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Publication policies, obligations & warranties

Updated: August 29, 2023

Capitalized terms used herein shall have the meanings ascribed to such terms on the Definitions page.


Dryad is a not-for-profit membership organization that makes it easy and affordable to curate, preserve, Publish, and reuse Research Data; and to meet your organization’s needs for the public release of data and fulfilling funder mandates. Our vision is that the open availability and routine reuse of all research data enables the acceleration of discovery across domains and the translation of research into benefits for society worldwide. To that end, Dryad:

  • enhances research by making data openly available and reusable;
  • enables Datasets to be widely indexed and discoverable;
  • assigns and registers Identifiers that point to or give context to Datasets on the Dryad Website;
  • tracks the usage of Datasets, and promotes data citation and reuse as a metric of scholarly credit;
  • makes data both accessible today and preserved for use in the future;
  • respects and protects the privacy of its users; and
  • generally, meets the needs of its stakeholders for a trustworthy data curation and publication service.

All of the above functions and offerings, including associated systems, hardware, software, and know-how, are referred to in these Terms of Membership (these “Terms”) as the “Dryad Infrastructure and Services.”

Publication policies

  1. Content Criteria. Dryad only Accepts Datasets that meet the following criteria:
    1. Submitted by an individual who represents and warrants that s/he is the creator and owner of the Dataset or otherwise has sufficient rights to be able to make the Dataset available under a CC0 instrument.
    2. Datasets must fall within the definition of Research Data and be in a digital format.
    3. If a Dataset is associated with a Scholarly Publication, the Submitter represents and warrants that the Dataset is in compliance with the formatting, licensing, and reporting guidelines of the Scholarly Publication’s publisher.
    4. The primary language of the Dataset must be English. Dryad Curation personnel cannot effectively review or curate Submissions in other languages at this time.
  2. Expressions of Concern, Retraction and Removal of Files. If there is an associated Scholarly Publication, Dryad generally defers authority to the publisher when issues arise regarding validity of the Dataset. If a Dataset on the Website is associated with a Scholarly Publication for which there is an “expression of concern,” “retraction” or similar statement on the part of the publisher, Dryad will continue to make the Dataset available, but with an appropriate warning and a link to the statement from the publisher. Data files that are updated as corrections to the original Scholarly Publication will be similarly linked to the publisher’s corrigendum where Dryad is made aware of such.

    Those who wish to see a Dataset on the Dryad Website taken down, either for copyright infringement, because of privacy concerns, or for other legitimate cause, should contact gro.dayrdatad@pleh providing the following:

    1. A physical or electronic signature of a person authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed;
    2. Identification of the work claimed to have been infringed, or, if multiple works at a single online site are covered by a single notification, a representative list of such works at the site;
    3. Identification of material that is claimed to be infringing or to be the subject of infringing activity and that is to be removed or access to which is to be disabled, and the information reasonably sufficient to permit the service provider to locate the material;
    4. Information reasonably sufficient to permit the service provider to contact the complaining party, such as an address, telephone number, and, if available, an electronic mail address at which the complaining party may be contacted;
    5. A statement that the complaining party has a good faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the owner, its agent, or the law;
    6. A statement that the information in the notification is accurate, and under the penalty of perjury, that the complaining party is authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.

    Notwithstanding the foregoing, Dryad reserves the right to temporarily or permanently remove any Dataset at any time if Dryad determines in its sole discretion that the Dataset is inappropriate (containing personally identifiable, sensitive, infringing or otherwise illegal material; or Dryad is advised by legal counsel that the inclusion of such Dataset presents a potential risk to Dryad); provided, however, Dryad shall not be responsible for screening the Dataset prior to or after its Publication for such issues. Dryad agrees to notify the Submitter if the Dataset is rejected or removed and the reasons related to the removal.

Dryad obligations, representations and warranties to Members, Submitters and Users

  1. Curation. Dryad Curation personnel will provide Submitters support and will curate Datasets prior to and following Publication, as follows:

    1. Confirm that files can be opened, are not corrupted, and do not contain viruses that can be discovered through commercially reasonable efforts;
    2. Confirm that the Metadata for the Dataset is technically correct;
    3. Confirm that files are correctly Versioned during the review workflow where applicable, and review updated files and Metadata Submitted either before or after Publication;
    4. Confirm that the Submission is covered by a Waiver or Membership Agreement where applicable;
    5. Register an Identifier (DOI) for the Dataset;
    6. Resolve issues that come to the attention of Curation personnel after Publication including, but not limited to take-down requests and retraction notices.

    Dryad may, but is under no obligation to:

    1. Review Submissions for personally identifiable or otherwise sensitive or inappropriate information;
    2. Review Submissions for copyright and license statements that are potentially incompatible with a CC0 instrument;
    3. Review Submissions for compliance with file format and minimum reporting guidelines and alert Submitters or Members when non-compliance is discovered.

    Dryad will not:

    1. Make decisions regarding what Dataset is to be archived by the Scholarly Publication publisher rather than Submitted to the Website;
    2. Check the scientific validity, veracity, accuracy or completeness of the Dataset;
    3. Guarantee compliance with content policies or guidelines set by Members in the absence of a separate contract for special Curation services;
  2. Content Distribution.

    1. Publication. Dryad will make Accepted Datasets available to the public under a CC0 instrument and communicate scholarly norms for data reuse to Submitters and Users including, but not limited to, guidelines for data citation. However, Dryad shall NOT be responsible for enforcing scholarly norms.
    2. Persistence and Availability. Dryad shall make commercially reasonable efforts to maintain the continual availability of the Website (subject to reasonable downtime for maintenance), and provide advance notice, when possible, of any material changes or discontinuities. However, Dryad shall NOT be responsible for the consequences of any downtime, disruptions or discontinuity of the Dryad Infrastructure and Services that occur outside of Dryad’s control.
    3. Third-Party Use. Dryad is NOT responsible for the uses of Published Datasets made by third parties, including those who view and download Datasets through Dryad Infrastructure and Services.
  3. Integrity, Availability and Reusability. Dryad aims to maintain the integrity, availability and reusability of the Datasets it Publishes over the long term. Note that it remains the responsibility of Submitters to provide sufficient Metadata and background information in order to facilitate Users’ understanding of the data.

    This policy is informed by the Open Archival Information System (OAIS) reference model (ISO 14721:2012, which defines “long term” to be a period of time long enough for there to be concern about the impacts of changing technologies, including support for new media and data formats, and of a changing user community.

  4. Preferred Formats and Support Levels.

    1. Preferred Formats. While Dryad accepts all data types and formats within reason, some formats are preferred. Curation personnel may contact Submitters to request a file in an alternate format, and/or Dryad may save additional Versions of files that have been transformed to preferred formats. Non-proprietary, openly documented formats are preferred if the format does not compromise reuse potential. Dryad recognizes that some formats may be preferred for reusability even if not ideal for preservation. Preferred formats are listed on our Good data practices page and updated from time to time.
    2. Full Support. Dryad will make commercially reasonable efforts to ensure the properties and behaviors into the future of Datasets Submitted in a preferred format or other common format, as listed on our Good data practices page and updated from time to time.
    3. Limited support. For uncommon formats for which we are less confident there will be robust conversion tools, Dryad will make some effort to ensure the future readability and functionality of the Submission, but there may be some loss. Examples would include PDF files that are not compliant with the requirements of PDF/A.
    4. As-Is Bitstream Access. For binary files from proprietary instrumentation and software and other exotic formats, Dryad preserves the bitstream as-is and makes no commitment to format transformations or future usability.
  5. Procedures for Preservation. Dryad aims to preserve originally submitted Datasets indefinitely. Steps to ensure long-term availability include:

    1. Assignment and registration of persistent Identifiers (DOIs);
    2. Replication of data and Metadata;
    3. Periodic verification that stored data remain uncorrupted (upon ingest, a checksum is calculated and recorded for each Submitted data file; integrity checks are performed on random data files nightly);
    4. For data objects are found to be corrupted, affected data will be restored from known-good copies as appropriate;
    5. Maintenance of multiple copies at geographically distributed sites;
    6. Manual inspection of files by Dryad Curation personnel prior to Publication for any issues that may affect preservation;
    7. Documentation of Curation personnel activity to ensure more than one team member can perform each critical function related to Curation.
  6. Security. Full backup copies of Datasets hosted on the Website are stored in multiple secure facilities offsite.

  7. Versioning. Dryad Datasets may be Versioned in order to correct errors in the archived files or to provide additional data associated with the analysis.

    1. Dryad shall include updated files within the Dryad Infrastructure and Services while retaining and allowing access to the original files and all prior Published Versions.
    2. The Metadata of the Dataset will be updated to include information about the order of the Versions.
    3. The Dataset Identifier and Dryad search results point to the most recent Version of a Dataset, which displays a history that allows Users to navigate to earlier Versions.
    4. Prior Versions can be accessed via the “Data Files” section of the dataset landing page and are organized by the date of publication.
    5. New Versions will be preserved following the preservation procedures set forth in Section 5.
  8. Sustainability.

    1. Technical Approach. Dryad is built with open-source, agile software development methodologies.
    2. Accessibility & Persistence. Through assignment and registration of Identifiers, Dryad shows its commitment to online preservation of the Datasets it Publishes. Registration allows Identifiers to be seamlessly redirected in the event of URL changes.
    3. Organizational and Financial Sustainability. Dryad’s governance and business model are designed to provide for long-term stability and viability, ensuring that revenues from Membership Agreements and Data Publishing Charges (DPCs) cover its core operating costs.
  9. Representations and Warranties. Dryad represents and warrants that it has the authority to enter into Membership fees (in the case of Members) and these policies, obligations and warranties (in the case of Members, Submitters and Users), and to be bound by them.