, with directors elected by members and representing diverse stakeholders, including representatives from research, data infrastructure, journal publishing, libraries, and research organizations.  

Same vision, new leadership

This month, the Dryad Board of Directors welcomes Caroline Sutton as our new Board Chair. As she takes on this role, we are grateful to our outgoing Board Chair, Chuck Fox. In addition, we thank one of our co-founders, Todd Vision, who is stepping down from the Board of Directors this year after 12 years of service. Throughout his time with Dryad, Todd’s discernment and leadership has been a lodestar for the organization. It has proven essential to Dryad’s growth and its commitment to the mission of promoting data sharing. Todd carries with him the living history of Dryad, and while we know he will continue to support Dryad in many ways, we will miss his input at Board meetings.

In addition to changes at the Board level, we thank Melissanne Scheld who is leaving Dryad this month. Melissanne has served at the Dryad helm during an exciting period of time and, on behalf of the entire Dryad community, we wish Melissanne all the best in her future endeavors. The Board has kicked off the search for a new Executive Director. Please see our job posting for more details. Our new Executive Director will be joining an organization that is in the midst of rapid product development and focused on continuing to build partnerships in the communities we serve. He or she will have the opportunity to work with an outstanding team who demonstrate loyalty and dedication to the Dryad mission and vision, in addition to working closely with our highly professional and driven colleagues at California Digital Library.

Same community, new members

The founding of Dryad was driven by researchers and journal editors who shared a goal of making the sharing of data common practice and a routine part of the scientific publication process. With funding from the US National Science Foundation, and support from journals, scholarly societies, and researchers, the “DRIADE” project (soon to become Dryad) was launched. Originally hosted at the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center in North Carolina, the Dryad team is now widely geographically distributed and independent of any host organization. But we remain just as dedicated to serving the needs of the researchers that use Dryad, and the journals, societies and institutions that partner with us, to make research data as widely available as possible. With a 5 person in-house curation team that checks each dataset against FAIR principles, Dryad also prioritizes data quality, to make data not only sharable and discoverable, but also usable, maximizing the impact of every dataset shared via our service. 

To ensure our continued sustainability, we have worked this past year to expand the types of organizations that are members of the Dryad community. In March, we announced our revised institutional member model, which expanded membership from traditional journals and a couple of founding institutions, to the universities and other institutions that generate research data. We are proud to already have Yale University, California State University-East Bay, Montana State University, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology plus, through the CDL partnership, the ten University of California campuses, on board. In addition, we continue to support researchers by integrating our platform into publisher workflows and expanding publisher relationships. Dryad has been lucky to have support from the publishing community over the last decade, and looks forward to launching a revised publisher membership model to continue to build on these successes.

Same Dryad service, new types of data

Since our founding Dryad has focused on publishing datasets associated with published journal articles. This has led us to successfully publish over 29,000 globally accessible datasets, making the data supporting those publications freely available to anyone worldwide. But not all data collected by researchers leads to peer reviewed publications, and many datasets get broken up across publications (to meet journal requirements) and should be published as a cohesive unit. Other datasets may be associated with non-traditional sorts of publications, such as data associated with preprints and software packages, or PhD dissertations and Masters theses. Such datasets need a curated home from which they can be shared and cited as valued research outputs. 

As we announced earlier this week, we have built the capacity to support data deposits that are not associated with the traditional peer-reviewed journal paper in our new platform. We will ensure this new expanded scope of Dryad will include the same curation and access that the Dryad community values, and that associated metadata will allow not only for data discoverability but also ensure that data are understood and can be reused by the community. 

Dryad’s mission is, and always has been, to serve the needs of the scholarly research community. As we reflect on our past, and optimistically look to our future, we see continued growth of our service and remain eager to hear your thoughts. Check out our new platform, follow us on Twitter, and get in touch.

 

New Dryad is Here

The Dryad team has worked over the past year to understand what features are required to best support the research community’s ever-evolving needs. We are proud to announce the launch of our new Dryad platform and we are excited to share with the research community the enhancements that we have made!  

Dryad’s newest features are centered around making data publishing as easy as possible for researchers:

  • In addition to supporting datasets as part of a journal submission, Dryad now also supports datasets being submitted independently
  • Data can be uploaded from cloud storage or lab servers 
  • Datasets can be as large as 300GB
  • Datasets can easily be updated or versioned at any time in our process
  • Standardized data usage and citation statistics are updated and displayed for each published dataset 
  • Data can be submitted and downloaded through our new REST APIs

Since our beginning, Dryad has curated, published, and archived nearly 30,000 datasets underlying scholarly articles. While Dryad began and flourished in the ecology and evolutionary biology communities, it now encompasses the life and biomedical sciences and is gaining larger traction in the broader science and publishing landscapes.  As Dryad expands its disciplinary scope, we are taking into consideration the evolution of data management and publication practices throughout the sciences. 

New features to support current research practices

Because of these changing needs, we believe it is essential to allow for datasets to be submitted and published at any point in the research process. We see the need for datasets to be submitted or published at the point of preprints, micropublications, project completion, null result findings, or in preparation for submitting a manuscript (to name a few). 

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We also understand that data and research are dynamic, so it is important to support versioning and enhanced descriptor fields for these datasets through the research process. As part of the new Dryad, we have increased fields for usage notes, methods, standard vocabularies (i.e., funder), as well as increased file size limits all to enable consistent updating and improvements.

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We believe these changes can allow researchers to make their datasets as usable and understandable (FAIR) as possible, treating each dataset as a citable and valued research output. 

“We aim to build in best practices for research data so researchers don’t have to think about compliance and making their data discoverable.”

-Daniella Lowenberg, Dryad Product Manager

 

The road ahead

Dryad has long been embedded in the scientific communities through support by and for the outputs of funding bodies (i.e., National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, European Commission, private funding agencies, etc) and journal publishers and societies (i.e. The Royal Society, British Ecological Society, American Academy for the Advancement of Science). Going forward, Dryad aims to further build these connections through institutional memberships. We welcome our newest institutional members, and look forward to growing our membership, to support the costs and data publishing needs of their researchers. 

“The features and new capabilities encompassed in our new platform reflect Dryad’s long standing commitment to working with the data sharing community to build a premier data repository service that reflects the evolving needs of researchers, their funders and institutions. I look forward to welcoming new members to this growing global community.”

– Caroline Sutton, Dryad Board Chair

 

The new Dryad platform is just the beginning for our roadmap to make data publishing both robust and seamless. We have already started building integrations with publishing platforms such as Editorial Manager, ScholarOne, and PubSweet that will enable more journals to integrate with Dryad at the point of article submission. 

We will also be working with data analysis and computing spaces like Jupyter, Binder, WholeTale, and rOpenSci to allow for published datasets to be usable within researcher workspaces. To further ensure discoverability of datasets, we are also working with PubMed to allow for Dryad datasets related to articles to be searchable. As we announced earlier this year, we will be building on our partnership with Zenodo that makes software and data publishing a more connected and easy process for both researchers and publishers. 

Get involved

The road ahead is exciting and will take us closer to our goal of supporting researchers and making data publishing easier. We invite you to provide user feedback and potential integration discussions. 

Check out our Github, follow us on Twitter, and get in touch.