Welcoming Dryad as an OASPA member

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We recently welcomed Dryad as an OASPA member in the Supporting Services and Infrastructure (Non-Commercial) category. Dryad joins a growing list of over 200 OASPA members. 

We asked  Jennifer Gibson, Executive Director, a few questions so we could learn more about Dryad and its connection to open scholarship and the decision to become an OASPA member.


Tell us a bit about your organisation, the service it provides – and your role within it 

Dryad is an open data publishing platform and multi-stakeholder community committed to the open availability and routine reuse of all research data. We work with institutions, publishers and researchers to curate and publish data in a way that enables discoverability and interconnection with other research outcomes and systems. Online since 2008, Dryad has anticipated requirements for data-management and sharing like the latest we’re seeing from U.S. policy makers.

I joined Dryad as Executive Director in October 2021 and am excited about working beneath and beyond the research article, helping to surface more types of research, more quickly, and to work with an organisation as long-established and respected as Dryad is in the research community.

Why did you decide to join OASPA and what do you hope to get out of your OASPA membership?

I feel that, like me, the OASPA community has been asking what open research really entails and how we can help, as publishing organisations. Our conversations have become more wide-ranging, in my experience, asking who’s involved in publishing and knowledge exchange, what knowledge really is, and what roles we all may play in future. As the underpinning of formal, published research, it makes sense that data be represented in these conversations. And, the way Dryad has approached data, and applied publishing practice to facilitate discovery and reuse, encourages us to reconsider the start and end points for publishing.  

What are the short and medium-term priorities for your organisation in relation to open scholarship – and how is your organisation adapting for a future where open access publishing is the default?

Our biggest focus is aligning Dryad with institutions, publishers and funders that have set out their ambitions for strong data management practice and open data sharing. Our processes are ready-made for requirements and recommendations from the U.S. White House, for example, and we have a job to do to connect with as many potential partners as possible. At the same time, we’re a tiny, non-profit organisation and have tough decisions to make on where to focus our resources. I’m hopeful that, with increasing interest in the careful, open sharing of data, recent developments signal long-term growth and health for organisations like Dryad.  

What do you think are the main challenges for the communication of scholarship generally in the near future?

I’ve learned a lot from the OASPA community in the last few years, and am now more attuned to underrepresented and less formal channels for knowledge sharing. I’m also more sensitive to the importance of ensuring historically underrepresented communities have a voice. So, generally, I feel one of the main challenges is to adapt our own perspectives, practices, and systems such that we do a better job at working as a global community toward the translation of knowledge into benefit for everyone.

How do you think OASPA can help mitigate those challenges?

OASPA has been singular in its ability to convene and grow a globally diverse audience in the last few years. It would be beneficial to us all if this can be maintained, such that we can identify challenges and solutions to building a better system together. 




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