For researchers: Including Dryad in your data management plan

As the National Institutes of Health (NIH) new Policy for Data Management and Sharing and other funder policies go into effect, many researchers may be wondering how to ensure you comply with the new requirements, including submitting a robust data management and sharing plan (DMSP) with your grant applications.

What kinds of information will I need to include in my DMSP?

  1. Data products – the types of data your research will generate
  2. Metadata – the standards used to describe the data to enable discovery and reuse
  3. Sharing – the ways in which others can access the data
  4. Licensing – the ways in which others can reuse the data
  5. Archiving – the plan for preserving the data over time

How should I talk about data sharing with Dryad in my DMSP?

The following wording provides a starting point for describing your data management and sharing practices and how Dryad facilitates compliance with access, metadata, licensing, and archiving requirements. They align with common sections of DMSP templates such as the one provided by NIH.

Data access and sharing

Data from this project will be made available with a Creative Commons Zero (CC0) designation in Dryad, a non-profit, community-owned data publishing platform. Data shared with Dryad are made publicly available upon curator approval for publication, without embargo or access restrictions. All content in Dryad is freely available for the public to view and download, via an online interface, with a permanent digital object identifier (DOI). Dryad ensures that data are discoverable, optimized for reuse, and citable. 

Related tools, software, or code

Software and/or code required to access or manipulate the data will be uploaded for publication by Zenodo and directly linked to the dataset on Dryad. 

Archiving and preservation

Dryad uses the University of California Curation Center’s Merritt digital preservation repository, which has earned the CoreTrustSeal certification. Items are retained indefinitely; data files are replicated with multiple copies in multiple geographic locations and metadata are backed up on a nightly basis; and all data files are stored along with a SHA-256 checksum of the file content and regular checks of files against their checksums are made. In case of closure of the repository, reasonable efforts will be made to migrate all content into suitable alternative institutional and/or subject based repositories.


Data shared in Dryad will be described with the DataCite metadata schema, a widely adopted standard in generalist data platforms. Metadata will include a title, authors and associated ORCiD IDs, an abstract, keywords, a machine-readable license, funding sources (standardized against the Crossref Funder Registry) and grant IDs, associated publications, and references. Additional metadata describing data collection and processing methods will be included in a ReadMe file published alongside the data. 

Some of the language in this post was adapted from the Montana State University cut-and-paste language guide

What else should I keep in mind?

Data management and sharing are more important than ever – not only because of more rigorous funder requirements, but because these practices can help accelerate scientific discovery. By making data available publicly, researchers can avoid repeating experiments, work with data they may not have the equipment or resources to generate themselves, and facilitate global interdisciplinary collaboration. Here are a few tips to keep in mind to make the data you share as ready as possible for reuse.

  1. Use a service such as DMPTool to create a compliant DMSP with a DOI attached. Make sure to link your DMSP when you share your data with Dryad (see this dataset for an example).
  2. Talk to a librarian. Your library may offer consultations, training, and other services that help you prepare to manage, share, and archive your data.
  3. Review Dryad’s best practices for preparing your data for sharing and reuse.
  4. Reach out to with questions about your data deposit.
  5. To understand more about how Dryad satisfies the requirements of NIH and other funders, see our one-page summary.


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