Over the past couple of years, we’ve been improving data access in a number of ways, notably: unlocking content in SI files,connecting PLOS Biology and PLOS Genetics with Dryad data, and making data discoverable through figshare recommendations. Our update to the PLOS data policy in March 2014 undergirds and reinforces these services (c.f. policy FAQs). Once data is available without restrictions upon publication, we can build tools to support the research enterprise. Today, our efforts to improve data access at PLOS continues with an exciting new chapter.
Data Repository Integration Partner Program: easy deposition and article submission
We announce the launch of the PLOS Data Repository Integration Partner Program, which integrates our submission process with those of a select set of data repositories to better support data sharing and author compliance of the PLOS data policy. (PDRIPP didn’t make the cutting board for names.) Through this program, we make it easier for researchers to deposit data and submit their manuscript to PLOS through a single, streamlined workflow. Our submission system is sewn together with partner repositories to ensure that the article and its underlying data are fully paired – published together and linked together.
Community benefits of the data repository integration partner program include the following:
- ensuring that data underlying the research article are publicly available for the community
- making it easier for PLOS authors to comply with the data policy
- making data underlying the research article available to peer review contributors even if not yet publicly released
- establishing bi-directional linkage between article publication and data
- enabling data citation so that data producers can gain professional credit with data Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs)
We recognize that data types can vary quite widely and repositories have different competencies. Most importantly, researcher needs are ever diverse, and repository choice is important. The program thus aims to accommodate the diversity of data requirements across subject areas as well as from funders and institutions. While such partners are strong options for researchers, they are neither representative nor exhaustive of the suitable repositories available which satisfy the PLOS data policy. 
Dryad: our first integration partner
We are thrilled that Dryad is our first integration partner member to join the program. It is a curated resource that hosts a wide variety of data underlying publications in science and medicine, making research data discoverable, freely reusable, and citable. We have connected two PLOS journals, PLOS Biology in 2012 and PLOS Genetics in 2013, tying together the data deposition process and our submission workflow. Now, we expand this service offering for all PLOS authors across all seven journals.
Better yet, we have made the workflow to be more flexible and efficient for authors so that data deposition can now occur before article submission. The steps are quite simple: once a researcher has deposited data in Dryad, s/he will receive a dataset DOI (provisional) along with a private reviewer URL link. The data DOI should be incorporated into the full Data Availability Statement as per standard procedure. The reviewer URL is also uploaded into the submission system and will serve as a passcode for private access to the data before public release. The manuscript then moves swiftly through peer review. And if accepted for publication, both article and dataset will be published together on the same day. The fantastic Dryad blog post details the whole story. If you have any questions about journal article submission, please contact the respective journal at plos[journal]@plos.org or firstname.lastname@example.org. Dryad repository questions can be directed to email@example.com. 
More repos: growing the partnership to better serve researchers
PLOS is repository agnostic, provided that data centers meet certain baseline criteria (ex: availability, reliability, preservation, etc.) that ensure trustworthiness and good stewardship of data. We are expanding the current selection of partners to provide this service to more of our authors, across more data centers. We have a few already slated to join in the next couple of months. Stay tuned!
But we ask for your help, researchers:
which new repositories would most benefit your work?
Let us know your recommendations for additional partner candidates. Your thoughts and feedback on the new program are always welcomed at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Authors are under no obligation to use the data repositories that are part of the integration program. We recommend that researchers continue to deposit their data based on the field-specific standards for preparation and recording of data and select repositories appropriate to their field.
2. Please note that Dryad has a Data Publication Charge. For authors selecting the service, this fee will be charged by Dryad to the author if/when the related manuscript is accepted for publication, so there is no charge while manuscripts are under review. PLOS does not gain financially from our association with Dryad, which is a nonprofit organization.