How can the Dryad repository help researchers’ data management plans?

We encourage individuals and project teams seeking to comply with data management planning mandates to consider Dryad as the destination repository for published data from their research.  Dryad is not only a widely applicable, best-practice solution for research data management, it is also a quick and easy solution!

Research datasets associated with a publication in any biological or biomedical field are welcome in Dryad, regardless of file type. Archived data files may include spreadsheets or other tables, images or maps, alignments, character matrices, etc.

Data files deposited in Dryad are permanently preservedpublicly available with no legal restrictions on re-use, and uniquely identified for attribution.

Data submission is simple, quick, and easy. Data files may be uploaded to Dryad in any file format, with a short README and a few metadata terms.

Finally, using an established best-practice data repository like Dryad facilitates a simple description in a data management plan. For example, grant applicants can use language like this to describe their intention to archive data in Dryad:

We plan to use the Dryad public repository for the long-term preservation and dissemination of data underlying publications from this funded research project. Data submitted to Dryad is made publicly available upon online publication** of the associated article. All data in Dryad is released to the public domain without legal restrictions on reuse, through a Creative Commons Zero waiver. There is a (legally non-binding) expectation of attribution of the Dryad data record and associated article. A one-time data deposit charge is paid by the authors or the associated journals, which allows Dryad data to be available for download without cost to users.

**Researchers may instead choose to stipulate an embargo period of 1 year.

If your funding agency allows it, don’t forget to budget for data preservation (data submission to Dryad is free through 2011).

Data deposited in Dryad can help researchers meet these policies and expectations:

  • the (US) National Science Foundation requires that data management plans include provisions for data archiving and preservation, and access policies and provisions for secondary use
  • the Wellcome Trust “expects all of its funded researchers to maximise the availability of research data with as few restrictions as possible”
  • the (US) National Institutes of Health data sharing policies state that “Data sharing is essential for expedited translation of research results into knowledge, products and procedures to improve human health.”
  • the (UK) Medical Research Council policy on data sharing and preservation states: “Where possible, published results should include links to the associated data. Investigators must show how data will be preserved and their strategies for sharing, e.g. by depositing it in a community database.”

Summaries of funding agencies’ data policies can be found here:

Resources on data management & sharing:

Questions about the role of the Dryad repository in data management planning can be directed to the Dryad team.

Sample data file, Gilbert J and Manica A (2010) Data from: Parental care trade-offs and life history relationships in insects. Dryad Digital Repository. doi:10.5061/dryad.1451

4 thoughts on “How can the Dryad repository help researchers’ data management plans?

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  2. **Researchers may instead choose to stipulate an embargo period of 1 year.

    🙁 *sad face*

    This is understandable for some research data but can be abused when it is totally unnecessary.

    I hope you make researchers explicitly and publicly justify their ‘needs’ for an embargo if they do choose to go down that route.

  3. A thorny issue, there, Ross. Inclusion of an optional no-questions-asked 1yr embargo is what had made a mandatory data archiving policy possible for many journals. Without it, these journals would fall back to a relatively toothless “recommendation” of data archiving, and authors would frequently ignore it. The calculation is that its better to have data available for reuse later rather than never. Authors have the most propriety concerns about reuse of their data prior to and shortly after publication, while the value of data for reuse by others has a protracted lifespan (e.g. see the 1st figure in, so “better late than never” may often be pretty good. It’s also worth pointing out that partner journals can opt to disallow embargoes — the policy decision is for them to make, not Dryad.

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