DMPTool 2 Release Schedule: Final Countdown

Flower and Plants of the Four Seasons (Japan, Edo Period) Source:

Flower and Plants of the Four Seasons (Japan, Edo Period) Source:

The final months of the development are upon us, and the release schedule fore the DMPTool 2 has been finalized. Below are some important dates, culminating in a late May release.

May 5th: Informational emails sent to administrators.

May 14th: Webinar for administrators (Register Now!)

May 16th: Administrator wiki published.

May 19th: Administrator only soft release.

May 29th: User and administrator wide release.

We’ll be reaching out to institutional administrators with additional details about the webinar, the wiki, and other materials that will be ready in anticipation of the update. In addition to an administrator only soft release, we will be maintaining both versions of the tool for a period of time to ensure every institution has ample time to work with the new version. Be sure to sign up for our May 14th webinar!

Stay tuned for more updates on how you can be ready for the new DMPTool 2 features coming next month!

DMPTool2 Development: User Experience Testing

Source: Flickr. User: 4nitsirk

Source: Flickr. User: 4nitsirk

Our first round of user experience testing wrapped up last week, with a focus on administrator tasks like managing users, creating custom data management plan templates, and adding institution information or logos. Here’s a quick update on what we learned.

1) Overall Response was Positive!

During trials, we got a lot of positive feedback about the design of the site and the added functionality. The ability for administrators to not only customize user roles and responsibilities, but also create sub institutions were especially popular. After working with feedback from user groups throughout the development of the project, it was extremely rewarding to see how our work has been recieved.

2)  Small Changes make a Big Difference

Most of the areas where users had trouble could be resolved with a single tooltip or changing the name of a section or button. We want to make sure navigating the page is intuitive, and make it as easy as possible for users to get the information they need. Identifying the problem areas and getting recommendations from users on how to make information clear has been a powerful tool.

3) An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure

With the DMPTool 2’s release date fast approaching, taking the time to do user testing has given us the chance to clean up the remaining rough edges before our rollout. Taking the time to address these issues now has let us take them on one at a time.

We’ll be initiating our second round of user testing, focused on the researcher perspective, in the coming weeks. If you’d be interested in taking a look at the DMPTool2 as a plan author, contact Sherry Lake to schedule a time!

DMPTool2 Release Schedule Update

Spring by Lawrence Alma-Tadema, 1894. No doubt in anticipation of the DMPTool2 Release. Provided by

Spring by Lawrence Alma-Tadema. Provided by

The DMPTool team just concluded our meetings last week at CDL to hash out the remaining work to be done before the DMPT2 release. To ensure quality, we’re pushing the release of this update back to Spring, with a soft open for administrators coming a few weeks before the wide release. As those dates approach, we’ll have a more specific timeline for you.

Several members of the DMPTool team will be speaking at the upcoming International Digital Curation Conference in San Francisco. We’ll be running a workshop on Monday the 24th of February to discuss the upcoming features in the DMPTool. You can find the workshop schedule here. If you plan to attend IDCC be sure to register for the workshop early!

DMPTool 2 Feature Highlight: Guidance and Review

In this final feature highlight post, we’re going to focus on the ways the DMPTool 2 can make it easier for grant writers to get feedback on their data management plans.

Submitting for Review

The DMPTool 2's submission page, allowing for review.

The DMPTool 2’s submission page, allowing for review.

Institutions have the option to allow their grant writers to save and submit their completed data management plans for review. Users that have been granted “reviewer” permission – who have been trained or demonstrated an understanding of DMP writing – will be able to comment on the plan before it is exported and added to the grant as a whole. We want to create a tool that not only collects up-to-date, useful data management information but also facilitates communication and makes it as easy as possible for data services to have a broad impact.

Our previous feature highlight talked about the ability to designate users as co-creators to assist in the writing of data management plans. The review structure is essentially a wider implementation of the same principle. Institutions with staff contributing to data services can opt in to this plan, giving their homepage not only the same customized access to the tool but also a list of plans available for review.

The user homepage, with DMPs for My Review section

The user homepage, with DMPs for My Review section

This will create an new line of communication, and a new way to make researchers aware of the resources at their disposal. While not every data practices problem can be addressed through this collaborative structure, it does provide a new way for librarians, grant officers, and other stakeholders to identify and contact the members of their community who need help.

The DMPTool 2 is in active development now, and we’ll keep you up to date on the project over the coming weeks!

DMPTool 2 Feature Highlight: Co-Ownership & Administration

For this post, we’re going to look at some of the upcoming features to improve the DMPTool as a collaborative tool.

Institutional Customization

Administrators will be able to match the tool to the structure of their institution. For example, the main institutional administrator can designate editors and institutional reviewers to help researchers create excellent data management plans.

DMP Creators can select co-owners to edit the plan.

DMP Creators can select co-owners to edit the plan.


Grant writing does not happen in a vacuum. While one person may be responsible for the creation of the document itself, there are stakeholders within and outside of the project that will want to contribute to the creation of the data management plan. To make the DMPTool easier to use in this regard, we’re adding a co-ownership functionality. Plan creators can designate specific users and grant them the ability to edit and provide feedback on their data management plan.

Plan owners can keep their plans private, share with their institution, or make it visible to all.

Plan owners can keep their plans private, share with their institution, or make it visible to all.

Example DMPs

One of the greatest teaching tools for data management planning is example DMPs. By structuring the administrative roles and plan co-owners in this way, the DMPTool is going to become an environment where users have control over who can see their data management plans. Plan owners can elect to make their data management plans visible publicly, within their institution, or only to the plan co-owners. Over time, each institution will be able to collect a series of plans to educate researchers and graduate students across their institution.

Call for Example Data Management Plans

One of the ways we are hoping to support DMPTool users is to provide examples of quality data management plans to go alongside the help text and example answers. It’s one of our more requested features, and gives new users a way to see the finished product they are working towards.

If you’ve created a data management plan that we can use as an example, email us at

DMPTool2 Feature Highlight: Interface and Customization

This week at the Digital Library Federation’s 2013 Forum in Austin, Texas the DMPTool team was given the opportunity to present some of the major changes coming in the DMPTool2. Over the next couple of weeks we’ll be posting in-depth feature highlights of how we’re improving the tool and what that will mean for DMP authors, tool administrators, and data support staff.

The new DMPTool home page, with updated content.

The new DMPTool home page, with updated content.

An extremely noticeable change comes in the form of the updated dashboard, with completely new visuals and a more robust way to create DMPs, administer the tool, and find best practices and guidance. In-progress data management plans, institution specific resources, DMPs for review, and useful templates will all be accessible from a single, user homepage. Similarly, creating your data management plan is easier to navigate, with a clear overview of where you are in the process and easy access to examples and prepopulated plans.

The DMPTool guidance page, with help from funders and your institution.

The DMPTool guidance page, with help from funders and your institution.

One of the most requested changes to the tool was a way to customize the help text provided from within the user interface. The DMPTool2 dashboard provides administrators with ways to not only customize the help text, links, and contact information but also the templates themselves. Users will have access to a centralized Funder Guidance page complete with links to basic templates, guidelines, and sample plans.

These changes will not only improve the tool itself, but also provide an easy way to centralize the information relevant to the researchers who will be using the tool. Making it as easy as possible to not only write a plan, but also find high quality information and resources is a central goal of this project.

The institution profile page - you can even upload your logo!

The institution profile page – you can even upload your logo!

For administrators, making major and incremental changes to the institution specific information your researchers can access will be possible directly through the interface. Administrators will be able to customize their institution’s information, provide example answers and help text, and link to libguides and other resources at pivotal points in the DMP’s creation. Making this kind of customization faster and easier will allow the specialists that administrate the tool to respond quickly to their users needs and feedback, and use the DMPTool not only as a way to help write data management plans, but also as an information source for anyone at their institution who interacts with the changing world of research grant writing.

Next time, we’ll be going over the ways the DMPTool lets you collaborate within your institution and publish your work to create quality data management plans.

DMPTool at the Data Information Literacy Symposium

Source: Flicker/kuap

Purdue University in Indiana hosted the Data Information Literacy (DIL) Symposium this year, a culmination of the IMLS funded research project on the DIL needs of technology driven research scientists. A dense, two-day session of seminars, discussions and poster presentation focused on experts from the field discussing their work as librarians to provide data services.

While the DIL Symposium recording is not yet posted for viewing, many of the materials are available online including presentation slides, one page descriptions of DIL competencies, and research posters. There’s also a Lib Guide hosted by Purdue with information on Instruction, Marketing, and Learning Objectives.

For librarians and other research support staff at any stage of their own data services, the topics covered at the DIL Symposium is a great knowledge source, with more information to come. Keep an eye on the DIL site’s news page and twitter for upcoming events and resources.

Update: DMPTool 2 Features Overview

We have added a one-page overview of the features for users and administrators currently in development for the DMPTool 2 to our bitbucket wiki. Designed to complement the more technically oriented requirements documentation, we will be keeping the overview up-to-date as the scope of development changes. The features overview can be found on the DMPTool 2 page on our bitbucket wiki, or you can simply download the PDF directly.

Survey: Tools to Integrate with DMPTool


A quick question. Source: Flickr, Username: drachmann

One of our goals to help guide the development of the DMPTool is to provide guidance on how the DMPTool can support data management beyond the planning stage. One of the best ways to do that is to look at the tools our community already uses. We’ve put together a 3-question survey about the tools you’d like to see the DMPTool be able to work with. Whether it’s supporting more in-depth data management planning, connecting with repositories, or just keeping a record of your institution’s good data practices, what would you like to see the DMPTool connect to?

The survey can be found here.