Talking Points Webinar and Resources

Source: Flickr – Username: Wonderferret

This week we hosted a follow-up to our environmental scan webinar to talk about the tools and research that goes into an effective outreach program. Data Services not only has a knowledge component, but also requires technical support, administration, and researcher involvement. No one person, or even one department, can do all these things alone.

The Library as the Hub

Data services is one of the areas that modern research libraries can really make a major impact, filling the leadership vacuum that so many institutions currently face. While information architecture and data archiving are (relatively) new fields of inquiry, they are built on a long tradition of understanding how information is accessed, used, and understood. Libraries have a mandate to collect and coordinate knowledge resources for the betterment of the public or their host institutions.

How does this Relate to Data Management Planning?

Libraries have a future as the destination for data. Even resources that may not be hosted at the physical library, such as census data or other publicly available sources, can still be cataloged and made accessible to library patrons in ways that support research and academic inquiry. Fostering relationships with data producers in the sciences, social sciences, or humanities will help to ensure that not only will these data be available in the future, but they’ll be useful as well.

If you want to learn more about how to effectively coordinate within your institution to tackle data services, check out our webinar series to find the environmental scan and talking points recordings. You should also check our Outreach Materials for a 2-page document on effective talking point formatting and a series of useful examples.

Digest: Upcoming DMPTool Activities

Digital Library Federation Spotlight

The DMPTool was recently featured in the Digital Library Federation Community Spotlight. Written by Sarah Shreeves at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, the article provides a comprehensive breakdown of the tool’s use, it’s growth over the past few years, and upcoming developments. Both the librarian outreach and development projects are also highlighted, as well as some of the DMPTool2 functionality we can look forward to. If you haven’t seen it yet, it’s a great read!

Upcoming Conferences

DMPTool: On the Road. Source: wikimedia commons

Starting this coming Sunday, the Ecological Society of America’s 2013 meeting will convene in Minneapolis. Among a number of excellent data focused sessions the DMPTool will be featured during Monday’s Creating Effective Data Management Plans for Ecological Research.

In the upcoming Digital Library Federation Forum in Austin Texas, Andrew Sallans will be leading a session titled DMPTool 2: Improvements and Outreach. The DLF Forum schedule is forthcoming, but you can learn more about the fall forum at the DLF Website.

We also recently submitted two proposals to the American Geophysical Union’s December meeting in San Francisco. The first, authored by Patricia Cruise and Andrew Sallans, centers on the role that data management planning can play within the larger data lifecycle by providing guidance, resources and outreach. The other, written by Carly Strasser and Dan Phipps, is focused on the resources that exist to guide librarians to adopting leadership roles in data management within their communities.

As we continue to ramp up outreach, development, and with new participants and partners, we’re expecting the rest of 2013 to be a busy time for the DMPTool project, and will be providing details as we get closer to those dates.

DMPTool at the DataONE Users Group Meeting

The IMLS Project Poster, presented during the Sunday evening and described with a number of emphatic gestures (as seen here).

The DataONE Users Group meeting in Chapel Hill, North Carolina just concluded, with representatives from data authors, institution support staff, data repositories and aggregators, and other stakeholders in attendance. The DataONE Users Group meeting provides a space for those in attendance to help guide DataONE’s initiatives to better meet their needs. This was a great opportunity to highlight the DMPTool development plans over the coming months, as well as the work we’re doing to provide librarians with high-impact resources for data management support.

The feedback we received with regards to the DMPTool was both extremely positive and useful. As the first step in the data management lifecycle, the DMPTool as a planning aid also serves as an excellent entry point for researchers to be made aware of the resources available at their institution. Arming librarians not only with educational resources such as our webinar series and upcoming promotional materials, but also examples of how others in their field have been active in data services is an effective way to fill the leadership gap in data management.

Several attendees mentioned that one of the key problems facing researchers is a lack of knowledge about data management requirements, best practices, and the support resources available through their institution. Whether its funder requirements, guidance on choosing one or more data repositories, or even the proper language to describe a data management plan, providing knowledge support to researchers during the grant writing period is a great way to demonstrate the librarian’s support role during operational implementation.

As we take this new feedback into account, we’ll continue to assemble useful resources not only for data management, but also DMPTool administration. If you weren’t able to make it out to the DUG meeting this year, the presentations are available at the DataONE User Group page. Feel free to drop us a line at or email me directly at – we’re always interested in new ways that the DMPTool can support the research community.

The poster we presented at the meeting is available on figshare: DOI 10.6084/m9.figshare.730643

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