Dryad is a curated, general-purpose data repository built on open-source software that is intended for sharing and facilitating citation of research data underlying peer-reviewed publications in the basic sciences and medicine. Dryad is a non-profit venture supported in part by data publication charges.

  • Data size and format:
    • File size limit: no specific amount
    • Dataset size limit: no specified limit
    •  Data types and formats hosted: Data can be in compressed or non-compressed formats, but Dryad prefers all data to be submitted in non-proprietary, openly-documented formats that are preservation-friendly. They will accept other file types, however, particularly if they are a “community-accepted format”. See their file types webpage for details.
  • Data licensing: Creative Commons Zero (CC0) waiver
  • Data attribution and citation tools: Dryad assigns a DOI to the data submission as a whole. A suffix is added to the DOI when a data file or dataset is revised to enable version control
  • User access controls: Before publication of the associated paper, data in Dryad can be shared anonymously and securely with editors and reviewers at the subset of journals that have integrated Dryad into their editorial workflow. Following publication of the associated paper, data are publicly available immediately unless the authors and/or journal have requested an embargo to data release.
  • Data access tools:
    • Search: Free-text search functionality is provided. Machine-readable metadata, which primarily consist of keywords and information about the associated publication, also are recorded. Detailed, file-associated metadata are not recorded and thus are not searchable.
    • Download: In addition to individual file downloading, Dryad has multiple APIs for programmatic data and metadata access, as described on their wiki.
    • Proprietary file format access: none
    • Data analysis: none
  • Cost: $120 data publishing charge per data package (sometimes subsidized by the journal that publishes the associated paper) plus, for data packages >20GB, an overage fee of $50 for each additional 10GB or part thereof (packages between 20 and 30GB = $50 surcharge, between 30 and 40GB = $100 surcharge, etc.). For more information, see their Data Publishing Charges webpage.

 Who Dryad is well suited for:

  • any researcher who wants to provide data securely and anonymously to editors and reviewers during the peer-review process (if the journal has integrated its editorial workflow with Dryad)
  • any researcher who wants to publicly share data associated with a publication in a central, general data repository
  • any researcher seeking a DOI for a published dataset or group of related datasets

Where Dryad falls short:

  • Dryad is not designed for sharing data that are not associated with a publication.
  • Proprietary file types are accessible only to users with access to the necessary software.
  • The cost of depositing large datasets (>20 GB) may be prohibitive.