Business Plan and Sustainability

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This page describes Dryad's business and sustainability plans.


Dryad's sustainability is being addressed by implementing a nonprofit governance and revenue model that has been developed over the past three years by diverse stakeholders in the research, publishing, library and funder communities. As new journal and funder mandates raise demand and expectations for data management, preservation, and dissemination services, Dryad - as a stable, community-governed organization - aims to be in a position to provide the necessary infrastructure, as well as provide a focused forum for participating journals, societies and publishers to take coordinated, and well-informed, steps toward improved policy and practice.

Current status

Both the Dryad Bylaws and Cost Recovery Plan were approved by the Interim Board of Dryad in early May 2012. Dryad is in the process of incorporating in North Carolina, and applying for non-profit status. An election for the Board of Directors of the organization will be concluded in late May 2012. For more about the governance history and structure of the Dryad organization, see Governance.

Cost Recovery Plan

The Dryad Cost Recovery Plan is based on the framework that emerged from the Dryad Board meeting of July 2011, informed by consultations with sustainability experts and discussions with stakeholders dating back to May 2007. Download the plan.

The revenue streams described are for recovery of operating costs (e.g. business management, curation of new deposits, user support, interoperability with new journals, migration and replication of content, hardware software maintenance, costs of outside services, etc.). Research and development of new capabilities will continue to be funded through project grants, and Dryad will continue to seek support from foundations, government funding bodies, and private donors to support its core mission and reduce costs to users.

Payment plans for deposits

Deposits may be paid in one of four ways. The initial, baseline, member-discounted rate per data package (including all the material associated with one published article) will be approximately $50, pending review of budget projections by the elected Board of Directors. The plans charge at a rate that may differ from the baseline to reflect differences in transaction and business costs. Dryad offers three payment plans for organizations and institutions, plus the option to Pay-on-Deposit:

  • A. Journal-based subscription: The organization prepays to cover all data packages associated with that journal or journals that may be received during the time of the contract. The annual fee is half the baseline charge times the average annual number of research articles published in the previous three years. Contracts are undertaken for 3 or 5-year terms.
  • B. Voucher-based payment: The organization pays in advance at the baseline rate for a fixed number of data packages. There are no bulk discounts.
  • C. Pay-as-you-go: The organization commits to pay retrospectively for the number of data packages made during the previous period (e.g. quarterly or annually). Deposits would be charged at the baseline rate plus a surcharge reflecting the costs of delayed payment. There are no bulk discounts. Contracts are undertaken for 3 or 5-year terms.
  • D. Pay-on-deposit: An author may pay for an individual deposit from either an integrated or non-integrated journal when that journal does not have a contract for one of the plans above. Deposits are charged at the baseline rate plus a surcharge reflecting the increased transaction cost associated with individual payments. Deposits from non-integrated journals have an additional surcharge reflecting the additional costs of curation that are required.

Membership and eligibility

  • Organizations eligible for Plans A through C include individual journals, publishers of multiple journals (e.g. learned societies or publishers), and other organizations eligible to be Members. It is not necessary that the organization be a Member to enroll in one of the plans.
  • Membership in Dryad is defined within the Dryad Bylaws. Essentially, members elect the Board Of Directors, vote on amendments to the core governance documents, and receive the benefits of participation in membership forums. Membership is not required for integration of manuscript and data submission, nor for participation in one of the deposit payment plans described above. Members do receive the member discount for deposits, as described above.
  • Charter Members are those that were counted as Interim Partners at the time of the July 2011 Board Meeting. Annual dues are waived for Charter Members for the first three years in which dues are levied.

Other charges

  • Membership dues: Annual membership dues of US$1000 help defray the communication and meeting costs associated with a large membership-based organization.
  • Large-volume surcharges: Under all four plans, unusually large deposits are assessed a surcharge to cover projected excess storage costs. The current threshold is 10GB per data package.
  • Non-integrated journal surcharge: $10 per data package
  • No set-up costs: No charge shall be levied for setting up standard integration of data submission to Dryad via the manuscript handling system of a journal.

Discounts and waivers

  • Member discounts: The above rates reflect a 10% discount for deposits associated with Members in good standing.
  • Waivers: Where deposit costs are not otherwise covered, the repository will seek to provide waivers for deposits from authors in low-income countries.


The Cost Recovery Plan will be implemented as determined by the 2012 Dryad Board of Directors. The Board will meet to discuss this and other issues in July 2012. The cost-recovery framework, including the detailed charging scheme, will be re-assessed by the Board of Directors on an annual basis.

Other funding

Dryad continues to seek grant funding to support R&D activities. For information about Dryad's past and present grant funding, see Grants.