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Archive for the ‘Meetings’ Category

In our latest post, our Executive Director Melissanne Scheld sits down with Dryad’s Board of Directors Chair, Professor Charles Fox, to discuss challenges researchers face today, how Dryad is helping alleviate some of those pain points, why Dryad has had such staying power in a quickly changing industry,  . . . and then we move on to dessert. 

Chuck Fox

Can you tell us a little about your professional background and how that intersects with Dryad’s mission?

I wear two hats in my professional life – I am an evolutionary ecologist who studies various aspects of insect biology at the University of Kentucky, and I am a journal editor (Executive Editor of Functional Ecology).

My involvement with open data and Dryad began fortuitously in 2006. The British Ecological Society was invited to send a representative to a Data Registry Workshop, organized by the Ecological Society of America, to be held that December in Santa Barbara, California. I am (and was at that time) an editor of one of the British Ecological Society’s journals, Functional Ecology, and I live in the U.S. So Lindsay Haddon, who was Publications Manager for the BES, asked me to attend the workshop  as their representative. Before that meeting I don’t recall having thought much about open data or data archives, but I was excited to attend the meeting in part because the topic intrigued me and, selfishly, because my parents live in southern California and this was an opportunity to visit them. The discussions at that meeting, plus those at a couple follow-up meetings over the next couple years, including one at NESCent in Durham, North Carolina, and another in Vancouver, convinced me that data publishing, and open data more generally, should be a part of research publication. So I began lobbying the BES to adopt an open data policy and become a founding member of Dryad. I wrote a proposed data policy – just a revision of the Journal Sata Archiving Policy, JDAP, that many ecology and evolution journals adopted – and submitted that proposal to the BES’ publication committee. It took a few years, but in 2011 the BES adopted that data policy across their suite of journals and became a member of Dryad. The BES has since been a strong supporter of open data and required data publication as a condition of publishing a manuscript in one of their journals. Probably because I was a vocal proponent of data policies at BES meetings (along with a few others, most notably Tim Coulson), I was nominated to be a Dryad board member, and was elected to the board in 2013.

As an educator,  what are some of the biggest changes you’ve seen in the classroom during your career?

When I started teaching, first as a graduate student (teaching assistant) and then as a young university professor, we didn’t have Powerpoint and digital projectors. So I made heavy use of a chalkboard (or dry erase board) during lecture, and used an overhead projector for more complicated graphics. Students had to take detailed notes on the lecture, which required them to write furiously all throughout the class. Nowadays I produce detailed PowerPoint slides that include most of the material I cover, so I write very little on the chalkboard. And, because I can provide my slides to students before class – as a pdf that they can print and bring to class – the students are freed from scribbling furiously to capture every detail. Students still need to take some notes (my slides do not include every detail), but they are largely freed to listen to lecture and participate in class discussions. I am not convinced, though, that these changes have led to improved learning, at least not in all students. Having information too easily available, including downloadable class materials, seems to cause some students to actually disengage from class, and ultimately do poorly, possibly because they think they don’t need to attend class, or engage when they do attend, since they have all of the materials easily accessible to them outside the classroom?

What do you think the biggest challenges are for open science research today?

I have been amazed at how quickly open data has become accepted as the standard in the ecology and evolution research communities. When data policies were first proposed to journals there was substantial resistance to their adoption – journals were nervous about possibly driving away authors, and editors (who are also researchers) shared the views that were common in the community regarding ownership of their own data – but over just a few years the resistance largely disappeared among editors, societies and publishers, such that a large proportion of the top journals in the field have adopted policies requiring data to be published alongside research manuscripts. That said, some significant challenges remain, both on the researcher side and on the repository side. On the repository side, sustainable funding remains the largest hurdle. Data repositories cost money to run, such as for staff and infrastructure. Dryad has been relying on a mix of data publication charges (DPCs) and grants to fund its mission. This has worked for us so far, but constantly chasing grants is a lot of work for those writing grants, and the cost to researchers paying DPCs, albeit small, is not trivial for those without grant support.

On the researcher side, though data publishing has mostly become an accepted part of research publication in the community, there remain many important cultural and practical challenges to making open data universally practiced.  These include the development of standards for data citation and reuse (not restrictions on data reuse, but community expectations for citation and collaboration), balancing views of data ownership with the needs of the community, balancing the concerns of researchers that produce long-term datasets with those of the community, and others. We also need to improve education about data, such as teaching our students how to organize and properly annotate their datasets so that they are useful for other researchers after publication. Even when data are made available by researchers, actually using those data can be challenging if they are not well organized and annotated.

When researchers are deciding in which repository to deposit their research data, what values and functions should they consider?

Researchers should choose a repository that best fits the type of data they have to deposit and the community that will likely be reusing it. There are many repositories that handle specialized data types, such as genetic sequence data or data to be used for phylogenetic analysis. If your data suits a specialized archive, choose that. But the overwhelming majority of data generated by ecologists don’t fit into specialized archives. It’s for these types of data that Dryad was developed.

So what does Dryad offer researchers? From the perspective of the dataset author, Dryad links your dataset directly to the manuscript you have published about the dataset. This provides users detailed metadata on the contents of your dataset, helping them understand the dataset and use it correctly for future research. Dryad also ensures that your dataset is discoverable, whether you start at the journal page, on Dryad’s site, or any of a large number of collaborator services. The value of Dryad to the dataset user are similar – easy discoverability of data and clear links to the data collection details (i.e., links to the associated manuscripts).  

You’ve held several roles on Dryad’s Board of Directors – what about this organization compels you to volunteer your free time?

My experiences as a scientist, a journal editor, and participating in open data discussions have convinced me that data publication is an essential part of research publication. For decades, or even centuries, we’ve relied on a publishing model where researchers write manuscripts that describe the work they have done and summarize their results and conclusions for the broader community. That’s the typical journal paper, and was the limit of what could be done in an age where everything had to fit onto the printed page and be distributed on paper. Nowadays we have near infinite space in a digital medium to not just summarize our results, but also provide all of the details, including the actual data, as part of the research presentation. It will always be important to have an author summarize their findings and place their work into context – that intellectual contribution is an essential part of communicating your research – but there’s no reason that’s where we need to stop. I imagine a world where a reader can click on a figure, or table, or other part of a manuscript and be taken directly to the relevant details – the actual data presented in the figure, the statistical models underlying the analyses, more detailed descriptions of study sites or organisms, and possibly many other types of information about the experiment, data collection, equipment used, results, etc. We shouldn’t be constrained by historical limitations of the printed page. We’re not yet even close to where I think we can and should be  going, but making data an integral part of research publication is a huge step in the right direction. So I enthusiastically support journal mandates that require data to be published alongside each manuscript presenting research results. And facilitating this is a core part of Dryad’s mission, which leads me to enthusiastically support both Dryad’s mission and the organization itself!

Pumpkin or apple pie?  

Those are my two favorite pies, so it’s a tough question. If served a la mode, i.e., with ice cream, then I’d most often pick apple pie. But, without ice cream, I’d have to choose pumpkin pie.

Stay tuned for future conversations with industry thought leaders and other relevant blog posts here at Dryad News and Views.

 

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We’re coming off of a big month which included a two-day Dryad board meeting, International Data Week in Denver, and the Open Access Publishers meeting (COASP) in Arlington, VA. Combined with Open Access Week, we’ve been basking in all things #openscience at Dryad.

International Data Week 2016

International Data Week was a collection of three different events: SciDataCon 2016International Data Forum, idwlogoand the 8th Research Data Alliance Plenary Meeting. While it was my first time attending RDA and SciDataCon, it wasn’t the first time for the many Dryad board members who have been actively participating in these forums for years.

Dryad staff had the pleasure of participating in a few panels over the week. As part of SciDataCon, Elizabeth Hull discussed protecting human subjects in an open data repository. In another, as part of the RDA 8th Plenary, I participated in a discussion of the challenges surrounding sustainability of data infrastructure. (The talk is available on the RDA website. The panel starts at minute 30).

29822088326_6d9db25bbf_qParticipating in IDW reminded me how important our diverse community of stakeholders and members are to furthering the adoption of open data. Dryad members create a community and support our mission. Our members benefit by receiving discounts on data publication fees and by relying on a repository that stays current in the evolving needs and mandates that surround open data. We work together to help make open data easy and affordable for authors.

Asking OA publishers to be more open

Following International Data Week, I had the opportunity to participate for the first time in the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association meeting, COASP 2016. Heather Joseph, Executive Director of SPARC kicked off the meeting with a keynote that urged attendees to consider how they would complete the phrase “Open in order to . . .” as a way to ensure that we all keep our sights on working toward something more than just ‘open for the sake of open’. Some of other memorable talks addressed the challenges with mapping connections from articles to other related outputs, and discussed the growing interest in alternative revenue models to article processing charges (APCs). I had the privilege to deliver a keynote entitled “Be More Open” which highlighted the connections between Open Access and Open Data movement, and I encouraged OASPA to add open data policies to their membership requirements.

I’d like to thank the organizers and sponsors of International Data Week and COASP 2016 for making these important conversations possible. In addition, I would also like to encourage any interested stakeholders to join Dryad and support open data.

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On May 24, we held the first virtual Dryad Community Meeting, which allowed us to connect both with our membership and with the larger open data community, far and wide. The theme was “Leadership in data publishing: Dryad and learned societies.”

Following an introduction and update about Dryad from yours truly, we heard about the experiences from representatives of three of Dryad’s member societies.

All three societies require that data be archived in an appropriate repository as a condition of publication in their journals. Yet, they have each taken considerable time and effort to develop policies that address the needs and concerns of their different communities.

Bruna spoke about working with an audience that routinely gathers data for very long-term studies. For many Biotropica authors, embargoes are seen as an important prerequisite for data publishing. Their data policy “includes a generous embargo period of up to three years to ensure authors have ample time to publish multiple papers from more complex or long-term data sets”. Biotropica’s policy also recommends those “who re-use archived data sets to include as fully engaged collaborators the scientists who originally collected them”. To address initial resistance to data archiving, and to build understanding and consensus, Biotropica “enlisted its critics” to contribute to a paper discussing the pros and cons of data publication. Out of this process emerged an innovative policy that went into effect at the start of 2016.

Meaden, by contrast, noted that only 8% of Proceedings B authors elect to embargo data in Dryad, and the standard embargo is for only one year after publication. She credited clearer author instructions and a data availability statement in the manuscript submission system as key elements that have increased the availability of data associated with Royal Society publications.

Newton discussed BES’ move from “encouraging data publication” in 2012 to requiring it in 2014. As shown below, this resulted in an impressive increase in the availability of data. Next, the society is looking to develop guidance on data reuse etiquette. Newton noted that this effort would “need to be community-led.”

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Slide from Erika Newton’s presentation, illustrating the rise in data deposits for BES journals as associated with changing data policy.

While each speaker reported on unique challenges, all shared commonalities, such as:

  • involving the specific community in policy decisions
  • incrementally increasing efforts to make data available
  • the importance of clear author instructions 

We greatly appreciate the excellent contributions from the panelists, as well all the members and other attendees who participated and contributed to the lively Q&A.

We are also pleased that the virtual format was well received. In our follow-up survey, many of the attendees said they found it easy to ask questions and appreciated the ability to join remotely.

Our aim is that these meetings continue to be a valued forum for our diverse community of stakeholders to share knowledge and discuss emerging issues. If you have suggestions on topics for future meetings, or an interest in becoming a member, please reach out to me at director@datadryad.org.

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We invite you to register for the 2015 Dryad Community Meeting, which will take place on May 27th from 8:30am-4:00pm in Washington, DC.  The theme of this year’s meeting is “Taking a Closer Look at Data”, featuring a keynote presentation from Brian Nosek of the Center for Open Science.

The Community Meeting brings together researchers, librarians, publishers, funders and other individuals and organizations with a stake in the preservation and availability of the scientific and medical data associated with the published literature.

The program includes:

  • Dryad101, an introduction to the Dryad Digital Repository, including an overview of recent and upcoming developments
  • A Community Perspectives Forum in which partner journals and member organizations have an opportunity to share their experiences with data publishing.
  • The annual Dryad Business Meeting during which stakeholders can have a say in the governance of the nonprofit organization.
  • An Emerging Issues panel discussion all about the concept of “data review”.  This is an opportunity to hear about the experiences of the community with various forms of data review and to consider whether and how data review may be more widely adopted by Dryad’s community in the future to improve the value of data for reuse.

Our keynote speaker, Dr. Brian Nosek is Professor, Department of Psychology at the University of Virginia and Director, Center for Open Science. The Center for Open Science is a nonprofit technology startup that aims to increase openness, integrity, and reproducibility of scientific research. He is also co-founder of the widely known Project Implicit.

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There is no cost for registration, but space is limited, so please register early to ensure availability.

For inquiries, please contact Meredith Morovati (mmorovati@datadryad.org), Executive Director.

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BostonPanPlain2Updates: The originally scheduled keynote address from Phil Bourne will instead be a session on “The Future of Open Data – What to Expect from US Funders” with Jennie Larkin, Deputy Associate Director for Data Science at NIH and Peter McCartney, Program Director in the Division of Biological Infrastructure at NSF. Also, doors will open at 8:30 for a reception, at which light breakfast will be served.

We’re pleased to announce that our 2014 Community Meeting will be held on May 28 at the Institute for Quantitative Social Science at Harvard University.  This year’s meeting is being held jointly with the Dataverse Network Project, and the theme is Working Together on Data Discovery, Access and Reuse.

Many actors play a role in ensuring that research data is available for future knowledge discovery, including individual researchers, their institutions, publishers and funders. This joint community meeting will highlight existing solutions and emerging issues in the discovery, access and reuse of research data in the social and natural sciences.

Keynote speaker Dr. Phil Bourne is the first and newly appointed Associate Director for Data Science at the National Institutes of Health and a pioneer in furthering the free dissemination of science through new models of publishing. Prior to his NIH appointment, he was a Professor and Associate Vice Chancellor at the University of California San Diego.  He has over 300 papers and 5 books to his credit. Among his diverse contributions, he was the founding Editor-in-Chief of PLOS Computational Biology, has served as Associate Director of the RCSB Protein Data Bank, has launched four companies, most recently SciVee, and is a Past President of the International Society for Computational Biology. He is an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the International Society for Computational Biology and the American Medical Informatics Association. Other honors he has received include the Benjamin Franklin Award in 2009 and the Jim Gray eScience Award in 2010.

The meeting will run from 8:30 9:00 am – 2:15 pm, including light breakfast and a catered lunch.  It will be followed by a Dryad Members Meeting, open to all attendees, from 2:30 – 3:30 pm.

There is no cost for registration, but space is limited. Onsite registration will be made available if space allows, and the proceedings will also be simulcast online.  Please see the meeting page for details.

This year’s Community Meeting has been scheduled for the convenience of those attending the Society for Scholarly Publishing Annual Meeting from May 28-30 in Boston.  SSP attendees may also wish to attend the session “The continuum from publishers to data repositories: models to support seamless scholarship”  May 29th from 10:45am-12:00pm.

For inquiries, please contact Laura Wendell (lwendell@datadryad.org) or Mercè Crosas (mcrosas@iq.harvard.edu).

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We’re happy to announce that presentations are now available from Dryad’s Annual Membership Meeting, held at St. Anne’s College, Oxford this May.  Dryad personnel reported on the state of the repository and the organization’s sustainability and business strategy.  The meeting also included a very valuable “Emerging Issues Forum” that looked forward to new opportunities for the repository and its community of users. We heard from Marianne Bamkin on model journal policies, Jonathan Tedds on review of data associated with publications, Simon Hodson on funding for data archiving costs, Sarah Callaghan on recommendations for data citation policy, Martin Fenner on ways to track data usage and impact, Eefke Smit on the state of the art in repository certification, Susanna-Assunta Sansone on the relevance of the ISA and Biosharing initiatives, and Bill Michener on the opportunities provided by DataONE and other DataNets.

This was the first community meeting since Dryad incorporated as a nonprofit in July 2012, and it was an opportunity for the organization’s Members to exercise their role in governance.  By electronic votes, returning director Susanna-Assunta Sansone, as well as new members Charles Fox, Martin Fenner and Carol Tenopir were elected to the 2016 class of the Board of Directors and several minor amendments to the ByLaws were unanimously adopted.

The meeting capped several days of programming around data, publication and scholarly communication.  The week kicked off with an exciting one-day symposium on The Now and Future of Data Publishing, cosponsored by Jisc, BioSharingDataONE, Dryad, STM and Wiley-Blackwell (presentations available on Slideshare). The next day, Dryad and ORCID co-organized a Symposium on Research Attribution in conjunction with ORCID’s Outreach Meeting and Codefest, and presentations from the symposium are available on the ORCID website.  The symposium featured keynote talks from Joanna McEntyre (Europe PubMedCentral) and David DeRoure (Oxford eResearch Centre); panel discussions with Liz Allen (Wellcome Trust), John Kaye (British Library), Neil Chue Hong (Software Sustainability Institute), Christine Borgman (UCLA), Trish Groves (BMJ) and Martin Fenner (PLOS); and a wrap-up discussion with Cameron Neylon (PLOS).

Many thanks to those of you who contributed as both organizers and participants, and a special thanks to our hosts at the Oxford eResearch Institute.   The next meeting will be in May 2013 in North America and will also be open to the community.  Please let us know if you have ideas for what you’d like to see in the next Emerging Issues forum.

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Dryad is a nonprofit organization fully committed to making scientific and medical research data permanently available to all researchers and educators free-of-charge without barriers to reuse.  For the past four years, we have engaged experts and consulted with our many stakeholders in order to develop a sustainability plan that will ensure Dryad’s content remains free to users indefinitely.  The resulting plan allows Dryad to recoup its operating costs in a way that recovers revenues fairly and in a scalable manner.  The plan includes revenue from submission fees, membership dues, grants and contributions.

A one-time submission fee will offset the actual costs of preserving data in Dryad.  The majority of costs are incurred at the time of submission when curators process new files, and long-term storage costs scale with each submission, so this transparent one-time charge ensures that resources scale with demand.  Dryad offers a variety of pricing plans for journals and other organizations such societies, funders and libraries to purchase discounted submission fees on behalf of their researchers.  For data packages not covered by a pricing plan, the researcher pays upon submission.  Waivers are provided to researchers from developing economies.  See Pricing Plans for a complete list of fees and payment options.  Submission fees will apply to all new submissions starting September 2013.

Membership dues will supplement submission fees, allowing Dryad to maintain its strong ties to the research community through its volunteer Board of Directors, Annual Membership Meetings, and  other outreach activities to researchers, educators and stakeholder organizations.  See Membership Information.

Grants will fund research, development and innovation.

Donations will support all of the above efforts.  In addition, Dryad will occasionally appeal to donors to fund special projects or specific needs, such as preservation of valuable legacy datasets and deposit waivers for researchers from developing economies.

We are grateful for all the input we have received into our sustainability plan, and look forward to your continued support in carrying out our nonprofit mission for many long years to come.

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