A shiny new look and lots more info

seed-2We encourage you to visit the Dryad homepage today and check out our new look.  We’ve made many changes, both large and small, and added lots of new content.

Highlights include:

  • A new Ideas Forum, where you can let us know what features you’d like us to work on next, upvote or comment on ideas submitted by others, and check back to see our responses.
  • New membership and pricing plans, which we will feature in upcoming posts.
  • Updates about our  Annual Membership Meeting and related events from 22-24 May in Oxford, UK.
  • An Integrated Journals page that helps depositors see which journals are coordinating the submission process with Dryad, figure out which stage in the publication process to submit data for your chosen journal, and more.
  • Prominent positioning of Dryad’s Terms of Service, which we view as a two-way compact with our users. We wrote it in plain language and sincerely want it to be read!
  • Improved accessibility to persons with visual disabilities (following the guidelines in Section 508 of the U.S. code)
  • Improved navigation, including an integrated page of Frequently Asked Questions
  • More intuitive search and browse of data packages and a revamped layout for the data package page

There are lots more improvements underway.  Not all of these will be immediately obvious to website visitors, but you can expect to see more changes over the coming months.  Thanks to all who have provided feedback and helped with usability testing, and please let us know what you think!

Dryad Membership Meeting & data publishing symposium

Photo by DAVID ILIFF. License: CC-BY-SA 3.0

Mark Your Calendar!

The 2013 Dryad Membership Meeting

St Anne’s College, Oxford, UK

24 May 2013


The Dryad Membership Meeting will cap off a series of separate but related events spotlighting trends in scholarly communication and research data.  Highlights include:

  • A data publishing symposium on May 22 – Featuring new initiatives and current issues in data publishing (open to the public, nominal registration fee may apply).
  • A Joint Dryad-ORCID Symposium on Research Attribution on May 23 – On the changing culture and technology of how credit is assigned and tracked for data, software, and other research outputs (Public).
  • Dryad Membership Meeting on May 24 – Help chart the course for the organization’s future (Dryad Members only).

More details to be announced soon.

Summer 2011 Interim Board meeting

Dryad’s new governance structure and cost recovery plan emerged from a consultation process that culminated in a meeting of the Dryad Interim Board in Vancouver, Canada in July 2011.  This was the third and final meeting of this temporary governing body. Over 25 representatives from a diversity of journals, societies, publishers and other organizations met at the University of British Columbia to review progress and chart the next steps for Dryad.

Vancouver maple tree, courtesy of Marcel Holyoak, via Flickr

In addition to the governance and sustainability plans, participants also made progress on a number of important policy issues. Several of these bear on what content Dryad will accept:

  • Software: Dryad is intended to provide a repository for code only where it does not otherwise have a better home. It is expected that Dryad will be used primarily for snapshots or “one-off” scripts that would otherwise be lost, rather than the maintenance of ongoing software projects that would be better hosted by a public version control system.
  • Other integral and supplementary materials:  Dryad will accept the full range of content that is currently hosted by the journal/publisher as Supplemental Online Material, and not restrict the repository contents strictly to data. This option will be provided to those journals or publishers that wish to take advantage of it.  Whether it be software, data, or other material, authors will still be asked to release rights to the content under the terms of CCZero.
  • Qualifying publications:  All content in Dryad must be documented by a publication. The Interim Board expanded the definition of qualifying publications to include not just those that have undergone peer review, but any legitimate publication with expert vetting, such as a doctoral thesis.

The report of the meeting is available here.   We extend particular thanks for the success of the meeting to the members of the interim Executive Committee: Marcel Holyoak, William Michener, Allen Moore and Michael Whitlock (chair and host at UBC).

Science Online in London

If you’re in London this week, don’t miss Science Online London on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 3-4.   Hosted by the British Library, Mendeley, and Nature, this meeting is an opportunity not just to listen but to connect, engage, and interact.

Stop by the British Library booth to find out more about Dryad’s expansion under the new JISC grant involving Oxford University and BL.

Meeting topics include:

  • How is the web changing the way we conduct, communicate, share, and evaluate research? How can we employ these trends for the greater good?
  • How is the internet changing the way we work with data?
  • How are blogs and social networking facilitating scientific discussion? What challenges do we face?
  • What challenges and opportunities are there when engaging with the public?

In particular, these sessions on Friday may be of interest to those involved in data sharing:

  • Breakout 1: Publishing primary research data
  • Breakout 8: Connecting scientific resources

Follow the conference on Twitter @soloconf (comment with hashtag #solo10).

Dryad at Evolution 2010 in Portland

The Dryad team will be attending and exhibiting at Evolution 2010, the joint meeting of the Society for the Study of Evolution (SSE), the Society of Systematic Biologists (SSB), and the American Society of Naturalists (ASN), on June 25-29, 2010, at the Oregon Convention Center.

Five of the Dryad team will be there:

  • Hilmar Lapp, NESCent Asst. Director for Informatics
  • Heather Piwowar, DataONE postdoc with NESCent and Dryad
  • Peggy Schaeffer, Communications Coordinator
  • Ryan Scherle, Data Repository Architect
  • Todd Vision, Project Director

Come talk to us, learn about what’s up with Dryad, see a quick demo of the data deposit process, ask questions, anytime!  Find us at Booth #6 in the exhibit hall, from Friday through Tuesday.

Winter 2009 management board meeting

Gate at The British Library

Gate at the British Library
(source: gaspa)

The Dryad Management Board recently held their Winter 2009 meeting at the British Library Conference Center in London. The meeting was attended by 13 journal representatives and 4 members of the Dryad development team. A few highlights from the meeting:

Dryad now includes 489 data files in 163 data packages, though a large proportion of this content has been imported from the Systematic Biology archives.

The rate of submissions to Dryad is slowly increasing. Dryad has been able to accept submissions from authors since early 2009. Two journals, The American Naturalist and Molecular Ecology, have completed initial integration with Dryad, allowing their authors to use a more streamlined submission process. The Journal of Heredity is making progress on integration, and several other journals expect to integrate in the near future.

We are currently improving the user interface for locating and obtaining data. We are developing more sophisticated tools for curation, and we are working with several partner repositories to replicate content and provide federated searching services. For more detail, see the Dryad Development Plan.

The board discussed the role of identifiers in Dryad and whether DOIs should be assigned to Dryad’s holdings. Representatives from CrossRef and DataCite led discussions on the advantages of DOIs. The board unanimously recommended that each Dryad data package be given a DOI (a data package is all data associated with a single article). The executive committee will determine whether DOIs should be used at more granular levels (e.g., the individual files within a data package).

The longest discussion of the meeting focused on plans for transitioning Dryad from the current grant funding to a model that is more sustainable for the long term. Todd Vision presented a cost model created by the Dryad development team and consultant Lorraine Eakin. Consultants from Charles Beagrie Limited presented an analysis of expected staffing needs and potential revenue streams. The board provided guidance on the schedule and methods for pursuing revenue from a variety of sources.

Community engagement emerged as a critical factor in ensuring long-term sustainability. Towards that end, the board discussed many ideas for increasing the visibility of the repository. Notable steps include increasing the frequency of posts on this blog, having a more visible presence at scientific meetings, and expanding use of social networking tools like Facebook and Twitter.

Once the Dryad development team compiles all notes from the meeting, we will release a more detailed report.

From the International Digital Curation Conference

Dryad was at the 5th International Digital Curation Conference in London last week,  getting several prominent mentions by speakers, and with a poster on our research supporting the curation workflow, available here.

A pre-conference workshop on Citability of Research Data provided an introduction to DataCite,  a cooperative effort of the German National Library of Science and Technology (TIB), the British Library, Canada Institute for Scientific and Technical Information (CISTI), among others, with the goal:  …to establish a not-for-profit agency that enables organisations to register research datasets and assign persistent identifiers to them, so that research datasets can be handled as independent, citable, unique scientific objects. This was followed by a useful discussion of the barriers and challenges, which produced a nice little checklist of things to do.  Change scientific culture around data, gain journal/publisher support, facilitate good data management,  yes– terminology matters!, resolve data granularity issues, encourage & make it easy for authors to deposit data….

Here are some more highlights from the meeting. See the IDCC’s videos of the sessions, or the Digital Curation Blog for more.

Dryad board member William Michener presented on DataONE, and made a prominent mention of Dryad in the discussion afterwards.  Thanks, Bill!

In his keynote, Ed Seidel, Associate Director, Directorate of Mathematical and Physical Sciences, National Science Foundation, said

  • publicly funded data should be made available
  • simply ‘expecting’ researchers to share data = like expecting teenagers to clean their rooms
  • we need “executable publications” that include code and data with paper to run and reproduce science
  • and then he called for journals to require data deposition, “If journals require data associated with publication to be available; that would be a major push.”

Timo Hannay, Publishing Director, Nature Publishing Group, began his closing keynote address by saying that “at lunch 3 separate people were kind enough to point out that supplementary information was [no good] in PDF.”  Other tidbits from his talk:

  • journals need to become more like databases, more structured, more searchable
  • we are joining the dots across the intellectual terra incognita
  • all information is inter-connected
  • the associations between facts are just as important as the facts themselves; we have increasingly interconnected data sets, and are building one global computer and one global database
  • this is vast and messy and inconsistent and immensely valuable
  • there must be more efficient ways to do peer review but no one has come up with one yet
  • Q: do authors send data?  what do you do with it?
    • A: supplementary info is a catchall phrase
    • some of it is data, not most of it
    • we just take the file and put it online and link to it
    • it’s mostly Excel spreadsheets
    • our system used to just put it into a PDF– have fixed that
    • there’s slow progress, and is dependent on authors
    • interested to see encouraging making usable data available

One interesting paper from Australia, by Dr Andrew Treloar, Australian National Data Service (ANDS), identified data sharing verbs; these are proposed “as a useful way to design and structure flexible services in a heterogeneous environment.”

  1. create/capture
  2. store– “ANDS doesn’t do storage but we care that it happens”
  3. describe– info for discovery, determination of value, access, & re-use
  4. identify– using handles, just joined DataCite, can now can generate DOI’s,  have an “Identify My Data” service; want data to be a first-class output
  5. register– host a registry of collections
  6. discover– offer discovery services
  7. access– 4 ways: direct link, link to data repository, contact info to get data, or metadata only
  8. exploit, or use– build on what’s available

For more detail see the full paper here.  The full IDCC programme is here, and all the recorded sessions are available here.  Next year the IDCC will be in Chicago.  If you like O’Hare in Dec., this should be a real treat!

Dryad Consortium Management Board: First meeting May 2009

The first meeting of the Dryad Consortium Management Board was held May 21-22, 2009 at NESCent in Durham, NC. Representatives from over a dozen journals met to launch and plan for the future of the consortium. Topics discussed included board governance, repository sustainability, the Joint Data Archiving Policy, intellectual property, repository policy, interactions with journals and other repositories, repository software development plans, and community engagement.

Attendees included:

•    William Michener* (Ecological Applications, Ecological Monographs, Ecology)
•    Allen Moore* (Journal of Evolutionary Biology)
•    Mohamed Noor (Evolution)
•    Rod Page (Systematic Biology)
•    Michelle Tseng (Evolutionary Applications)
•    Marcy Uyenoyama* (Molecular Biology and Evolution)
•    Tim Vines* (Molecular Ecology)
•    Michael Whitlock* (American Naturalist)
•    Derek Wildman (Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution)
•    Harold Heatwole (Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology)
•    Pete Wagner (Journal of Paleontology, Paleobiology)
•    Marcel Holyoak (Ecology Letters)
•    Scott Baker (Journal of Heredity)
•    Erica Fleishman (Conservation Biology)
•    John A Allen (Biological Journal of the Linnean Society)

*=Executive Committee members

A summary of the meeting is available. The next meeting will be held Dec. 14 & 15, 2009, in London, UK, further information available here. Journals & editors interested in joining the Board and guiding the growth of data archiving and the development of Dryad should contact Todd Vision,  Associate Director for Informatics, The US National Evolutionary Synthesis Center.