Review: Customizing the DMPTool

On June 18th we gave a webinar on customizing the DMPTool for your institution. While the recording and slides from that presentation can be found on the webinar series page, here’s a brief review of the major topics that were covered.

What Do We Mean by Customization?

The DMPTool comes pre-populated with funder-provided information on how to construct a data management plan. Customizing the tool gives you a chance to modify what grant writers see when using the tool. Broken up into separate sections, administrators can provide help text, suggested answers, contacts at the institution, and resource links such as best practices guides or support groups. documents.jpg

The DMPTool’s audience includes students, researchers, and grant writers. Source: wikimedia commons

Customizing the DMPTool for your users can accomplish two goals. First, by setting up authentication and linking to resources and people from your institution, it encourages confidence in users. There are a lot of resources out there, so researchers will be looking for familiar signs. Second, you can ensure that your researchers are being connected to reliable, up-to-date information.

How to Customize

There are three steps to the customization process. Step one is to set up Shibboleth Authentication. Shibboleth is an open source software package used by many universities to provide a single login for multiple services. This can be extended to work with the DMPTool, to allow researchers to use the same login as other tools at their institution. Shibboleth is not required for customization, but without it researchers have to create their own account which can be a barrier to access. More information on how to set up shibboleth with DMPTool can be found at our website.

The second step is the customization documentation itself. This is where you provide information about your institution, and specific advice for each funder. These documents can be found at the Templates for Institutional Customization page on our bitbucket wiki. The institution settings document lets you select the email address where help requests should be sent as well as resource links that are relevant for each step in the process.


The 5 columns of the Funder Template, and the Information they need

We break up the other documents by funding agency to give you as much control as possible with your customization. Each document is broken up into different sections, and lets you provide resource links relevant to that question, a suggested answer, and help text.

Once these documents are filled out, you can attach them to an email and send them to for submission. We’ll populate the fields with the information you provide, and add your institution to the dropdown list at the DMPTool website.

For More Information…

We’ve started an Example Documentation page where institutions can share how they’ve used DMPTool customization. This is a great place to start if you want to see how others have customized the DMPTool.

For a more in-depth breakdown of how to customize the tool, as well how we’re working to provide more administrative control in future versions of the DMPTool, check out the full webinar. If you have any questions or feedback, feel free to email me at or

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