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‎ This is the wiki for the development team of Dryad, a repository to host the data underlying published works in evolutionary biology and related fields. Dryad will allow future 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 is being designed as a "catch-all" repository for numerical tables 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.

We are working with stakeholders from a consortium of journals and scientific societies to develop data sharing policies and ensure the long-term sustainability of the repository.

A special section of the repository named DryEd will package datasets of particular educational value for use in undergraduate and graduate classes.

The development of Dryad is a joint project of NESCent and the UNC Metadata Research Center. Additional development will be performed by North Carolina State University, the University of New Mexico, and Yale University. This wiki is primarily for the use of the development team, but most of the content is open for read-only access.


The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) has funded a 3-year project that will enhance Dryad's metadata. HIVE (Helping Interdisciplinary Vocabulary Engineering) will allow users to annotate Dryad content with subject headings from multiple vocabularies/ontologies. Work on HIVE will begin in January 2009.

Dryad has received a 4-year grant from the NSF (detailed grant proposal). This grant will fund development of Dryad's second phase, including an enhanced submission process and greater integration with our partner journals and repositories.

We hosted a workshop entitled "Digital data preservation, sharing, and discovery: Challenges for Small Science Communities in the Digital Era" in May 2007. Read the workshop final report for details.