New at Dryad: Celebrating a milestone in the Dryad and CDL partnership

Dryad’s five-year collaboration with the California Digital Library (CDL) is a testament to the power of partnerships between academic institutions and community-led initiatives to provide sustainable infrastructure for researchers while fostering growth and innovation. Today we announce the next phase in Dryad’s growth, as CDL transitions from being a core supporter of Dryad’s technical platform through in-kind contributions to becoming an integral member of the wider Dryad community. 

Dryad and CDL: Origins of a partnership

The Dryad and CDL partnership was initiated in 2017 as a way for the two organizations to leverage their respective strengths and lead the way in data curation, publishing, and preservation. A contemporaneous announcement identifies three primary goals of the partnership: to launch a modernized Dryad platform; to build new integration with manuscript systems and more robust curation services for the benefit of journal publishers; and to develop membership pathways for academic institutions. From the beginning, the partnership was intended to sunset when it achieved its aims.

Over the past five years, Dryad and CDL have collaborated deeply, fulfilling these goals and so much more. We migrated the Dryad data corpus onto open-source software for data publishing, introduced a suite of features and services to enhance user experience, set standards, and cooperated to enhance Dryad’s leadership position.

Success in many forms

It’s difficult to overstate the breadth and impact of the real outcomes of the Dryad-CDL partnership. Among other achievements, as a result of our work together, Dryad has:

  • a flexible and robust, custom system for curating, publishing, and preserving research data; 
  • a powerful set of platform features that enhance the sharing and reuse of data; 
  • occupied a leadership role in data publishing, data metrics, and data citation – and the adoption of the Principles for Open Scholarly Infrastructure; 
  • strong relationships with industry leaders such as DataCite and Zenodo; and 
  • a program for engaging academic and research institutions worldwide, who are critical stakeholders in open data and open infrastructure – and roughly 40 founding members.

Beyond these concrete indicators of our success, the Dryad-CDL partnership exemplifies the type of collaboration and investment that can power resilient, community-owned open infrastructure more broadly. CDL’s investment has allowed us to grow and evolve with community interests at heart, remain competitive with commercial alternatives, and build the foundation for a self-sustaining future. 

The road ahead

We are grateful for CDL’s investment – of time, talent, energy, passion, and more – in Dryad over the last five years. It is in large part because of CDL’s contribution that Dryad is in such a strong position today. As we transition from our direct partnership with CDL, we are excited to continue to have CDL and UC campuses continuing as active members of the Dryad community. 

Our strength and readiness is also a credit to the talented team we have assembled and their hard work over the last two years. From improvements to curation quality and efficiency to new data management trainings, from best practice in accounting to best practice in governance, from policy alignment to product development, the new, larger Dryad team has gone from strength to strength. (Meet the team here).  There’s work yet to be done. And, at the strategic retreat with the Board of Directors earlier this year, we built a three-year plan for getting us from where we are to where we want to be. The cornerstone of our continued success is our vibrant and dedicated member community. We look forward to continuing to work with all members, including our colleagues at CDL, as integral members of our community.

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