Summer DMPTool Internship Opportunity – Apply Now!

As part of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation sponsored DMPTool2 project, the University of Virginia Library will host a summer MLIS intern for 10 weeks (specific period is negotiable), 40 hrs/wk, at $15/hr. Intern may be able to earn credit hours, subject to approvals by their school and the supervisor (see example at Indiana SLIS: The intern will work day-to-day with the grant project manager, Andrew Sallans, and will be responsible for providing support in all active and relevant task areas during the internship period. The internship is intended to provide a mid-project effort boost and to offer a MLIS student real-world experience in working on a complex project to develop software and services for research data management support.   Candidates will be expected to be on-site at the University of Virginia Library in Charlottesville, VA, for the duration of this internship.  Must apply by March 24, 2013 to Andrew Sallans ( at the University of Virginia Library, providing a CV and cover letter indicating why this project is of interest and how this experience will be of value to future career prospects.

Kickoff Meetings for Newly Funded DMPTool Projects


The meetings were held in Downtown Berkeley, near Durant Ave. This image of the area was taken in 1978. From Calisphere, contributed by Berkeley Public Library and Betty Marvin. Click for more information.

Two weeks ago, a meeting of the data management minds took place in Berkeley, California. There were two back-to-back meetings to kick off projects funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation (read the blog post about it) and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Here we provide a report of each meeting.

Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Project: “DMPTool2: Responding to the Community”

The primary goal of this project is to improve on the DMPTool (free, easy-to-use application that guides researchers through the process of creating data management plans). To accomplish this, we aim to build on the success of the tool to create DMPTool2, and use this improved version as a centerpiece for encouraging collaboration in data management efforts across all stakeholder groups (researchers, institutions, funders, libraries).  In support of the project goals, we convened a meeting of DMPTool partners to synchronize the project kickoff efforts and revisit our planned activities.  The meeting aimed to review:

  • Current DMPTool status
  • Community engagement plans
  • Functional development plans
  • Metrics for impact and success

Meeting participants were mainly from founding DMPTool institutions.  Over the course of the 1.5 day meeting, participants reviewed the course of the DMPTool thus far, the expectations and plans for the project, and then specific activities for the next 12 or so months.  Some highlights include:

  • Observations that the DMPTool has had significant use, but should to put increased emphasis on gaining repeat users and providing more value to users.  Underlying this point, while the team aims to address user needs and demands, it is important to still stress that the goal should be making data management planning EASIER, rather than just EASY.  Research data lives in a complex environment and this must not be underestimated.
  • Community engagement in coming months will be on many fronts.  Some include development of two advisory boards, one focused on administrative users and one on researchers.  The team will also implement the planned governance structure to give the user community greater access to and participation in future directions and ownership of the DMPTool; this will be in the very near term.
  • Functionality for this project ranges far and wide, but fits into two main broad categories:  functions for the researcher (ie. Writing plans, finding resources, getting advice, etc.) and functions for the administrative user (ie. Reporting on institutional use, adding institutional guidance, etc.).  The team will offer blog posts on specific technical elements, request feedback, and conduct user testing as the project moves along.  Expect first posts in coming weeks.
  • The last discussion of the meeting was around metrics for impact and success, what’s possible, what’s easy versus hard, and what matters to our different constituents.  We have many ideas in this area, and will have blog posts to outline some of these points and request feedback in coming weeks.

IMLS Grant Project: “Improving Data Stewardship with the DMPTool: Empowering Libraries to Seize Data Management Education”

The meeting funded by the IMLS grant took place over February 21-22. The primary goal of this project is to provide librarians with the tools and resources to claim the data management education space. In an effort to ensure the tools and resources developed meet the needs of librarians, we convened a meeting of DMPTool partners, as well as librarians from five University of California campuses. We had three goals for the meeting:

  1. Identify the resources most useful for helping librarians use the DMPTool for outreach.
  2. Prioritize resources based on user profiles and use cases.
  3. Create timelines and brainstorm dissemination tactics for resources to be developed.

Participants were primarily librarians, along with members of the DMPTool partner institutions. Over the course of the two day meeting, we discussed the barriers and solutions associated with using the DMPTool as a librarian, especially for outreach. Common themes emerged related to a lack of support and education, as well as limited resources including time, money, personnel, and institution-level services.  Poor communication among institutional partners and stakeholders was also often mentioned. The solutions proposed to eliminate these barriers became the template for potential products from the IMLS grant. Here we present a list of proposed outcomes and tasks for the project, i.e. things that will help librarians use the DMPTool effectively on their campuses:

  1. Checklist/talking points documents & brown bag kit for librarians to talk to campus partners and stakeholders, including researchers, VCRs, Special Projects/Grants offices,  IT, and other librarians
  2. Slide deck for presenting to researchers
  3. Promotional materials (posters, pamphlets, bookmarks, postcards, flyers) that can be customized for the institution
  4. Startup Kit for undergoing an environmental scan of institutional resources and services
  5. DMPTool Webinar Series for librarians
  6. DMPTool Screencasts for users, librarians
  7. A collection of case studies of institutions using the DMPTool successfully
  8. A collection data management success and horror stories
  9. A calendar of funder deadlines
  10. DMPTool Libguide

A larger outcome of the IMLS grant will be that we plan to set up an online common space that allows for sharing customization of tool, provides a forum for user conversation streams, provides access to materials developed by the grant project, and can be used as a platform for collecting use cases, success and horror stories. The list above is only a subset of the long list of suggestions that emerged from our meeting. Stay tuned into this blog for more updates as the project progresses.

Download the full IMLS meeting report

Positions available: DMPTool software engineer

As part of the project funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, we’re hiring two software engineers for a one-year development project to enhance the DMPTool, to be based at the California Digital Library office in Oakland CA. A full job description is available at the UC Office of the President Job Search Site.

The DMPTool is a widely used service that supports researchers in creating data management plans as required by various governmental and private funding agencies. The development project will augment the existing tool with a number of new functions and features. Reporting to the DMPTool project manager, the incumbent will be responsible for refining functional requirements, UI designs, and technical specifications; implementation of those specifications; testing and documenting the resulting codebase; and deployment of the operational system in a production environment. UC3 employs an agile development methodology relying on iterative code prototyping, assessment, and refinement.

The DMPTool is a Ruby on Rails web application with a MySQL backend database and is integrated with LDAP- and Shibbolith-based authentication. It is deployed in a SLES/SUSE Linux VM environment. Candidates will have demonstrated experience and expertise in these and related web technologies, as well as in general software development methodologies and best practices.

The UC Curation Center at the California Digital Library (CDL), an administrative unit of the UC Office of the President (UCOP). UC3, one of the world’s premier digital curation programs, is a creative partnership between the CDL, the ten UC campuses, and the international curation community, providing innovative services and solutions to ensure the long-term usability of the University’s digital content.

More information is available at the UCOP Job Search Site. The closing date for this position announcement is Feb 14, 2013.

DMPTool Partners Awarded Funding for Enhancement

We are pleased to announce that DMPTool partners were awarded a $590,000 grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to fund further development of the DMPTool.  The grant will be used to fund improvements to the DMPTool including expanded functionality, training modules, documentation and the creation of an open-source community to sustain the DMPTool in the future.

Project partners are the UC Curation Center (UC3) at the California Digital Library, the University of Virginia Library, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, and DataONE. The grant activity will occur in 2013.

Datasets are the currency of scientific and intellectual advancement. Despite this reality, most researchers are not aware of how best to manage their data. The DMPTool, launched in October 2011, is a freely available web application that addresses this need by guiding users through the process of creating a data management plan for a range of funders.

The current version of the DMPTool provides an easy to use interface that:

  • Helps users create data management plans for specific funding agencies
  • Provides step-by-step instructions and guidance for how to manage data
  • Provides information about resources and services available to researchers to help fulfill data management requirements.

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation funding will support a second version, DMPTool2, that will:

  • Promote the practice of data management, sharing, and preservation, emphasizing the utility of best practices beyond meeting funder requirements
  • Enable institutions to easily shape and exploit the DMPTool to meet local need
  • Foster the emergence of an engaged open source community of DMPTool users and developers
  • Maintain transparency in all project activities to facilitate community involvement
  • Increase the depth and breadth of the tool’s coverage for funder and institutional data management requirements
  • Enable collaboration and connect stakeholders to each other and institutional resources, including services, expertise and guidance
  • Provide support for the full data management life cycle, including provision for collaborative plan authorship, and review and reporting by institutional administrators

For questions about the DMPTool or DMPTool2, contact Service Manager Perry Willett at

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation is a philanthropic, not-for-profit grant-making institution based in New York City. Established in 1934 by Alfred Pritchard Sloan Jr., then-President and Chief Executive Officer of the General Motors Corporation, the Foundation makes grants in support of original research and education in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and economic performance:

Download of PDF of this press release: DMPT2_PressRelease_2013-01-14

DMPTool unavailable for several hours, Saturday Jan 12 and Sunday Jan 13

Due to system maintenance, the DMPTool will be unavailable for periods on Saturday January 12 2013 and Sunday January 13 2013.

  • Saturday January 12 2013, 10:00am to 2:00pm PST (18:00 to 22:00 UTC)
  • Sunday January 13, 2013, 1:00pm to 4:00pm PST (21:00 to 23:59 UTC)

During this time, the website will be unavailable and access to data management plans will be blocked.

This maintenance window is necessary to upgrade core infrastructure in the California Digital Library’s production data center. It is possible that service to the DMPTool will be restored before the scheduled end of the outage, but this cannot be guaranteed.

Please contact us at with any questions or concerns. We apologize for the inconvenience.

New article in International Journal of Digital Curation

The DMPTool and DMPOnline teams are pleased to announce a new article outlining the visions, strategies, and future developments for the respective projects.  Access it here:

Citation:   Sallans, A., Donnelly, M. (2012). DMP Online and DMPTool: Different Strategies Towards a Shared Goal. International Journal of Digital Curation, 7(2), 123–129.


This paper provides a comparative discussion of the strategies employed in the UK’s DMP Online tool and the US’s DMPTool, both designed to provide a structured environment for research data management planning (DMP) with explicit links to funder requirements. Following the Sixth International Digital Curation Conference, held in Chicago in December 2010, a number of US institutions partnered with the Digital Curation Centre’s DMP Online team to learn from their experiences while developing a US counterpart. DMPTool arrived in beta in August 2011 and released a production version in November 2011. This joint paper will compare and contrast use cases, organizational and national/cultural characteristics that have influenced the development decisions, outcomes achieved so far, and planned future developments.




DMPTool Demo at AGU 2012

If you are headed to the AGU meeting next week, consider attending the “Data Management 101 for the Early Career Scientist” workshop being run by ESIP. In addition to getting lots of great information on how best to manage your data, Amber Budden from DataONE will be demoing the DMPTool.

When: Tuesday December 4th, 12:20-1:40 PM
Where: Marriott Marquis, Salons 5-6, San Francisco

Don’t let the changing face of science leave you behind. The proliferation of data from all sources requires today’s scientists to be knowledgeable about sound data management practices. In this free workshop, everything the modern data-producing scientist needs to know about data management will be introduced. We will discuss the rationale for data management, provide an overview for managing science data and demonstrate use of two popular data management planning tools from IEDA and DataONE. This workshop is open to all AGU attendees. Students and early careers scientists are especially encouraged to attend. For details on the outline and for links to all of our Data Management Short Course modules see:

New funder: Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative

The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) studies the effects of oil and dispersant on the ecosystems of the Gulf of Mexico, and offers research grants to scientists to study the environmental impacts and public health implications of petroleum pollution. As part of these grants, GoMRI requires researchers to provide data management plans. The DMPTool now supports GoMRI’s data management requirements–you’ll see the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative included in the dropdown list of funders when you log in. As part of this initiative, GoMRI is creating a research database where scientists can deposit their data, called the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative Information and Data Cooperative (GRIIDC). As they state:

Scientists and researchers of GoMRI are encouraged to submit their data onto recognized national data centers. However, if one cannot be identified, GRIIDC will host these data for long-term archival and to facilitate data discovery.

They will also provide other services, such as generating DOIs and maintaining a data registry.

DMPTool monthly report, Oct 2012

Use stats

October was our biggest month ever. 375 new users logged into the DMPTool in October, and 336 plans were created. There is now a total of 3,466 users, and they’ve created almost 3,000 plans total. 2 more universities customized the DMPTool for their researchers, bringing the total to 28. 65 have configured their campus single-signon for the DMPTool. See the map of our participating organizations:

As the graph at the bottom shows, more DMPs are created for these funders:

  • NIH
  • NSF Biological Sciences directorate
  • NSF Directorate for Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences

Here’s a graph of overall use through Oct 2012:

Also, here’s a graph of use by funder through Oct 2012: