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Revision as of 13:29, 1 December 2010 by Elenafeinstein (talk | contribs) (Item display)

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DryadLab is the educational section of Dryad.

Basic Organization

DryadLab will be styled the same as the repository, and integrate closely with repository content, but it will not be implemented as part of DSpace. The target audience for DryadLab includes the instructors, and students, of advanced placement, undergrad, and graduate-level evolution courses.

Items in DryadLab:

  • cleaned and simplified data (which link to the original data in Dryad)
  • learning objects (which link to simplified data and/or original data)
    • teaching guides
    • student material (e.g., worksheets, instructions)
    • descriptions of appropriate analysis tools and techniques

Items in Dryad:

  • raw research data
  • links between raw data and articles

Items outside the repository:

  • blogs
  • fancy interactive tools
  • student projects and portfolios
  • teacher forums

Collection Policy

To be included in DryadLab, each module must include at least one activity that uses data that is in Dryad (from a peer-reviewed bioscience publication).

Potential Targets

Recent high-profile evolution papers, (e.g. those prioritized by the SELECTION working group, highly-cited papers from Dryad Partner journals, frequently downloaded data from Dryad)

  • Chave J, Coomes D, Jansen S, Lewis SL, Swenson NG, Zanne AE (2009) Towards a worldwide wood economics spectrum. Ecology Letters 12: 351-366. (highly downloaded in Dryad)

Data identified by the TREE working group

    • Partially in Dryad already
    • much educational material already prepared

Data arising from NESCent sponsored scientists

  • educator's resource for the Body Size database
  • The dataset being compiled by the NESCent Mammal Diet Evolution group


There will be web content surrounding the educational content, but the typical educational content will be stored in DSpace. The structure will be similar to research data, with a data package and data files for each educational component. Educational packages may contain data files from the research collection, and educational data files may include a "derived from" link to data files in the research collection.

We will encourage people to build educational resources that are external to Dryad (linking to Dryad content). These external resources may contain materials and activities that are beyond the scope of DryadLab.

Versioning will be performed on DryadLab content the same way as for regular Dryad content.

There will be a search system that searches only over DryadLab content (e.g., DSpace collection-level search)

Content in DryadLab will receive DOIs (as long as this is ok with CDL).

  • [DataCite DOIs would not be appropriate for the non-data portions --Tjvision 10:58, 25 October 2010 (EDT)]

The educational materials will be released under a nonrestrictive CC-license (i.e. CC-By).

We will allow commenting on DryadLab content, but the comments themselves may be routed through an external site like Merlot.

Item display

(see mockups in Dropbox or DryadLab Mockups page)

Even when there is only one activity, it will be wrapped in a package, to be consistent with Dryad core, and make the search process easier for users. However, when viewing a package page that includes only one activity, the activity will be rendered as part of the page.

There has been discussion about eliminating DryadLab packages. Adding more information to the search results display would accomplish many of the same functions and might be simpler to navigate for users. --Elenafeinstein 16:26, 29 October 2010 (EDT)

Information displayed on a Package page will include:

  • Title
  • Overview (1-line description: Activities on the topic of X suitable for audience Y)
  • Keywords
  • Concepts covered and learning outcomes?
  • Description of each Activity (1-paragraph description: Data comes from Z and covers topics W. Contains V resources of type U.)
  • Links to external resources
  • Links to extra background information at Understanding Evolution.

Information displayed on an Activity page will include:

  • Title
  • Author
  • Grade Level
  • Concepts covered and learning outcomes
  • Time required
  • Overview
  • full (HTML) text of the activity
  • link to download PDF of the activity
  • links to download resources (in Dryad, in DryadLab, external)
  • Links to external resources
  • Comments (link to Merlot? or stored in DryadLab?)


  • See mockups on Dropbox
  • When content from Dryad core is used in an activity, there will be a link directly to the file download in the "data" section. The doi for the Dryad package page will be included as a "related resource".
  • We won't provide a method to contact the original authors -- any user comments will be handled by the Dryad curators.

BIRDD is a special case

We will not have many educational items with the scale of BIRDD. The educational resources for BIRDD will be placed on the NESCent EOG site, and link to content in Dryad.


When new packages are published in DryadLab, notifications/copies will be posted at:

  • Merlot
  • NSDL (in the Data Sheets section?)
  • Understanding Evolution

Open Questions

  1. We will allow translated matarials in DryadLab -- but we haven't decided whether to include them as separate packages, activities, or file downloads. We need some examples first.
  2. For the teacher advisory board: Do we need student-oriented pages? This depends on how the teachers use the content -- is the teacher downloading the data and setting everything up, or are students downloading the data?
  3. Is it best for users to download files individually? Or as one big zip? This depends on how the data will be used....

Relevant Portions of the Grant Proposal

  • "Datasets of special educational value will be targeted and developed for classroom use through a dedicated education section of the repository."
  • "We will also promote the use of Dryad as an educational tool to teach future scientists about the value of digital data archives."
  • "Datasets of special educational value will receive extra curatorial attention and be presented for student use through a dedicated education section of the repository, acclimating future investigators to a scientific culture in which digitally shared data will play an increasingly important role."
  • "The curators will also target a limited number datasets of special data packages (i.e. those that are frequently downloaded by users, or those that are particularly suitable for educational purposes) for a higher-level of curatorial attention"
  • "DryEd will contain specially prepared datasets designed for student investigations into different aspects of evolutionary biology. Data curators will select a limited number of datasets (1-2 per year) to receive extra curatorial attention, based on popularity or thematic area. Preference will be given to datasets likely to have strong resonance with students (on topics such as the evolution of antibiotic resistance or viral pathogenicity, domestication of companion animals, human origins, origin of life, etc). Curators will work with authors, and with the NESCent Education and Outreach Group, to provide detailed metadata, more extensive background and related material, and a set of suggested exercises appropriate for each dataset. Resources will be targeted at the Advanced Placement, college, and graduate levels. Multiple routes of dissemination will be pursued through the resources of NESCent’s EOG group (see [76])."