Business Plan and Sustainability

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This page describes Dryad's business and sustainability plans, organization membership, and Data Publishing Charges.


Dryad's sustainability is being addressed by implementing a nonprofit governance and revenue model that has been developed over the past five 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.

Dryad’s sustainability plan is based on three key principles:

  1. Dryad requires sufficient resources to ensure that data can be responsibly preserved and freely downloaded into the indefinite future.
  2. Sources of revenue must scale with costs, which are primarily driven by the number of deposits.
  3. Membership and service fees should be distributed fairly.

Current status

Both the Dryad Bylaws and Cost Recovery Plan were approved by the Interim Board of Dryad in early May 2012. The Bylaws were adopted by the Board of Directors in July 2012. Dryad has incorporated as a nonprofit in North Carolina, and is applying for tax-exempt status. For more about the governance history and structure of the Dryad organization, see Governance.

The Cost Recovery Plan is being implemented as follows:

  • Membership fees are levied for the membership year, which runs from January to December, from January 2013.
  • A Data Publishing Charge (DPC) is being charged for all new submissions from 1 September 2013.
  • A price increase was approved by the Board of Directors and implemented January 2016.

The cost-recovery framework, including all fees and charges, will be re-assessed by the Board of Directors on an annual basis.

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.

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.


  • Membership in Dryad is open to the full spectrum of stakeholder organizations, including but not limited to journals, learned societies, publishers, research institutions, libraries, government agencies, and funding bodies. Members have a say in the governance of the organization through nomination and election of its Board of Directors, receive discounts on deposit fees, and participate in a knowledge sharing network that is capped by an annual membership meeting to stay informed about new innovations in scholarly communication of research data.
  • Membership is not required for Submission Integration of manuscript and data submission, nor for participation in one of the payment plans described above. Members do receive the member discount for deposits, as described above.
  • Charter Members are eligible for free membership until the end of 2015 in recognition of their early support for Dryad.

Payment plans and Data Publishing Charges

Deposits may be paid in one of three ways. Dryad offers two payment plan types for organizations and institutions that wish to support data deposits by their affiliates, plus the option for depositors to Pay-on-Submission. The plans charge at rates that reflect differences in transaction and business costs. Details and rates are available on the Dryad website.

  • 1. Subscription plan:
    • Suitable for societies, journals, and publishing organizations.
    • Unlimited deposits are allowed from subscribing journals associated with articles published during the time of the contract.
    • The subscription fee is calculated based on the total number of all research articles published by the journal(s) in the prior year, with a base fee per research article.
    • The minimum contract duration is two years.
    • Subscribing journals must have implemented Submission Integration with Dryad.
  • 2. Usage-based plan:
    • Suitable for any organization.
    • Fees are invoiced for the number of data packages deposited in the previous quarter.
    • Organizations must enter into a contract of at least one year and may cap the number of deposits for which they are charged.
  • Pay-on-submission:
    • Payed by individuals, if none of the payment plans applies.
    • The deposit fee is payable by the depositor at the time of curator approval/archiving.

Other charges

  • Membership fees: Annual membership fees help defray the communication and meeting costs associated with a large membership-based organization.
    • $500 Advocate membership for organizations of any income level. Does not include discounted payment plans.
    • $1,000 Supporter membership for organizations with budgets less than USD$10 million/year. Includes discounted payment plans.
    • $5,000 Sustainer membership for organizations with budgets above USD$10 million/year. Includes discounted payment plans.
  • Excess storage: For data packages in excess of the 50GB size limit, submitters will be charged $50 for each additional 10GB, or part thereof, to cover the additional storage needs. (Packages between 20 and 30GB = $50, between 30 and 40GB = $100, and so on).
  • 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.

All amounts are in US Dollars.

Discounts and waivers

  • Member discounts: A membership discount applies under payment plans for Supporter- or Sustainer-level members.

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.