Persistent identifiers for research objects, researchers, organizations, and funders are the key to creating unambiguous and persistent connections across the global research infrastructure (GRI). Many repositories are implementing mechanisms to collect and integrate these identifiers into their submission and record curation processes. This bodes well for a well-connected future, but metadata for existing resources submitted in the past are missing these identifiers, thus missing the connections required for inclusion in the connected infrastructure. Re-curation of these metadata is required to make these connections. This paper introduces the global research infrastructure and demonstrates how repositories, and their user communities, can contribute to and benefit from connections to the global research infrastructure.

The Dryad Data Repository has existed since 2008 and has successfully re-curated the repository metadata several times, adding identifiers for research organizations, funders, and researchers. Understanding and quantifying these successes depends on measuring repository and identifier connectivity. Metrics are described and applied to the entire repository here.

Identifiers (Digital Object Identifiers, DOIs) for papers connected to datasets in Dryad have long been a critical part of the Dryad metadata creation and curation processes. Since 2019, the portion of datasets with connected papers has decreased from 100% to less than 40%. This decrease has significant ramifications for the re-curation efforts described above as connected papers have been an important source of metadata. In addition, missing connections to papers make understanding and re-using datasets more difficult.

Connections between datasets and papers can be difficult to make because of time lags between submission and publication, lack of clear mechanisms for citing datasets and other research objects from papers, changing focus of researchers, and other obstacles. The Dryad community of members, i.e. users, research institutions, publishers, and funders have vested interests in identifying these connections and critical roles in the curation and re-curation efforts. Their engagement will be critical in building on the successes Dryad has already achieved and ensuring sustainable connectivity in the future.

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Author notes

Citation: Habermann, T. Sustainable connectivity in a community repository. Data Intelligence. 2024. DOI: TBD

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