This wiki is primarily for the use of the Dryad development team, but most of the content is open for read-only access. To access the Dryad repository, go to DataDryad.org. Dryad-specific source code and documentation is available at Google Code. For the latest news on the project, and the occasional opinion piece, check out Dryad News and Views.
Dryad is a repository for data underlying scientific publications, with an initial focus on evolution, ecology, and related fields. Dryad allows investigators to validate published findings, explore new analysis methodologies, repurpose the data for research questions unanticipated by the original authors, and perform synthetic studies such as formal meta-analyses.
Dryad aims to provide one-stop data deposition upon publication by interfacing with specialized repositories which are already required for publication (such as GenBank and TreeBASE). However, for many publications, these repositories do not capture the whole data package. As a result, many important datasets are not being preserved and are no longer available, or usable, at the time that they are sought by later investigators.
To staunch this loss, Dryad serves as a repository for tables, spreadsheets, flatfiles, and all other kinds of published data that do not currently have a home. A major design consideration with these data is to avoid placing an undue burden of metadata generation on individual researchers while at the same time capturing sufficient metadata to enable data discovery and reuse. A special section of the repository named Dryad Lab hosts datasets of particular educational value for use in undergraduate and graduate training.
Dryad emerged from a NESCent workshop entitled "Digital data preservation, sharing, and discovery: Challenges for Small Science Communities in the Digital Era" in May 2007. A report from the workshop is available here.
The repository is overseen by the Dryad Consortium, which is composed of representatives from partner journals. The consortium coordinates data sharing policies and promotes the long-term sustainability of the repository, together with other stakeholders such as publishers, scientific societies, funding agencies, and other data centers. As part of its commitment to sustainability, Dryad participates in the DataONE network (the Data Observation Network for Earth, http://dataone.org), and is actively developing partnerships with other international data networks and scholarly publishing organizations.
Funding and institutional support for the development of the repository is described here.