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This wiki is primarily for the use of the Dryad development team, but most of the content is open for read-only access.

For the latest news on the project, and the occasional opinion piece, check out the Dryad blog.

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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.

Dryad is overseen by a Consortium}} of partner journals which is developing data sharing policies and working to ensure the long-term sustainability of the repository, together with other stakeholders such as publishers, scientific societies, funding agencies, and other data centers. Dryad participates in the DataONE network (the Data Observation Network for Earth,, and is developing partnerships with other international data and scholarly publishing networks.

The development of Dryad is a joint project of NESCent and the UNC Metadata Research Center. Repository development is currently funded by a grant from the U.S. National Science Foundation (to Duke University/NESCent, the University of North Carolina/MRC, NC State University's Digital Library Program, the University of New Mexico/LTER Network Office, and Yale University/TreeBASE). The grant funds a number of aims, including work on a low-burden data submission process based on technical integration with journals and other repositories, promotion of data citations, processes for metadata enhancement and curation, and development of a sustainable, stakeholder-governed organization. Additional funding is provided by a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) is funding a project called HIVE (Helping Interdisciplinary Vocabulary Engineering), that will further enhance the discoverability of data in the repository.