Dryad has been proud to support integrated data and manuscript submission for PLOS Biology since 2012, and for PLOS Genetics since 2013. Yet there are over 400 data packages in Dryad from six different PLOS journals in addition to two research areas of PLOS Currents. Today, we are pleased to announce that we have expanded submission integration to cover all seven PLOS journals, including the two above plus PLOS Computational Biology, PLOS Medicine, PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, PLOS ONE, and PLOS Pathogens.
PLOS received a great deal of attention when they modified their Data Policy in March providing more guidance to authors on how and where to make their data available and introducing Data Availability Statements. Dryad’s integration process has been enhanced in a few ways to support this policy and also the needs of a megajournal like PLOS ONE. We believe these modifications provide an attractive model for integration that other journals may wish to follow. The key difference for authors who wish to deposit data in Dryad is that you are now asked to deposit your data before submitting your manuscript.
- PLOS authors are now asked to provide a Data Availability Statement during initial manuscript submission, as shown in the screenshot below. There is evidence that introducing a Data Availability Statement greatly reinforces the effectiveness of a mandatory data archiving policy, and so we expect this change will substantially increase the availability of data for PLOS publications. PLOS authors using Dryad are encouraged to provide the provisional Dryad DOI as part of the Data Availability Statement.
- PLOS authors are now also asked to provide a Data Review URL where reviewers can access the data, as shown in the second screenshot. While Dryad has offered secure, anonymous reviewer access for some time, the difference now is that PLOS authors using Dryad will be able to enter the Data Review URL at the time of initial manuscript submission.
- In addition to these visible changes, we have also introduced an Application Programming Interface (API) to facilitate behind-the-scenes metadata exchange between the journal and the repository, making the process more reliable and scalable. This was critical for PLOS ONE, which published 31,500 articles in 2013. Use of this API is now available as an integration option to all journals as an alternative to the existing email-based process, which we will continue to support.
If you are planning to submit a manuscript but are unsure about the Dryad integration options or process for your journal, just consult this page. For all PLOS journals, the data are released by Dryad upon publication of the article. Should the manuscript be rejected, the data files return to the author’s private workspace and the provisional DOI is not registered. Authors are responsible for paying Data Publication Charges only if and when their manuscript is accepted.
Jennifer Lin from PLOS and Carly Strasser from the California Digital Library recently offered a set of community recommendations for ways that publishers could promote better access to research data:
- Establish and enforce a mandatory data availability policy.
- Contribute to establishing community standards for data management and sharing.
- Contribute to establishing community standards for data preservation in trusted repositories.
- Provide formal channels to share data.
- Work with repositories to streamline data submission.
- Require appropriate citation to all data associated with a publication—both produced and used.
- Develop and report indicators that will support data as a first-class scholarly output.
- Incentivize data sharing by promoting the value of data sharing.
Today’s expanded and enhanced integration with Dryad, which inaugurates the new Data Repository Integration Partner Program at PLOS, is an excellent illustration of how to put these recommendations into action.