About Sarah Lippincott

Head of Community Engagement at Dryad

Press release: Jason Williams named Dryad Board Chair

Dryad, the open data publishing platform and community committed to the open availability and routine reuse of all research data, welcomes Jason Williams as chair of the Board of Directors for the 2022-2023 term. Williams succeeds outgoing board chair Johan Nilsson of Oikos Editorial Office in Lund, Sweden.

Portrait of Jason Williams.

“I’m thrilled to have been selected by my colleagues to take up the position of Chair,” Williams said. “Dryad’s unique position of trust with scientific communities and individual scientists comes from a shared desire not just to make data available, but to realize the full value of data. Dryad’s focus on curation adds value to research products, and our commitment to advancing open science for everyone resonates with our community. I’ll work to honor, reinforce, and expand upon these values in this new role.” 

Williams is particularly committed to advancing the values of diversity and inclusion in the Dryad community. “A key priority for my term will be supporting researchers from groups that have been historically excluded. It will be important to ensure that new and increasing obligations to make data open include researchers working in contexts with fewer resources, ” Williams said.

Williams is Assistant Director, Diversity and Research Readiness  at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory DNA Learning Center in New York, USA, where he develops national biology education programs. He leads education, outreach, and training for CyVerse (US national cyberinfrastructure for the life sciences) and has trained thousands of students, researchers and educators in bioinformatics, data science, and molecular biology. Williams is also founder of LifeSciTrainers.org – a global effort to promote community of practice among professionals who develop short-format training for life scientists. He is a member of and has chaired science advisory boards in the US, UK, and Australia, Williams teaches at the Yeshiva University High School for Girls.

“Jason has an incredible richness of experience in helping individual scientists to do their work more effectively with the latest resources – and helping the rest of us to learn from that experience,” said Dryad’s Executive Director, Jen Gibson. “It’s been a pleasure to work with Jason over the last year and I’m so pleased he’s agreed to take on this leadership role for Dryad.” 

Jason assumes the role of Chair as a new cohort of Board members joins and Dryad announces an expansion of the team. Learn more about our board of directors at https://datadryad.org/stash/our_governance

For more information or to request an interview, please contact sarah@datadryad.org.   

About Dryad
Dryad is an open data curation and publishing organization that focuses on the access and reuse of diverse globally produced research data. The last several years have seen significant growth for Dryad, with thousands more datasets added each year, new international institutional members coming on board, more sophisticated publisher integrations, and industry leading features for authors – including a partnership with Zenodo for the support of software publishing. Most recently, Dryad announced our alignment with policy guidance from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, demonstrating how we support researchers, institutions, and publishers to comply with open data policies.

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Feedback and questions are always welcome, to hello@datadryad.org

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Quarterly roundup: Your November 2022 news from Dryad 

Welcome to the Dryad newsletter, keeping you up to date with data policies and compliance, Dryad product developments and events, and more. To get latest news and developments from Dryad delivered straight to your inbox, please sign up to join our mailing list.


Register for Dryad’s November open house

Emerging data publishing guidance set out by the recent memo from the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and the U.S. National Institute of Health (NIH) require change from researchers, institutions, and publishing organizations. Simply posting data to the internet will not meet these new criteria.  

On November 30, Dryad will host its first Open House event to discuss ‘How to align with new US data access policies’ to support those affected and their transition to meet new requirements for open access to research data.  

To ensure as many of our community can join as possible, we will be running two sessions on November 30.


New Board of Directors and team members

Dryad welcomes new international Board of Directors and team members to support the organization in addressing major national policy developments and enhancing the platform to serve the evolving needs of researchers.  

The governing board includes four new members who offer a wealth of experience and diverse perspectives and knowledge in open research data publishing:  

  •   Andrew Beckerman, University of Sheffield 
  •   Barbara Ebert, German Federation for Biological Data e.V. 
  •   Kristi Holmes, Northwestern University 
  •   Devika Madalli, Indian Statistical Institute.  

The team expansion includes the appointment of five accomplished individuals

  • Bryan Gee as Curator 
  • Audrey Hamelers as Senior Full Stack Developer 
  • Jess Herzog as Head of Publishing Services 
  • Mark Kurtz as Head of Business Operations 
  • Sarah Lippincott as Head of Community Engagement  

Dryad’s stance on U.S. data policies

“…Dryad is well-positioned to support research communities that will rapidly need to develop research management strategies in response to the policy…” – Sarah Lippincott, Head of Community Engagement

Dryad serves and supports all stakeholders across the research data landscape through complying with, evaluating, and providing the most up-to-date information on new and existing data policy. The below blog entries explore in detail Dryad’s role and support across three important policy announcements and updates:  


Making Dryad more data science friendly

By undertaking a detailed analysis in 2022 of the Dryad corpus and the API, and establishing a partnership in 2021 with Frictionless to run data validation across all new submissions, combined with community listening, it revealed that with any data publisher, value needs to lie in the usability of published datasets. Dryad has used this insight to focus on feature sets that are centered on reusability, machine usability, and pluggability – through aligning with popular data science tools, educating researchers along the submission process with more complex checks, and automated tooling for quality, and more.  

 “Becoming part of the Dryad community has helped us at Lane Medical Library build stronger connections with researchers on campus, engage more fully in discussions related to the management and sharing of research data, and become part of the broader open science community. Being able to address the question ‘How should I share my data?’ with a top of the line and curation-focused platform not only helps us to address an immediate need but allows us to position the library as a source of expertise on related issues more generally.”

– John Borghi, Director, Research & Instruction, Lane Medical Library, Stanford 

Feedback and questions are always welcome, to hello@datadryad.org

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New at Dryad: Latest changes to our governing board

Dryad is pleased to announce the members of our Board of Directors for the 2022-2023 term. This group of accomplished and passionate individuals will guide the organization as we address major national policy developments, expand our global membership program, and enhance our publishing platform to serve the evolving needs of researchers. 

The Dryad Board of Directors is composed of 12 individuals who represent different stakeholders and voices in open research data publishing. They are recruited for their particular skills or perspectives, according to the needs of the organization each year, and ratified by a vote of the Dryad membership. Each member serves three years, and assumes responsibility for overseeing the healthy performance of Dryad as a non-profit organization and the realization of our mission: to enable and promote the re-use of research data. The California Digital Library, a major partner to Dryad, is represented on the board as an ex-officio member. 

We are grateful for the dedicated service of our outgoing members Wolfram Horstmann, Director of Göttingen State and University Library; Catriona MacCallum, Director of Open Science at Hindawi Ltd; Naomi Penfold, Research Data Analyst, Invest In Open Infrastructure; and Johan Nilsson of Oikos Editorial Office who will carry on as Ex-Officio.

We offer a warm welcome to our newest members Andrew Beckerman, Professor of Evolutionary Ecology at the University of Sheffield; Barbara Ebert, Executive Secretary, German Federation for Biological Data e.V. (GFBio); Kristi Holmes, Director of Galter Health Sciences Library & Learning Center and Professor of Preventive Medicine (Health & Biomedical Informatics) at Northwestern University; and Devika Madalli, Professor of the Documentation Research and Training Centre, Indian Statistical Institute and Adjunct faculty, DISI, University of Trento. We are grateful for the wealth and diversity of knowledge and experience each of these individuals will bring to their roles on the Dryad board.

The full Dryad Governing Board now includes:

  • Andrew Beckerman, University of Sheffield (UK)
  • Barbara Ebert,​​ German Federation for Biological Data e.V. (Germany)
  • Scott Edmunds, GigaScience (CHN)
  • Brooks Hanson, American Geophysical Union (USA) 
  • Kristi Holmes, Northwestern University (USA)
  • Devika Madalli, Indian Statistical Institute (IN)
  • Ian Mulvany, British Medical Journal (UK)
  • Fiona Murphy, MoreBrains Cooperative (UK)
  • Johan Nilsson, Oikos Editorial Office (Sweden) (Ex-officio)
  • Iratxe Puebla, ASAPbio (UK)
  • Judy Ruttenberg, Association of Research Libraries (USA)
  • Caroline Sutton, STM (The International Association for Scientific, Technical and Medical Publishers) (NOR)
  • Jason Williams, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (USA)
  • Günter Waibel, California Digital Library (USA)(Ex-officio)

More information is available at https://datadryad.org/stash/our_governance

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Feedback and questions are always welcome, to hello@datadryad.org. To keep in touch with the latest updates from Dryad, follow us on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.

U.S. policy: Dryad welcomes OSTP memorandum on ensuring free, immediate, and equitable access to federally funded research

Dryad welcomes the U.S. White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) memorandum on ensuring free, immediate, and equitable access. As a platform for the curation and open publication of data serving the research community since 2008, Dryad is well-positioned to support research communities that will rapidly need to develop research management strategies in response to the policy and to augment capacity for institutions and publishers confronting a coming wave of open research outputs. 

The memorandum requires United States (U.S.) federal granting bodies to develop and implement new policies making all tax-payer funded scholarly research and underlying raw data freely and publicly available without embargo by 2026. In addition to removing the embargo period for public access to research articles, the memorandum also significantly strengthens the data sharing plans of its 2013 predecessor by requiring that data underlying peer-reviewed research articles be made immediately available upon publication. 

The updated policy sets high expectations for federal agencies to improve research integrity and reproducibility by:

  1. requiring immediate, open deposit of data underlying scholarly research,
  2. instructing agencies to develop plans for open deposit of data not associated with a publication,
  3. encouraging the use of repositories that align with the National Science and Technology Council’s (NSTC) “Desirable Characteristics of Data Repositories for Federally Funded Research”, and
  4. calling for these open outputs to be described with robust metadata, including author and co-author information, publication date, and persistent identifiers.

The curation and publishing services Dryad offers to researchers already align with the key provisions outlined above.

  1. After undergoing our careful curation process, all data published with Dryad are made immediately available under a CC0 license.
  2. Dryad accepts data regardless of its connection to a published research article, and makes it easy to connect datasets with other research outputs, including articles, software, data management plans, and supplemental information using their persistent identifiers. 
  3. Dryad already aligns with the NSTC’s “Desirable Characteristics of Data Repositories for Federally Funded Research. ” Learn more about how in our recent blog post.
  4. Dryad supports the DataCite metadata schema and uses persistent identifier registries including the Research Organization Registry (ROR), ORCID, and Crossref’s Funder Registry to link datasets with their producers and funders.

We look forward to the opportunity to work with the research community to support compliance with the new policy and build a more open, transparent, and equitable future for taxpayer-funded research. 

Feedback and questions are always welcome, to hello@datadryad.org

To keep in touch with the latest updates from Dryad, follow us on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.

U.S. Policy: Dryad’s role in the NIH’s new Policy for Data Management and Sharing

Building on its longstanding commitment to data sharing, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has introduced an updated Policy for Data Management and Sharing, with the goal of expediting “the translation of research results into knowledge, products, and procedures to improve human health” and enhancing public trust in publicly funded research. As the world’s largest public funder of biomedical research, NIH policies have an outsize impact on research practices.

Following the policy, from January 25, 2023, all projects seeking NIH-funding will be required to submit a data management and sharing plan at the application stage and to follow it over the course of the project lifecycle. The policy sets a clear expectation for researchers “to maximize the appropriate sharing of scientific data.” Let’s unpack a few features of “appropriate” data sharing according to the policy, and take a look at how Dryad helps researchers readily comply with the requirements. 

  1. Use of established repositories. The policy “strongly encourages the use of established repositories,” for data sharing. Data hosted on personal or institutional devices or cloud storage accounts is vulnerable to loss or alteration, and may lack the metadata and contextual material needed for its interpretation and reuse.

    Dryad has over a decade of experience providing high-quality data publishing, curation, and preservation. All data published with Dryad is open by default, preserved in the CoreTrustSeal-certified Merritt repository, and curated by our expert team to ensure it has appropriate metadata and context for discovery and reuse. As an independent and multidisciplinary repository, Dryad welcomes all researchers, regardless of institutional affiliation, research area, or funding source.

  2. Timely publication. The policy asks researchers to make data accessible “as soon as possible, and no later than the time of an associated publication, or the end of performance period” and for the length of time they anticipate it being useful for the larger research community and/or the broader public.

    Dryad’s team of expert curators works to minimize the delay from submission to publication and can work with authors to time data to go live at the same time as an associated publication. All data published with Dryad are retained indefinitely, mirrored in multiple locations, and routinely curated to ensure bit-level integrity over time. 

  3. Data quality assurance. Data sharing is more than a box to check–it’s a practice intended to enable and promote reuse by other researchers. The policy therefore asserts that, to be compliant, “data should be of sufficient quality to validate and replicate research findings.”

    Dryad’s hands-on curation process ensures that data published with us meet this standard. Our team of expert curators reviews each submission with an eye towards metadata quality, usability of files and code, and identification of any sensitive data. Where needed, they correspond with authors to resolve issues and enhance metadata quality. Dryad provides DOIs; permits dataset versioning; and links the dataset with associated research outputs and any software or code needed for replication. Each of these features contributes to a high-quality data publication that is meant to be shared, reused, and built upon.

Dryad’s focus is always on how to make high-quality data publishing as easy as possible for the researcher. By building best practices into our infrastructure and workflows, we ensure that researchers, and the institutions that support them, can trust us to steward their data in compliance with current and future funder policies. 

Dryad is grateful to have had the opportunity to offer feedback into the design of this policy and to be helping other generalist repositories to establish common approaches to support NIH-funded researchers as part of the NIH Generalist Repository Ecosystem Initiative (GREI). Learn more.

U.S. Policy: Evaluating Dryad’s Alignment with the National Science and Technology Council’s Desirable Characteristics of Data Repositories for Federally Funded Research

In May, The National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) released “a consistent set of desirable characteristics for data repositories” to help government agencies provide guidance to their research communities on selecting appropriate data repositories. These characteristics, covering a range of features from organizational sustainability to data quality assurance, will help to ensure that data resulting from federally funded research is broadly accessible, robustly curated, and preserved over the long term. 

As a mission-driven data publishing platform curating tens of thousands of data sets, many originating from federally funded research, Dryad is grateful to have had the chance to submit feedback in anticipation of these recommendations and is now pleased to share the ways in which our infrastructure and services naturally align with the NSTC’s recommendations. 

Organizational Infrastructure

Free and Easy Access

The repository provides broad, equitable, and maximally open access to datasets and their metadata free of charge in a timely manner after submission, consistent with legal and policy requirements related to maintaining privacy and confidentiality, Tribal and national data sovereignty, and protection of sensitive data.1

Dryad publishes research and associated metadata data exclusively under a Creative Commons Zero (CC0) License to ensure broadest possible dissemination. We make data publicly available only after it is curated by our team – ensuring that data are appropriate for sharing openly under a CC0 license, sensitive information has been removed, files are accessible and understandable for other users, and descriptive metadata are provided to facilitate downstream discovery and reuse. Dryad does not publish datasets containing identifiable human subject information; our curation process ensures that data pertaining to human subjects are properly anonymized. Our team of expert curators works to minimize the delay from submission to publication. 

To further equitable access and representation, Dryad offers fee waivers for submissions originating from researchers based in countries classified by the World Bank as low-income or lower-middle-income economies. We support the CARE Principles for Indigenous Data Governance and look forward to developing a common vision for implementation with other repositories. 

Clear Use Guidance

The repository ensures datasets are accompanied by documentation describing terms of dataset access and use (e.g., reuse licenses and need for approval by a data use committee).

Our curation team checks that data are appropriate for sharing under a CC0 license, and that open sharing isn’t restricted by prior agreement, such as with study participants. The use of CC0 reduces any legal and technical impediments, be they intentional and unintentional, to the reuse of data.

Risk Management

The repository has documented capabilities for ensuring that administrative, technical, and physical safeguards are employed to comply with applicable confidentiality, risk management, and continuous monitoring requirements for sensitive data.

Through our curation process, submissions including sensitive data are either adjusted by the authors to anonymise or otherwise shield details (such as location information for endangered species) or turned away. Dryad does not publish sensitive data.

Retention Policy 

The repository provides documentation on policies for data retention.

Our policies to permanently preserve and archive deposited data are set out in our Terms of Service

Long-term Organizational Sustainability

The repository has a plan for long-term management of data, including maintaining integrity, authenticity, and availability of datasets; has contingency plans to ensure data are available and maintained during and after unforeseen events. 

All data published with Dryad are preserved in Merritt, a CoreTrustSeal certified repository maintained by the California Digital Library (CDL). Merritt ensures bit-level preservation and actively manages three copies of all files and digital objects in the system through use of external (cloud) storage providers distributed across two geographic regions. Dryad’s full data portfolio is also mirrored in Zenodo. CDL assures permanent preservation of data deposited with Merritt. As a core service of a well-established institution, the CDL benefits from secure permanent funding, providing reasonable expectation of its long-term sustainability. In the event of unforeseen circumstances, CDL commits to “make reasonable efforts to find another curatorial organization … willing to take on custodial responsibility for all managed content.”  

Digital Object Management

Unique Persistent Identifiers

The repository assigns a dataset a citable, unique persistent identifier (PID or DPI), such as a digital object identifier (DOI), to support data discovery, reporting (e.g., of research progress), and research assessment (e.g., identifying the outputs of Federally funded research). The unique PID points to a persistent location that remains accessible even if the dataset is de-accessioned or no longer available.

Every dataset submitted to Dryad is assigned a Datacite DOI. After publication, datasets can be versioned. All versions of a dataset will be accessible, but the dataset DOI will always resolve to the newest version. 

Metadata

The repository ensures datasets are accompanied by metadata to enable discovery, reuse, and citation of datasets, using schema that are appropriate to, and ideally widely used across, the communities that the repository serves.

Dryad is a generalist open data publishing platform that invites submission of any research data that doesn’t already have a home in a specialist repository. As such, our metadata schema and curation process are designed to be broad and inclusive. We support the Datacite metadata schema out-of-the-box and require that broadly applicable infrastructure PIDs such as ORCID, FundRef, and ROR are tied to every publication, and use the OECD classification to capture fields of study. 

Curation and Quality Assurance

The repository provides or facilitates expert curation and quality assurance to improve the accuracy and integrity of datasets and metadata.

Dryad is the first generalist open data publishing platform to introduce curation. Our team of expert curators check every submission to ensure the validity of files and metadata. Where needed, they correspond with authors to resolve issues and enhance metadata quality. Our curation process ensures that all datasets published with Dryad can be appropriately accessed and reused.

Broad and Measured Reuse

The repository ensures datasets are accompanied by metadata that describe terms of reuse and provides the ability to measure attribution, citation, and reuse of data (e.g., through assignment of adequate and openly accessible metadata and unique PIDs).

In addition to providing DOIs for every dataset, Dryad provides suggested citations for all datasets and publishes usage metrics that conform with Make Data Count standards. 

Common Format

The repository allows datasets and metadata to be accessed, downloaded, or exported from the repository in widely used, preferably non-proprietary, formats consistent with standards used in the disciplines the repository serves.

Dryad requires datasets to use open, common file formats. Our curators check that files can be opened with widely available software. Dryad uses the DataCite metadata schema and JSON metadata records for all datasets can be accessed through our API.

Provenance

The repository has mechanisms in place to record the origin, chain of custody, version control, and any other modifications to submitted datasets and metadata.

Dryad retains a full audit trail throughout the curation process, recording every action taken. Every dataset submitted to Dryad is assigned a Datacite DOI. Any edits made to a dataset after publication will create a new version of your submission using a versioned DOI. Dryad’s curation team reviews and publishes changes and makes the most recent version of the dataset available for download. Prior versions, organized by date of publication, also remain accessible and downloadable.

Technology

Authentication

The repository supports authentication of data submitters. The repository has technical capabilities that facilitate associating submitter PIDs with those assigned to their deposited digital objects, such as datasets.

Depositing authors are required to authenticate via ORCID. If depositing authors provide contact information for their co-authors, Dryad also prompts those authors to authenticate with ORCID.

Long-term Technical Sustainability

The repository has a plan for long-term management of data, building on a stable technical infrastructure and funding plans.

All data published with Dryad are preserved in Merritt, a CoreTrustSeal certified repository maintained by the California Digital Library (CDL). Merritt ensures bit-level preservation and actively manages three copies of all files and digital objects in the system through use of external (cloud) storage providers distributed across two geographic regions. All data files are stored along with a SHA-256 checksum of the file content. Regular checks of files against their checksums are made. The audit process cycles continually, with a current cycle time of approximately two months.

Security and Integrity

The repository has documented measures in place to meet well established cybersecurity criteria for preventing unauthorized access to, modification of, or release of data, with levels of security that are appropriate to the sensitivity of data (e.g., the NIST Cybersecurity Framework).

Dryad is GDPR compliant and follows best practices for privacy and security. Users who do not Submit Content to Dryad are not asked to provide any personally identifying information. Dryad implements and follows commercially reasonable electronic security measures to secure the systems through which information is collected or stored. Security protections, and all other elements of this policy, extend to data copies and backups implemented for business continuity. For site security purposes, and to ensure that this service remains available to all Users, we employ software programs to monitor traffic and to identify unauthorized attempts to upload or change information or to otherwise cause damage. In the event of authorized law enforcement investigations, and pursuant to any required legal process, information from these sources may be used to help identify an individual.

1 Italicized quotes at the beginning of each section are taken from the Desirable Characteristics of Data Repositories for Federally Funded Research.