It is easy to think that archiving data is easy: just put the data files up on a website. To do it well, though, isn’t that easy. The Dryad digital repository has been thinking hard about these issues for years, working toward a practical, simple, and rewarding solution. For Dryad’s website and promotional material we’ve articulated some of the issues we feel are important; see Why Should I Choose Dryad for the up-to-date version.
I copy the current text here to inspire a conversation about “selling points” for a data archive, and even more importantly illustrate how involved it is to make a data archive great.
Dryad aims to make data archiving as simple and as rewarding as possible:
- Dryad welcomes data files associated with any published article in the biosciences, as well as software scripts and other files important to the article.
- There is no restriction regarding data formats.
- Dryad works with journals to integrate article and data submission, streamlining the deposit process. Once the files are prepared, deposition typically takes less than 15 minutes (2-minute video here).
- Data destined for more specialized repositories can, in some cases, be submitted through Dryad, reducing the time and complexity of data submission yet further.
- Dryad provides a single clear and best-practice option for terms of reuse.
- A curator will check your files for technical problems before they are released.
- By default, data are embargoed until journal article publication. Dryad makes sure this happens so you do not need to.
- If it is supported by the policy of the journal, you may, during the submission process, select a‘no-questions-asked’ embargo on data downloads for one year post-publication. Dryad will support a longer embargo if directed by a journal editor.
- You are free to provide additional keywords that make the data easier to discover and additional documentation (in the form of ReadMe files) to help ensure proper data reuse.
- You have the ability to add new versions of data files in order to make updates or corrections.
- Dryad can make data securely available for peer review at the request of the journal.
- Dryad works to ensure that you get credit for reuse of your data by promoting adoption of best-practice data citation policy and the trackability of data citations.
- Data files receive persistent, resolvable Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) that can be used in a citation as well as listed on your CV.
- Dryad’s terms of reuse for data facilitate the maximum impact for your work.
- Data in Dryad are independently discoverable, providing a new route by which others may learn about your work.
- Discovery is supported through the indexing of Dryad’s contents by services such as Google Scholar, Web of Science, and others.
- Usage statistics are available for you to highlight when your datasets are frequently downloaded.
- Since Dryad does not reject data for being of the wrong type or in the wrong format, all the data files associated with an article can be archived together.
- Dryad can host files that are larger than those accepted by most journal websites (up to 1 GB per file and 10 GB per package).
- Your data are preserved and made available for the long-term, even beyond the lifespan of Dryad, through continuous backup and replication services.
- Dryad is community-led, with priorities and policies shaped by the members of the Dryad Consortium, including scientific societies, publishers, and other stakeholder organizations.
- Dryad is a nonprofit, but takes sustainability seriously, ensuring that funds are available for long-term preservation.
- Dryad is an active participant in organizations developing best-practices for data management such as Biosharing, DataCite and DataONE. You as a researcher benefit from, and contribute to, the work of these organizations by depositing and using Dryad.
Have we left out any characteristics that matter to you? Or do you have a wishlist of things you’d like to see in a data archive like Dryad? Let us know in the comments, or send us an email. Thanks!