NSF will consider research data as important as publications

The NSF has released a new Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG), effective January 14, 2013. This guide includes updates to the Grant Proposal Guide (GPG) as well as the Award and Administration Guide (AAG).

Among the various changes is a significant change is to the Biographical Sketches portion of the proposal. No longer are researchers asked to list just their “relevant publications.” After January, researchers will be requested to list their “relevant products.” To quote the new guide:

Chapter II.C.2.f(i)(c), Biographical Sketch(es), has been revised to rename the “Publications” section to “Products” and amend terminology and instructions accordingly. This change makes clear that products may include, but are not limited to, publications, data sets, software, patents, and copyrights.

As Carly Strasser points out, this is “great news for those of us trying to get data the recognition it deserves.” Sherry Lake at the University of Virginia, and resident requirements analyst here at the DMPTool, has examined the new requirements and determined that no changes will be needed to the DMPTool. Any data management plan that you create using the DMPTool today will meet these new NSF requirements. We are working to stay abreast of developments in the rapidly changing area of data management and US federal agencies.

DMPTool monthly report, Sept 2012

News

There was a service outage on September 19-20. The DMPTool service was unavailable from approximately 6:30pm on Sept 19 until 9am on Sept 20. Among other problems, we did not have adequate monitoring in place so that the data center staff was unaware of the problem. We have corrected this problem and now have 24/7 monitoring in place.

Use stats

We continue to add users—250 new users logged into the DMPTool in September. There is now a total of almost 3100 users, and they’ve created 2,645 plans total. 3 more universities customized the DMPTool for their researchers, bringing the total to 26. Over 60 have configured their campus single-signon for the DMPTool. See the map of our participating organizations: http://bit.ly/L85sKj

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

New publication

Starr, Joan; Willett, Perry; Federer, Lisa; Horning, Claudia; and Bergstrom, Mary Linn (2012) “A Collaborative Framework for Data Management Services: The Experience of the University of California,” Journal of eScience Librarianship: Vol. 1: Iss. 2, Article 7. doi:10.7191/jeslib.2012.1014
Available at: http://escholarship.umassmed.edu/jeslib/vol1/iss2/7

This article describes the full suite of services provided by CDL (including the DMPTool) in the context of the research data lifecycle.

DMPTool unavailable Sunday Sept 23

Due to system maintenance, the DMPTool will be unavailable from 12am (midnight) until 9:00am (PDT) Sunday September 23 2012 (07:00 to 16:00 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, and will affect several CDL services, including the DMPTool, the Merritt Repository Service, and the Unified Digital Format Registry (UDFR). 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 uc3@ucop.edu with any questions or concerns. We apologize for the inconvenience.

DMPTool user stats, August 2012

Total use of the DMPTool as of August 31, 2012:

  • 2841 unique users
  • 2448 data management plans
  • 62 institutions using single sign-on
  • 25 institutions that have customized the DMPTool for their users

A couple of things caught my eye–for the first time, there were more plans created in a single month (253) than first-time users (226). I think this means that users are coming back to create more plans, which would be a good sign. Second, there is a small but growing number of users from outside the US, including Europe and Asia. Since the DMPTool supports only US grants so far, I suppose they’re using it to create data management plans for other purposes.

We now have participating organizations from 30 states and the District of Columbia. See the map.

Here’s a graph showing overall use as of the end of August:

De-Mystifying Data Management Requirements

This week the DMPTool Partners are pleased to offer a guest post from the authors of a recent article on data management plan requirements in Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship. In the post below, Dianne Dietrich (Cornell), Trisha Adamus (Syracuse), Alison Miner (Syracuse), and Gail Steinhart (Cornell), offer a summary and bit of perspective on their recent article, and what this means to the community of interest around data management.  Let us know what you think.  – Andrew Sallans

 

Contributed by Dianne Dietrich (Cornell), Trisha Adamus (Syracuse), Alison Miner (Syracuse), and Gail Steinhart (Cornell)

Those of us who have run information sessions on the NSF Data Management Plan requirement (http://www.nsf.gov/eng/general/dmp.jsp) have probably heard the participants express some level of anxiety about its implications. Perhaps you’re familiar with comments like these: Will I be required to make all of my data available on the web in perpetuity? Where will I put all of this data? Who will pay for storage after the grant is finished? (http://data.research.cornell.edu/nsf-data-management-plan-faq) The answers to these questions aren’t always straightforward, especially since the NSF requirements are relatively general.

The NSF requirement isn’t the only one researchers face, however: many federal funding agencies have data management requirements for PIs. What does this landscape look like? What can we learn from examining a range of data policies? In investigating over two dozen funder policies, we observed that many were quite general, like the NSF-wide policy, but there were others that were more specific about aspects such as data publication options. The more specific policies tended to come from units within agencies (http://science.nasa.gov/earth-science/earth-science-data/data-information-policy/), and this makes sense: a closer connection to a discipline provides the opportunity to provide more concrete examples of accepted metadata standards, for instance. Strong policies can provide researchers with the tools to share data in ways that make sense for them and their research and more vague policies might seem limiting. For instance, we noted that few policies provided a thorough description of embargoes, an option that might alleviate some concerns about sharing research data openly.

Of course, this landscape is continually evolving. Several of the policies we looked at had been around for a number of years and had been revised one or more times. One way to approach a consultation on writing a data management plan is to tell researchers to start by describing their current data management practices, look to see how what they’re already doing aligns with their funder’s data policy, and then plan to fill the gaps. The more information funders receive about what actual needs are, the better they will be able to understand the gaps in this area, and the better positioned they will be to adapt policies to the needs of their research communities. We hope that our survey helps both communities as data management policies evolve.

De-Mystifying the Data Management Requirements of Research Funders
by Dianne Dietrich, Cornell University, Trisha Adamus, Syracuse University, Alison Miner, Syracuse University, and Gail Steinhart, Cornell University

DMPTool unavailable, Sunday Aug 26

Due to system maintenance, the DMPTool will be unavailable from 12am (midnight) until 9:00am (PDT) Sunday August 26 (07:00 to 16:00 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 networking infrastructure in the California Digital Library’s production data center, and will affect all CDL services. 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 uc3@ucop.edu with any questions or concerns. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Analyzing stats for funder requirements

Andrew Sallans at UVa asked me if I could tell him how many data management plans have been created, by funder? It took a little digging, but with a little juggling, here’s what I find:

NSF BIO: 339
NSF SBE: 287
NSF Gen: 197
NSF ENG: 159
NSF EAR: 133
NSF EHR: 133
NSF CISE:124
NIH: 101
NEH ODH: 71
IMLS: 65
NSF CHE: 60
NSF PHY: 46
NSF DMR: 37
GBMF: 36
NSF AGS: 34
NOAA: 17
NSF AST: 15
NSF EFRI: 6

NSF BIO and NSF SBE are clearly the most popular so far.

This is based on the 1,860 plans created between Oct 17, 2011 (when we announced the availability of the DMPTool) and July 13, 2012. There are some plans that are clearly meant only as testing out the DMPTool; they include answers such as “testing” or “blah blah blah.” However, I made no attempt to determine if the plan looked “real” or not.

Another aspect is that we’ve added some funders more recently, so that they haven’t been available as long as others. How about showing the number of plans created per day that the funder template was available?

Data management plans created by funder, per day:

Here we see NSF BIO and NSF SBE still among the most used, but also see that NSF CISE and especially NIH are heavily used. They have fewer total plans than others but have not been available as long.

DMPTool wins Sautter Award for Innovation in Information Technology

The DMPTool has won a Larry L. Sautter Golden Award for Innovation in Information Technology. The Sautter Awards were established by the University of California’s Information Technology Leadership Council in 2000 and awarded annually to “encourage and recognize innovative deployment of information technology in support of the University’s mission.” The award recognizes projects across the University of California that are innovative, interoperable, collaborative, usable, accessible and that promote efficiency.

The DMPTool was developed by a partnership including the California Digital Library’s UC3 in collaboration with NSF-funded DataONE project, Digital Curation Centre (UK), Smithsonian Institution, UCLA Library, UCSD Libraries, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and University of Virginia Library. By joining together, these partners were able to consolidate their expertise to develop this tool quickly and efficiently. The primary goal of the partnership is to simplify the process for researchers of creating data management plans while providing institutions an opportunity to highlight resources and services that support researchers.

The award will be presented at the annual UC Computing Services Conference (UCCSC) at UC Berkeley in August. More information about the Sautter Awards can be found at this website: http://www.ucop.edu/irc/itlc/sautter/

DMPTool use stats, May 2012

As of the end of May 2012, we now have:

  • 2092 unique users
  • 1711 data management plans
  • 52 institutions using single sign-on
  • 19 institutions that have customized the DMPTool for their users

I was a little mixed up in last month’s report. We had 1809 users, not 1624, at the end of April, and 1497 plans, not 1291 (a comparison with the graph should have tipped me off–d’oh!).

At any rate, May was our third busiest month, with 283 new users. I’ve noticed that the number of people from new institutions (ie the first person from their institution) has slowed somewhat–there were only 14 in May. We’ve had people from over 400 institutions use the DMPTool so far, so it was bound to level off at some point.

Here’s a graph showing overall use as of the end of May: