Furthering Open Science through Research Data Management Services

As I begin my second year at CDL, I am excited to outline the objectives and key activities for my work: furthering research data management (RDM) practices that support open science at the University of California and beyond. 

I conceptualize our work in the larger context of what an ideal RDM ecosystem might be: wherein open science practices are universally understood and implemented by data creators and stewards and built upon the bedrock of simple, interoperable RDM infrastructure and optimal open data policy. Below are four key ways in  which RDM services at CDL contribute to this overall effort in 2021.

  1. Facilitating Communication Between Data Librarians and Researchers

For almost ten years now, the DMPTool web application has provided accessible, jargon-free, practical guidance for researchers to create and implement effective data management plans for 30+ funding agencies. Thanks to our dedicated Editorial Board we are able to keep the tool up in sync with current funder requirements and best practices. 

In 2021, we will be expanding our outreach to the library community by offering quarterly community calls with DMPTool users in order to discuss new features, highlight community use, and facilitate feedback. Additionally, the DMPTool Editorial Board will analyze existing guidance within the tool to identify aspects that need to be updated or new topics that should be included. The DMPTool has long been a community-supported application and we will continue to expand our engagement with the community as we grow the application. 

  1. Serving as an Interoperable Partner in Essential RDM Services

Our work developing the next generation of machine-actionable, networked DMPs builds upon community developed standards and is rooted in collaboration. In order to create the new networked DMP, these partnerships will continue to be essential to our success. Last year’s release of the RDA DMP Common Standard for machine-actionable Data Management Plans and the recent report Implementing Effective Data Practices: Stakeholder Recommendations for Collaborative Research Support (written by CDL, ARL, AAU & APLU) are testament to the power of these partnerships. We simply get more done when we work together. Additionally our continued collaboration with DMPonline allows us to share resources as we co-develop via the DMPRoadmap codebase, share best practices, and advance new features jointly. 

Looking ahead, in 2021, we will expand on our collaborations including:

  • Partnering with DataCite to encourage adoption of the new DMP ID, a resource made possible by the forthcoming metadata scheme update. Expect more updates on this soon!
  • A new integration between the DMPTool and electronic lab notebook platforms, starting with RSpace.
  • Partnering with the UC Natural Reserve System and the Tetiaroa Society to advance data policies supporting open science at working field stations.
  1. Supporting a Transparent Research Process 

Much of our work last year was focused on developing the backend infrastructure necessary to confidently be able to say DMPTool DMPs are machine-actionable. 

With the infrastructure in place and development completed, in 2021 we will be releasing several new features to expand the possibilities of the new networked DMP and help ensure transparency in the research process. Many of these new features are currently being pilot tested as part of the FAIR Island Project. We will also be conducting webinars in the coming weeks to gather feedback from the community to further inform our iterative feature development and release cycles.

  1. Developing Optimal Open Data Policies 

The FAIR Island project is a real-world use case evaluating the impact of implementing optimal research data management policies and requirements; the project will help demonstrate and publicize the outcomes of strong data policies in practice at a working field station. 

With the recent addition of Erin Robinson to the team, the FAIR Island project is making swift progress towards implementing a data policy that will govern data collected on the Tetiaroa atoll. This data policy is still open to community feedback so if you are interested in contributing, now is your chance! Please share your thoughts via this survey

In 2021, the FAIR Island project team will continue to advance and iterate on the data policy, working with additional field stations to advance data policies supporting open science. In partnership with the UC Natural Reserve System and 4Site network, we aim to move toward a common, optimal data policy that can be shared amongst UC field stations and other partner sites. To keep abreast of our progress please check out our project website where we are tracking project work in our blog. 

How to contribute
Building on a solid foundation of community developed standards for DMPs and FAIR data, this year we will be moving much of this work from theory into real world implementation. 

It’s an exciting time for these developments and we welcome all questions, comments, and advice.  Please reach out with your thoughts!

Call for Submissions to the Inaugural Qualitative Data Management Plan (DMP) Competition

QDR-DMPTool-Princeton

Data Management Plans (DMPs) play an integral role in ensuring that data are collected, organized, stored, and shared responsibly. Qualitative researchers writing such plans frequently ask for examples of excellent DMPs for qualitative research. To respond to this need, and to celebrate excellence in managing and sharing qualitative data, we are excited to announce the inaugural Qualitative Data Management Plan Competition.

If you have a DMP for a qualitative research project, you are invited to submit it for a chance to win one of 10 “outstanding qualitative DMP” awards, each of which includes a prize of $100. The competition is a joint initiative of the Qualitative Data Repository, DMPTool, and the Princeton Research Data Service

Rules for Submission:

  1. The DMP must describe a research project that is either primarily qualitative in nature, or is multi-method and qualitative data form a significant part of the project  (“qualitative” is conceived broadly; see this non-exhaustive list of types of qualitative data).
  2. The DMP should be about 2 or 3 single-spaced pages in length.
  3. The DMP must be publicly available online. We recommend sharing the DMP directly through the DMPTool or publishing on the Zenodo platform.
  4. The competition is open to DMPs from current or past proposals.
  5. If the DMP was written for a particular funding opportunity, please include a link to the funder’s requirements for DMPs.
  6. The author(s) must complete the submission form no later than 11:59 PM EDT March 15, 2021.

Because of legal restrictions beyond our control, while anyone submitting a DMP will be considered for an award, the monetary component of the award is only available to participants who are eligible to work in the US.

Please submit your entry through this form

Valid submissions will be reviewed by a panel of five judges, and their evaluations will be guided by the DMP rubric from the DART Project (https://osf.io/kh2y6/). We expect to notify the 10 winners via email by April 30, 2021 and publicly announce them on our websites and social media. Please contact the competition organizers at qdr@syr.edu with any questions.

Our panel judges are:

  • Renata G. Curty, Social Sciences Research Facilitator, UCSB Library’s Research Data Services, University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Jennifer Doty, Research Data Librarian, Emory University
  • Celia Emmelhainz, Anthropology & Qualitative Research Librarian, University of California, Berkeley
  • Megan O’Donnell, Data Services Librarian, Iowa State University
  • Vicky Steeves, Research Data Management and Reproducibility Librarian, New York University Libraries

Interviews on Implementing Effective Data Practices, Part I: Why This Work Matters

Cross-posted from ARL News by Natalie Meyers, Judy Ruttenberg, and Cynthia Hudson-Vitale | October 28, 2020

In preparation for the December 2019 invitational conference, “Implementing Effective Data Practices,” hosted by the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), Association of American Universities (AAU), Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU), and California Digital Library (CDL), we conducted a series of short pre-conference interviews.

We interviewed representatives from scholarly societies, research communities, funding agencies, and research libraries about their perspectives and goals around machine-readable data management plans (maDMPs) and persistent identifiers (PIDs) for data. We hoped to help expose the community to the range of objectives and concerns we bring to the questions we collectively face in adopting these practices. We asked about the value the interviewees see or wish to see in maDMPs and PIDs, their concerns, and their pre-conference goals.

In an effort to make these perspectives more widespread, we are sharing excerpts from these interviews and discussing them in the context of the final conference report that was released recently. Over the next three weeks, we will explore and discuss interview themes in the context of broad adoption of these critical tools.

Why This Work Matters

To start off this series of scholarly communications stakeholder perspectives, we need to position the importance of this infrastructure within broader goals. The overall goal of the conference was to explore the ways that stakeholders could adopt a more connected ecosystem for research data outputs. The vision of why this was important and how it would be implemented was a critical discussion point for the conference attendees.

Benjamin Pierson, then senior program officer, now deputy director for enterprise data, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, expressed the value of this infrastructure as key to solving real-world issues and making data and related assets first-class research assets that can be reused with confidence.

Clifford Lynch, executive director, Coalition for Networked Information, stated how a public sharing of DMPs within an institution would create better infrastructure and coordination at the university level for research support.

From the funder perspective, Jason Gerson, senior program officer, PCORI (Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute), indicated that PIDs are also essential for providing credit for researchers as well as for providing funders with a mechanism to track the impact of the research they fund.

Margaret Levenstein, director, ICPSR (Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research), spoke about the importance of machine-readable DMPs and PIDs for enhancing research practices of graduate students and faculty as well as the usefulness for planning repository services.

For those developing policies at the national level, Dina Paltoo, then assistant director for policy development, US National Library of Medicine, currently assistant director, scientific strategy and innovation, Immediate Office of the Director, US National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, discussed how machine-readable data management plan are integral for connecting research assets.

All of the pre-conference interviews are available on the ARL YouTube channel.

Natalie Meyers is interim head of the Navari Family Center for Digital Scholarship and e-research librarian for University of Notre Dame, Judy Ruttenberg is senior director of scholarship and policy for ARL, and Cynthia Hudson-Vitale is head of Research Informatics and Publishing for Penn State University Libraries.

Effective Data Practices: new recommendations to support an open research ecosystem

We are pleased to announce the release of a new report written with our partners at the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), the Association of American Universities (AAU), and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU): Implementing Effective Data Practices: Stakeholder Recommendations for Collaborative Research Support.  

The report brings together information and insights shared during a December 2019 National Science Foundation sponsored invitational conference on implementing effective data practices. In this report, experts from library, research, and scientific communities provide key recommendations for effective data practices to support a more open research ecosystem. 

During the December conference, the project team developed a set of recommendations for the broad adoption and implementation of NSF’s recommended data practices as described in the NSF’s May 2019 Dear Colleague Letter.  The report focuses on recommendations for research institutions and also provides guidance for publishers, tool builders, and professional associations. The AAU-APLU Institutional Guide to Accelerating Public Access to Research Data, forthcoming in spring 2021, will include the recommendations.

The conference focused on designing guidelines for (1) using persistent identifiers (PIDs) for datasets, and (2) creating machine-readable data management plans (DMPs), both data practices that were recommended by NSF. Based on the information and insights shared during the conference, the project team developed a set of recommendations for the broad adoption and implementation of NSF’s preferred data practices. 

The report focuses on recommendations for research institutions and also provides guidance for publishers, tool builders, and professional associations. The AAU-APLU Institutional Guide to Accelerating Public Access to Research Data, forthcoming in spring 2021, will include the recommendations.

Five key takeaways from the report are:

  • Center the researcher by providing tools, education, and services that are built around data management practices that accommodate the scholarly workflow.
  • Create closer integration of library and scientific communities, including researchers, institutional offices of research, research computing, and disciplinary repositories.
  • Provide sustaining support for the open PID infrastructure that is a core community asset and essential piece of scholarly infrastructure. Beyond adoption and use of PIDs, organizations that sustain identifier registries need the support of the research community.
  • Unbundle the DMP, because the DMP as currently understood may be overloaded with too many expectations (for example, simultaneously a tool within the lab, among campus resource units, and with repositories and funding agencies). Unbundling may allow for different parts of a DMP to serve distinct and specific purposes.
  • Unlock discovery by connecting PIDs across repositories to assemble diverse data to answer new questions, advance scholarship, and accelerate adoption by researchers.

The report also identifies five core PIDs that are fundamental and foundational to an open data ecosystem. Using these PIDs will ensure that basic metadata about research is standardized, networked, and discoverable in scholarly infrastructure: 

  1. Digital object identifiers (DOIs) from DataCite to identify research data, as well as from Crossref to identify publications
  2. Open Researcher and Contributor (ORCID) iDs to identify researchers
  3. Research Organization Registry (ROR) IDs to identify research organization affiliations 
  4. Crossref Funder Registry IDs to identifier research funders 
  5. Crossref Grant IDs to identify grants and other types of research awards

The report is intended to encourage collaboration and conversation among a wide range of stakeholder groups in the research enterprise by showcasing how collaborative processes help with implementing PIDs and machine-actionable DMPs (maDMPs) in ways that can advance public access to research.

The full report is now available online

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Number 1945938. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

Project team:

  • John Chodacki, California Digital Library
  • Cynthia Hudson-Vitale, Pennsylvania State University
  • Natalie Meyers, University of Notre Dame
  • Jennifer Muilenburg, University of Washington
  • Maria Praetzellis, California Digital Library
  • Kacy Redd, Association of Public and Land-grant Universities
  • Judy Ruttenberg, Association of Research Libraries
  • Katie Steen, Association of American Universities

 

Additional report and conference contributors:

  • Joel Cutcher-Gershenfeld, Brandeis University
  • Maria Gould, California Digital Library

DMPTool Funder Templates Updated

We are excited to announce the completion of the first project of our newly established DMPTool Editorial board. As of September 2020, the Board has audited 36 funder templates within the DMPTool and updated the templates when necessary to reflect current proposal requirements and ensure all funder related content is up to date.

Template updates mean that admins will now need to transfer any customizations you may have created for these templates (instructions here). 

None of the updates made to templates affect the core requirements of the DMPs and updates largely involve correcting links, resources, and other data management planning requirements. A detailed summary of the changes for each template is below and you can view all templates on the DMPTool Funder Requirements page.

The critical work keeping the DMPTool in line with current funder requirements would not have been possible without the effort, expertise, and excellence of our volunteer Editorial Board and we at the DMPTool are endlessly grateful for their commitment to supporting the tool. Please join us in recognizing their contributions and thanking them for their work supporting our shared infrastructure advancing research data management.

  • Heather L Barnes, PhD, Digital Curation Librarian, Wake Forest University
  • Raj Kumar Bhardwaj, PhD, Librarian, St Stephen’s College, University of Delhi, India
  • Renata G. Curty, PhD, Social Sciences Data Curator, University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Jennifer Doty, Research Data Librarian, Emory University
  • Nina Exner, Research Data Librarian, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Geoff Hamm, PhD, Scientific Publications Coordinator, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
  • Janice Hermer, Health Sciences Liaison Librarian, Arizona State University
  • Megan O’Donnell, Data Services Librarian, Iowa State University
  • Reid Otsuji, Data Curation Specialist Librarian, University of California, San Diego
  • Nick Ruhs, PhD, STEM Data & Research Librarian, Florida State University
  • Anna Sackmann, Science Data & Engineering Librarian, University of California, Berkeley
  • Bridget Thrasher, PhD, Data Stewardship Coordinator, Associate Scientist III, National Center for Atmospheric Research
  • Douglas L. Varner, Assistant Dean for Information Management / Chief Biomedical Informationist, Georgetown University Medical Center

Together with the Editorial Board, we’ll be working on adding new templates to the tool over the coming months. If you have suggestions for funders to be added please let us know by emailing maria.praetzellis@ucop.edu.

Summary of DMPTool Template Updates

All NSF templates were updated to include links to the updated 2020 Proposal & Award Policies and Procedures Guide (2020 PAPPG). Additional updates are summarized below:

NSF-AGS: Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences

  • Updated link to new 2020 PAPPG
  • Edited question text 

BCO-DMO NSF OCE: Biological and Chemical Oceanography

  • Updated link to new 2020 PAPPG
  • Updated questions & links

NSF-CISE: Computer and Information Science and Engineering 

  • Updated link to 2020 PAPPG. 
  • Added “Additional Guidance on Selecting or Evaluating a Repository” under “Plans for Archiving and Preservation”

NSF-DMR: Materials Research

Department of Energy (DOE): Generic

  • Funder links added for Office of Science, and Energy Efficiency/Renewable Energy instructions

Department of Energy (DOE): Office of Science

  • Funder link added
  • Description updated with additional guidance

Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) 

  • Data Management Plans for IMLS are collected via the IMLS Digital Product Form. Originally the form was broken out into three templates within the DMPTool, however we have streamlined the process and combined them into one, comprehensive, template to more accurately reflect current requirements.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

  • Updated text to match the wording of NASA’s description of an ideal DMP 

USDA

  • Reformatted section 1 to make reading easier.
  • Deleted the compliance/reporting section. This is no longer part of the DMP template as it is related to annual reporting. This information was moved to an Overview phase description.
  • Made the guidance links consistent.

Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

  • Updated links

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)

  • Updated questions and links
  • We are continuing to work with USGS and may have additional updates to this template in the near future. 

Summer 2020 DMPTool Release

We’re very pleased to announce the release of several major new features for the DMPTool! This includes:

  • Integration with the Research Organization Registry (ROR) and Funder Registry (Fundref)
  • The ability to create conditional questions and set email notifications within DMP templates
  • Integration with Google Analytics for usage statistics
  • The ability to connect additional grant contributors (and their ORCIDs) to a plan

The release notes are available in the DMPTool GitHub and detailed descriptions are available below.

Research Organization and Funder Registry Integration

ROR is a registry of Persistent Identifiers (PIDs) for research organizations, which are defined as any organization that conducts, produces, manages, or touches research. ROR has generated identifiers for over 91,000 organizations so far. The Crossref Funder Registry (Fundref) is a registry of grant-giving organizations and has created over 20,000 identifiers so far. We now have 1,582 unique organizations matched with their RORs or Funder IDs within the DMPTool. 

Utilizing these identifiers within a DMP is a key step towards a truly machine-actionable DMP (maDMP). Employing PIDs such as ROR and Fundref in DMPs facilitates the linking of people, grants, and organizations, and enables better tracking and discovery of research outputs by institution. These identifiers will be included in our upcoming maDMP JSON export feature, which is due to be released in late summer and is key in enabling maDMP interactions via API integrations.

Snippet from our upcoming API utilizing the RDA Common Standard schema and incorporating RORs

Organizational administrators of the DMPTool may notice an increase in the number of users affiliated with your institution. As part of integrating with ROR and Fundref, we have connected 4,750 previously un-affiliated users with their host institution by matching email domains. 

Conditional Questions and Email Notifications

DMPTool administrators that take advantage of the feature to create or customize templates will be excited to learn that you can now reduce the number of questions included in a customized template by skipping questions. For example, if a research project is not creating or using any sensitive data, you can now modify a template in order to skip questions related to special handling of sensitive data.

Additionally, the new feature includes the ability to set email notifications that are triggered if a user selects a specific answer. For example, you may want to create an alert for large data volumes. 

Read more about utilizing these new features in our documentation or watch this video tutorial created by our DMPRoadmap colleagues at DMPOnline. 

Two important things to note about creating conditions and email notifications: 

1.  If you are creating a new template, save all questions first and then set the conditions on them.   

2. This feature only works on questions with structured answers including checkbox, drop downs or radio buttons. You can add a condition on a single option or a combination of responses. 

There has also been interest in enabling questions to be displayed when the user answers a conditional question instead of hiding them (the current default). We are currently consulting with the community to better understand the use cases, functionality, and scope of technical work to add this feature. This will be released after we complete our current work migrating to Rails v5 (Summer 2020). 

Google Analytics

Users can now use Google Analytics to track web statistics for an organizational account within the DMPTool. Statistics retrieved by Google Analytics include: number of sessions, users, average session duration, and pageviews. 

Users who are already using Google Analytics for tracking may want to add the DMPTool to their account. Connecting DMPTool to Google Analytics is a quick and easy process — simply copy the tracker code from your Google Analytics account and paste it into your Organizational Details page in the DMPTool and you’re good to go.

For further details about adding your DMPTool account to Google Analytics, please see our help documentation. Existing DMPTool Usage Statistics also remain accessible from within the DMPTool for all organizational administrators. 

Support for Multiple Contributors

A new tab entitled “Contributors” is now visible within the Create Plan interface. Here users can list contributors to a grant, including their ORCIDs, and select a role for each individual. This feature utilizes the CRediT, Contributor Roles Taxonomy to describe each contributor’s specific contribution. Using ORCIDs and a controlled vocabulary for roles will facilitate the tracking of key people involved in the project. This will allow contributors to receive credit for their work and will enable other stakeholders involved in the project to identify the key individuals involved.

Project start/end dates

To support our machine-actionable DMP work, we have added project start and end dates to the project details page. Having these key project dates as part of the DMP is essential in triggering actions at the appropriate moment. For example, a project end data can trigger an action to notify key stakeholders, such as repository managers or storage administrators, at the end of the grant.

What’s next?

Together with our DMPRoadmap colleagues, we are currently upgrading our infrastructure to Rails 5. This is a substantial piece of development work that, although entirely on the backend and invisible to users, is essential to keeping our service running and adding additional requested features. We expect this development to be completed in July.

Following the Rails upgrade, work will continue on our maDMP initiative and we plan on pushing out a feature to mint DOIs for DMPs late this summer. Additional features we are developing simultaneously include: support for multiple datasets within a DMP, an updated API and the ability to export plans as JSON, and a new template builder to facilitate the creation of maDMP templates within the application. We’ll continue to update you here as development work progresses.

As always, feedback or questions are most welcome and can be sent directly to maria.praetzellis@ucop.edu.

DMPRoadmap Team at the maDMP Hackathon

Research Data Alliance (RDA) recently hosted a three day (27-29 May 2020) machine-actionable DMP hackathon to build integrations and test the Common Standard for maDMPs. The event, coordinated through teams at RDA-Austria and TU Wien, was well attended with over 70 participants from Australia, Europe, Africa, and North America. 

The teams that work on DMP Tool (dmptool.org) and DMP Online (dmponline.org) were really pleased to represent our shared DMPRoadmap codebase and show our conformance with the standard and ability to exchange DMPs across systems. This blog post details the work of the DMPRoadmap group in the hackathon, for a full review of all outputs please visit the Hackathon GitHub.

What did we work on?

Maria Praetzellis and Sarah Jones, product managers from DMPRoadmap, joined the hackathon “TigTag” team and focused on mapping maDMPs to funder templates. During the hackathon, their group successfully mapped required questions from several funder specific DMPs including: 

  • Horizon 2020
  • Science Europe
  • National Science Foundation
  • U.S. Geological Survey

The goal of the exercise was to develop guidance on how to normalize the ways that fields from specific funder templates can be mapped to the standard, and, when necessary, develop extensions to incorporate template specific needs. The team came up with several proposals for changes to the documentation and structure of DMP Common Standard and made a few recommendations for extensions to the standard. The team is now assembling the recommendations and will submit ideas as issues to the Common Standard GitHub so work can be tracked going forward. 

Brian Riley and Sam Rust, developers from DMPRoadmap,  joined the hackathon “DMP Exchange team” and worked to determine how the RDA Common Standard JSON format could be used to exchange DMP metadata between tools. Their team provided a staging service and granted API keys to other development teams to allow testing of prototypes, which helped all participants debug issues. Over the course of the hackathon, our new maDMP API helped developers of the following DMP systems implement their own APIs:

Based on this work, we were able to exchange maDMP metadata between DMPTool and those three systems by the end of the hackathon.  Below are screenshots of DMP exports from the Data Stewardship Wizard that were imported into the DMPTool. Because we were each using the RDA Common Standard format, the new DMP was created within the DMPTool and the appropriate metadata was successfully mapped: title, description, project start/end dates, grant ID, contact information, and contributor information.

While the data models used by many systems do not yet offer full support of the RDA Common Standard model, progress was made towards mapping the high level DMP information across the board. Also, the confirmation that these systems could exchange information using RDA Common Standard JSON was encouraging and will likely open the door for future integrations. 

Other outcomes

We also collaborated with members of the DMP Melbourne, University of Cape Town and Stockholm University on an integration with their institutional repository platform. The teams were interested in pushing both DMP metadata and the physical DMP document into that repository. However, they did not yet support the maDMP standard. So the team created two separate prototype scripts. The first script extracts DMPs from a DMPRoadmap system and creates a placeholder Project that future datasets can be connected to and also uploads a PDF copy of the DMP. The second script converts their JSON into RDA Common Standard compliant JSON. While their institutional repositories do not contain many DMPs at this point, a service like this could help extract DMPs for import into DMP systems that utilize the RDA Common Standards in the future. We hope to build upon this work to facilitate integrations with additional repositories in the future. 

Future work 

Hackathon participants are now collating work produced during the hackathon into a final report. In addition, participants expressed interest in:

  • More communities. Most of the attendees at this hackathon were developers from DMP-focused tools. In the future, it would be great to have participants from other communities, including developers of CRIS systems, data repository platforms, and ethics tools.  This would help us expand the types of use cases being served.
  • More PIDs. The power of connected information replies on persistent identifiers.  We would like to increase our connection with various standards and integrate with the Research Organization Registry (ROR), the Funder Registry, and the Contributor Roles Taxonomy (CRediT) to provide more structured information to support such integrations.

Thank you again to the team at RDA Austria and TU Wein for organizing the hackathon.  If you’re interested in tracking future development and outputs of this work please follow the GitHub and consider joining the RDA Common Standard Working Group or Active DMPs Interest Group

The DMPTool needs you!

DMPToolEditorialBoard

The DMPTool, which as of February 2020 has supported 44,415 users and 266 participating institutions, currently maintains thirty-eight templates for twenty-two different federal and private funders. It is no secret that funder requirements and subsequent application and data management guidance change regularly and it is crucial that the DMPTool reflects these changes in real time to remain a high-integrity resource. Staying up to date with rapidly changing grant requirements and RDM best practices is no small task, however. There is no magic wand or automated system to keep the DMPTool in sync with current requirements. Then how does it happen? The key factor in the success of the DMPTool over the last 9 years has been and continues to be the contributions of and collaboration with the user community.

As the capabilities of the DMPTool expand and needs for it rise, we are currently calling for additional community members to contribute and to ensure its continued success. We’re therefore pleased to announce the formation of and the invitation to join the DMPTool Editorial Board. Our goal for the Board is formalize existing community involvement in the tool and to have representation across disciplines with varied areas of expertise, from a wide range of institutions, including librarians along the full career spectrum. Experience working with DMPs is desirable and we welcome applications from any individuals committed to supporting effective research data management.

Responsibilities for members of the Editorial Board include the following:

  • One year term of service (with the opportunity to extend if desired)
  • Short bi-monthly (or as needed) meetings
  • Individual ownership of specific funder templates, linked to your area of focus
  • Creation of new templates as needed
  • Provide suggestions for default guidance and best practices
  • Identification and publication of example DMPs to include in the tool
  • Estimated 1-4 hours of work a month to check for requirement updates from funders, reporting to the Board, and updating templates and guidance in the DMPTool

Joining the DMPTool Editorial Board presents an excellent opportunity to meet fellow research data management professionals, actively contribute to the community, help support a critical piece of open-source technology advancing research data management, and keep abreast of the larger changes in funding requirements and the larger funding ecosystem. Editorial Board members will work to ensure the tool provides current information about grant requirements and corresponding guidance.

We hope you will consider this invitation to contribute and apply! We have opened applications and responses are due Friday, March 13. All questions, comments, concerns, or advice are welcome: maria.praetzellis@ucop.edu. We look forward to hearing from you!

New Year, New DMPTool Release

Our latest DMPTool release includes several exciting features and improvements, including a new API. The release highlights are outlined below, for a comprehensive listing please check our release notes for v2.1.4 and V2.1.3. 

API 

DMPTool administrators who have been granted tokens can now access statistical information about their organizational accounts and query plans created in the DMPTool via our new full text API. The API currently has 2 endpoints: Plans and Statistics. 

The full text Plans API allows users to retrieve plans as a JSON file and filter by dates, specific templates, users and plans. This new API will be essential in our work with machine-actionable DMPs as it will enable the export of plans into other RDM systems and facilitate further integration with external applications. 

The Statistics endpoint includes data regarding users, templates and plans. Users can retrieve information from this endpoint on queries such as: number of users who have joined your organization; number of plans created by your organization’s users; and metadata about all plans created by all users from your organization.

In order to use the API, permissions for each endpoint must be given to your organization and an API token must display on your ‘edit profile’ page. To request access to the API please contact us.

Please keep in mind that we will be updating the API to conform to the DMP Common Standard in Spring of 2020, so while the API is up and ready for use, we recommend holding off on building any integrations or applications around it until the updated version is released. 

One Click Plan Creation

Screenshot of the ability to create a new plan from the Funder Requirements page.

Users can now create a plan for a specific funder template from the Funder Requirements page instead of going through the create plan page. You can also retrieve a static URL to the plan that can be sent along to users, thus enabling them to go straight to the desired page. (A big thank you to DMPOPIDoR for contributing this new feature to our shared codebase.)

Accessibility

Building off several months of analysis, testing, and expert recommendations, the DMPRoadmap crew has been working towards making the DMPTool accessible for all users, including those with disabilities. Highlights of new accessibility features include: support for assistive technologies, improved visual cues and improvements to text magnification tools. A full list of all accessibility issues addressed in this release is available on our git repository.     

Create departments within an organization

The new Department field enables administrative users to define specific schools or departments to the organization. Our partners at DMPOnline have made a short video demonstrating how to utilize this new feature. 

Request Feedback

The button to Request Feedback on a plan has been moved to its own tab in an effort to highlight this feature. If you have the ability to request feedback enabled for your organization, it will now appear after the Share tab when creating a plan. If you don’t have this feature enabled but are interested in learning more, please check our documentation or contact us for any questions.

Request feedback tab has moved to the end

This year promises to be a busy one for the development crew with many big features currently in the works, including machine actionable DMPs, improved usage dashboards, and Zenodo/RIO Journal integration. For a high level overview of our upcoming work for 2020 please check out our development roadmap

As always, feedback or questions are most welcome and can be sent directly to maria.praetzellis@ucop.edu.

DMP services unite!

This November the DMPRoadmap team conducted a series of strategic planning meetings. Meeting in-person was highly productive and a great way to energize the team for the ambitious work we have planned for the upcoming year. Read more about the meeting and our development goals below. This blog post was originally published by Magdalena Drafiova from DMP online on 3 December, 2019.

From left to right: Brian Riley, Benjamin Faure, Marta Nicholson, Maria Praetzellis, Sarah Jones, Sam Rust and Ray Carrick.

In the middle of November we were joined for three days by our colleagues Maria Praetzellis and Brian Riley from DMPTool and Benjamin Faure from OPIDoR. On our end Sarah Jones, Sam Rust, Ray Carrick, Marta Nicholson, Diana Sisu and Magdalena Drafiova represented DMPonline. We’ve had a number of new people join the team over the past year so the meetings were a great opportunity to get to know one another and discuss where to take things next.

Over the three days we had a mix of group discussions to plan the future development roadmap (results of that later), as well as developer / project manager sessions and discussions with the wider DCC and CDL team on machine-actionable DMPs. Below we report out on the results of our sessions and the future development roadmap

Developer team meeting

The tech team had a separate team meeting to give more time to discuss changes to the codebase and development procedures.They walked through the data model and key functionality to bring new devs up to speed and discussed major pieces of infrastructure work to schedule over the coming year (e.g. upgrading to Rails v.5, making a more robust test infrastructure, etc.). They also reviewed the current development project management processes and will be revising our PR review workflow and incorporating a continuous integration approach. This will allow developers to work more atomically. A single bug fix or feature enhancement will now be handled individually instead of as a component of a larger single release. Each issue will be merged into the codebase as a single point release allowing the team to work more efficiently as well as making it easier to accept contributions from external developers.

Project management meeting
Magdalena, Maria, Sarah and Diana discussed procedures for prioritizing tickets, managing the team and conducting User Acceptance Testing (UAT). Sarah and Diana will share expertise on weekly PM meetings to bring Magdalena and Maria up to speed. We have also decided to change our sprint schedule as we will be joined by more developers. We want to do our releases more often and have less tickets on the board so we can review them all in each call. This coupled with the continuous integration approach should get fixes and features out more quickly. We have assigned a developer to each area which we want to work on, although we want to ensure that the knowledge is shared and everyone has an opportunity to work across the codebase so we don’t create dependencies.

We also discussed the need to conduct user testing, especially on the administrative area of the tool. This will involve setting some tasks and observing users complete them to see what issues they encounter and where the tool is not intuitive. We hope to run these tests in Summer 2020. If you would be interested in getting people from your organization involved, please let us know.

Development roadmap
We agreed on the development roadmap by dividing our key areas of work into time phases. Some activities are ongoing system improvements and will happen throughout the time periods.The first part of work which we hope that will run till February 2020 is around the feedback we have received in our user groups. This work will finalize the conditional questions functionality, improve search for administrators and make the usage dashboard more insightful so you can get better analytics about how is the tool used at your institution. We will also integrate a new feature from DMP OPIDoR to enable one click plan creation. From the public templates page, users will be able to click on an icon and create a plan based on that template. We are also planning integrations so you can export DMPs to Zenodo and RIO Journal and complete our work on regional filtering to separate funders/templates/organization by country.

The second part of the work will focus on making our default template machine-actionable by adding integrations to controlled vocabularies, a re3data repository selector, license selector, fewer free text fields, as well as important identifiers for users (ORCID ids) and organizations (ROR ids). We will also update our API so that it conforms to the RDA Common standard.

We will finish the year by adding new features that allow administrators to pre-define a subset of good institutionally shared plans. We will also improve the current plan version and a lifecycle of plan version so you can indicate the status of the plan. We will also work on incorporating multiple datasets into DMPs so you can get better insights about various storage requirements, license requirements etc. Enabling static pages to be edited is also on the to-do list. Lots to look forward to!