We have lift off – DMPRoadmap launches!


From Flickr by bbtburnham http://bit.ly/2FmYLIE

by Sarah Jones

We’re delighted to announce that the DMPTool and DMPonline sites are both now running from the new joint DMPRoadmap codebase. We pushed the MVP out to test last month and have now migrated our production services. There are lots of exciting new features (v1.0 release notes).

The site will undergo a second round of accessibility testing soon and we’ve done a number of performance and usability improvements as part of bringing together our two codebases. We have also implemented the revised set of DMP themes agreed with community input last year. For UK users this means legacy guidance for removed themes has been merged and will need editing. See more information in this news item.

We gave a demo of the new system at the IDCC conference in Barcelona last month, and also gave a paper on a landscape analysis of “Active DMPs,” charting all the work that is going on in this area internationally. This information is available on a new website http://activedmps.org to serve as a central hub of machine-actionable DMP work. We invite everyone to update the site with links to any requirements you collect, or details of new tools emerging in this area. And don’t forget to join the sessions at the next RDA plenary where the DMP Common Standards WG will be comparing data models for the different DMP tools and the Exposing DMPs WG will be defining which elements of DMPs need to be shared to which actors. We also have a paper forthcoming that touches on work in these areas: the pre-print of 10 Simple Rules for Machine-Actionable DMPs is out now in Zenodo.

There is a huge number of users of the DMPRoadmap codebase. In addition to the core DMPonline and DMPTool services, there are many other instances internationally, some hosted by the DCC, but the majority are run by external groups. We estimate 50k+ users, 400+ participating institutions internationally and a growing list of funder contacts across the globe. We encourage those hosting their own instances to migrate from the former DMPonline v4 code to DMPRoadmap, and to continue to contribute back to the joint development effort like the Portage consortium in Canada and DMP OPIDoR in France have done. Migration guidelines are available to help dev teams make the switch and we have a Slack channel for external contributors. If you aren’t already a member, join here.

As always we welcome your feedback and look forward to continuing to improve the DMP experience for everyone involved in the research enterprise.

New DMPTool launched today!

dmptool logoWe’re delighted to announce a successful launch of DMPTool version 3 today. This milestone represents the convergence of the two most popular data management planning tools—US-based DMPTool and UK-based DMPonline—into a single, internationalized platform. We plan to bring the many other installations of the tool in Canada, Australia, South Africa, Argentina, and throughout Europe along for the ride as we work together to make DMPs a more useful exercise for everyone!

Currently the DMPTool supports 226 institutions and more than 28,000 users worldwide. The new DMPTool retains all of the existing functionality plus some handy new things, all in a shiny new package:

For everyone

For organizational administrators

  • New administrator help guide
  • Updated resources for promoting the DMPTool coming soon (stickers, postcards, and slide decks). Order new promo materials using the form below.
  • Institutional branding in the main banner (upload a new logo, provide contact information)
  • Create themed guidance that can be applied across all templates
  • A usage dashboard and report of plans created by users at your organization
  • Ability to view guidance and templates created by other organizations

Order form for new stickers and postcards – we’ll ship materials in early May 2018

Please report any issues or enhancement requests via GitHub Issues. Or you can always contact us directly! If you notice anything amiss with your existing plans and/or templates, let us know and we will fix it in short order.

Prepare for launch in 3… 2… 1…

In about two weeks we will launch the new DMPTool on Tues, 27 Feb. The much-anticipated third version of the tool represents an exciting next step in what has always been a community-driven project. We’ve now successfully merged the primary US- and UK-based data management planning tools into a single codebase (DMP Roadmap): the engine under the new DMPTool hood.

Why are we doing this?

A little background for those who haven’t been following along with our codevelopment journey: in 2016 the University of California Curation Center (UC3) decided to join forces with the Digital Curation Centre (DCC) to maintain a single open-source platform for DMPs. We took this action to extend our reach beyond national boundaries and move best practices forward, with a lofty goal to begin making DMPs machine actionable (i.e., useful for managing data). We’ll continue to run our own branded services (DMPTool, DMPonline, DMPTuuli, DMPMelbourne) on the shared codebase, and incorporate partners in Canada, Argentina, South Africa, and throughout Europe who are already running their own instances (full list).

In parallel with our co-development efforts we’ve been making the rounds of Research Data Alliance, Force11, IDCC, and disciplinary meetings to collect use cases for machine-actionable DMPs (details here) and help define common standards (RDA Working Group; just posted pre-print for 10 Simple Rules for Machine-Actionable DMPs). We also got an NSF EAGER grant so we can begin prototyping muy pronto.

The new version of the DMPTool will enable us to implement and test machine-actionable things in a truly global open science ecosystem. Successful approaches to making DMPs a more useful exercise will require input from and adoption by many stakeholders so we look forward to working with our existing DMP Roadmap community (an estimated 50k+ users, 400+ participating institutions, and a growing list of funder contacts across the globe) and welcoming others into the fold!

Preparing for Launch

To help DMPTool administrators prepare themselves and their institutional users for the upcoming launch, we will host a webinar on:

Mon, 26 Feb 2018, 9-10 AM Pacific Time
Zoom link (recording on Vimeo; Q&A and slides)

By that time we’ll have a new user guide for administrators, a new Quick Start Guide for researchers, and refreshed promo materials. Everyone will have seamless access to their existing DMPTool accounts, just through a new user interface that looks and feels more like DMPonline (spoiler alert: we made it blue). And one of the most exciting things about the new tool is that it contains 34 freshly updated funder templates with links to additional funder guidance.

Stay tuned to the DMPTool communication channels in the coming weeks (blog, admin email list, Twitter) for more news and updates. We look forward to seeing you at the webinar and welcome your feedback at any point.

First annual funder template pizza party!

template editors

As we approach our target release date of Feb 2018 for the DMP Roadmap platform, the DMPTool team has embarked on a major housekeeping effort. A top-to-bottom content review is underway, and last week we began an audit of the funder templates and guidance. Ten participants gathered for an all-day, pizza-fueled event that amounted to a huge template success (but an epic pizza fail, see evidence below). We were so productive and gratified by the opportunity to analyze multiple DMP policies in a group setting that we decided to make it an annual event. Read on for more DMPTool funder template news + migration plans, followed by brief updates on the DMP Roadmap project and machine-actionable DMPs.

DMPTool funder templates

The DMPTool is a hugely popular community resource in part because it serves as a central clearinghouse of information about DMP requirements and guidance for researchers applying for grants from U.S. funding agencies. Migrating the DMPTool data to the new platform provides an opportunity to update and normalize things to maintain this value. [Side note: we’re also adding a “Last updated” field to the DMP Requirements table as an enhancement in the new platform per your feedback.]

At present the tool contains 32 templates for 16 different federal and private funders. This top 10 templates list demonstrates that our users are especially keen on getting support with NSF and NIH grant proposals, although the NEH is #7, and DOE and others aren’t far behind. Some global usage statistics to put these numbers in context: 26.8k users have created 20k plans; and we have 216 participating institutions (mostly U.S. colleges and universities).


Our goals for the pizza party included: 1) ensuring that template language comes directly from the most recent versions of funder policy documents; and 2) applying themes (more on themes here). Staying up to date with DMP requirements remains a crowdsourced effort spearheaded by data librarians using the Twitter hashtag #OSTPResp and a Google spreadsheet. In the past year, two additional resources entered the scene: a list of public access plans from U.S. federal agencies at CENDI.gov and this lovely SPARC tool. Using these reference materials and some additional internet research, we updated 7 links to policy documents in the current DMPTool platform (NIH-GDS, NEH-ODH, NSF-CHE, NOAA, USDA-NIFA, Joint Fire Science Program, Sloan) and made some revisions to templates in the new platform (mostly formatting). We also identified some templates that require deeper investigation and/or consultation with agency contacts to verify the best way to present DMP requirements; between now and the release date we’ll continue to work on these templates. In addition, Jackie Wilson is contracting with us to finalize the clean-up of templates and guidance (checking links and guidance text provided by funders).



By January we aim to have a beta DMPTool-branded version of the new platform ready for training and testing purposes. Stay tuned for a rollout plan in the new year that includes webinars for institutional administrators, with an orientation to templates and themes. Also, please note that we will be disabling template editing functionality on 18 Dec in the current version of DMPTool to maintain the integrity of template data in the new platform. For admin users who wish to make changes to templates and guidance after that date, you can contact the helpdesk, but it would be great if you can keep changes to a minimum. All other functionality in the current DMPTool will remain the same up to the final migration date (adding new users, institutions, creating and editing plans, etc.)

A million thanks to the 2017 template fixing team: Amy Neeser, Joan Starr, Alana Miller, Jackie Wilson, Marisa Strong, Daniella Lowenberg, Perry Willett, John Chodacki, and Stephen Abrams.

DMP Roadmap update

The co-development team is busy building and refining the final MVP features. The usage dashboard is the last new feature left to add. In the meantime, parallel data migration efforts are underway at DCC to move from the existing 28 DMPonline themes to the new set of 14. By January both service teams will be working on new user guides, updating other content, testing and branding. If all continues to go smoothly, we’ll be on track for a DMP Roadmap demo at IDCC in Barcelona (19–22 Feb) and an official code release. Stay tuned!

Machine-actionable DMPs

On the machine-actionable DMP front, there are two items to report:

  1. We’ll be emailing the various DMP lists shortly to encourage everyone to participate in working meetings for the RDA WGs (DMP Common Standards & Exposing DMPs) at the next plenary. For now mark your calendars for 21–23 Mar and join us in Berlin!
  2. Following on a productive session at FORCE2017, we’re finishing a draft of the 10 Simple Rules for Machine-Actionable DMPs that we will circulate soon soon.

As always, we encourage you to contact us to get involved!

Roll up, roll up. Get yer DMP update here!

Paper seller and bench From Flickr by henry... CC-BY-NC-ND

From Flickr by henry… CC-BY-NC-ND

by Sarah Jones

Last month saw a busy Active DMPs and Domain Repositories Interest Groups joint session at the RDA Plenary in Montreal. Two new working groups have been launched to advance work in this area: one on developing Common Standards for DMPs and another on Exposing DMPs. In addition, there are multiple active projects in this space including ezDMP, the University of Queensland’s Data Management Records approach, FAIRsharing and our own DMPRoadmap project. All the slides and notes from the RDA session are available from the link above if you want to find out more. The working groups are just starting to get underway too, so please review their plans and contribute if you can.

We’ve been progressing the machine-actionable DMP agenda through the DMPRoadmap team too. With support from an RDA Europe collaboration award, we integrated the disciplinary Metadata Standards Directory (MSD) into the tool. Template administrators can choose the MSD as an answer format for metadata questions so users can browse the directory from within the tool. We’d love your feedback on this – both admins trialling it on templates and end users selecting standards. Can you find relevant standards easily? Is the functionality intuitive? Are there other features or additions you would like to see? Please try it out at https://dmponline-test.dcc.ac.uk and let us know.

RDA metadata standards directory screenshot

Integrating the MSD is just one small step on the path to improving the DMP experience. We also plan to surface other registries, such as FAIRsharing and re3data, to recommend appropriate standards and services. Experimentation in this area will also aim to facilitate the exchange of information between systems and alert services to data in the pipeline. The DMPTool team have just received a 2-year NSF EAGER grant to address these bigger aims! The work plan includes pilot projects with the Biological and Chemical Oceanographic Data Management Office (BCO-DMO) at Woods Hole, MA and understanding the institutional workflow in collaboration with Purdue and others. Find out more on the DMPTool blog; additional details forthcoming as we refine the work plan.

The next stop for us is FORCE2017 in Berlin next week. We’ll be running a session on 10 Simple Rules for Active DMPs on Friday morning (27 Oct) in collaboration with the FAIR DMP group. The session will introduce participants to the concepts of FAIR and machine-actionable DMPs and then build community consensus around common goals and definitions. We’ve been working on a draft that we’ll share and iterate on at the meeting. Join us there if you can!

We’re also looking forward to the International Digital Curation Conference (IDCC) in Barcelona next February. The call for papers is out now and closes later this month. Last year we outlined ideas for Next-Generation DMPs (here) and hosted a workshop that resulted in this white paper with community-generated use cases for machine-actionable DMPs. Thanks again to all those who contributed to defining these preliminary requirements for the work now being addressed by us and the RDA working groups. IDCC is a great opportunity to get international input on your ideas so share what you’ve been working on and join us in Barcelona!

NSF EAGER Grant for Actionable DMPs

We’re delighted to announce that the California Digital Library has been awarded a 2-year NSF EAGER grant to support active, machine-actionable data management plans (DMPs). The vision is to convert DMPs from a compliance exercise based on static text documents into a key component of a networked research data management ecosystem that not only facilitates, but improves the research process for all stakeholders.

Machine-actionable “refers to information that is structured in a consistent way so that machines, or computers, can be programmed against the structure” (DDI definition). Through prototyping and pilot projects we will experiment with making DMPs machine-actionable.

Imagine if the information contained in a DMP could flow across other systems automatically (e.g., to populate faculty profiles, monitor grants, notify repositories of data in the pipeline) and reduce administrative burdens. What if DMPs were part of active research workflows, and served to connect researchers with tailored guidance and resources at appropriate points over the course of a project? The grant will enable us to extend ongoing work with researchers, institutions, data repositories, funders, and international organizations (e.g., Research Data Alliance, Force11) to define a vision of machine-actionable DMPs and explore this enhanced DMP future. Working with a broad coalition of stakeholders, we will implement, test, and refine machine-actionable DMP use cases. The work plan also involves outreach to domain-specific research communities (environmental science, biomedical science) and pilot projects with various partners (full proposal text).

Active DMP community

Building on our existing partnership with the Digital Curation Centre, we look forward to incorporating new collaborators and aligning our work with wider community efforts to create a future world of machine-actionable DMPs. We’re aware that many of you are already experimenting in this arena and are energized to connect the dots, share experiences, and help carry things forward. These next-generation DMPs are a key component in the globally networked research data management ecosystem. We also plan to provide a neutral forum (not tied to any particular tool or project or working group) to ground conversations and community efforts.

Follow the conversation @ActiveDMPs #ActiveDMPs and activedmps.org (forthcoming). You can also join the active, machine-actionable DMP community (live or remote participation) at the RDA plenary in Montreal and Force11 meeting in Berlin to contribute to next steps.

Contact us to get involved!

DMPRoadmap summer camp news

Airstream camp

From Flickr by dwstucke https://flic.kr/p/dcmAL3

This summer we’ve made solid progress toward our DMPRoadmap MVP, done oodles of outreach for machine-actionable DMPs, and addressed some DMPTool and DMPonline-specific items. Keep reading for the high-level highlights and what to expect in the coming months:

What we’re working on now…

  • DCC is running all three production services—DMPonline, DMPTuuli, and DMP Melbourne—on the new Roadmap codebase. Check out the Release Notes for v0.3.
  • The DMPRoadmap co-development team continues to add new features (details on the Github wiki). At the moment, we’re focused on upgrading to Bootstrap 3 and making the site compliant with accessibility standards. This turned out to require a wholesale replacement and refactoring of the HTML and Javascript and will ultimately make the transition to future versions of Rails easier. It will push our release date further into fall 2017, but a key benefit is that it will make it easier for our many external partners to maintain local installations of the tool and contribute back to the core project.
  • Preparations for the DMPTool data migration include a comprehensive template audit. We’re reviewing all funder guidelines to make sure resources are accurate and up-to-date (in progress; a shout out to the MIT library for contributing to this effort!). We will also normalize the format and presentation of funder templates in the new platform and apply themes to make it easier for admins to add supporting guidance across templates (more about themes here and here).
  • Please note! The DMPTool brochure page https://dmp.cdlib.org now redirects to the main application https://dmptool.org/. You may want to update your bookmarks. The brochure page was launched with the current version of the tool in 2014, but has become an outdated and unnecessary hurdle to getting to the part about writing a DMP. We’re planning to provide dynamically updated tool usage info in the new version to supersede the brochure page.
  • The DMPonline services will also be migrating to the revised set of themes for the MVP release. Since this removes some of the existing themes, we’ll be contacting admin users with advice on how to merge or remove redundant guidance.
  • New templates have also been added to DMPonline. These include an update for the Wellcome Trust which now asks for Output Management Plans covering data, software, and other research materials, and a new template for the ERC. Further details are available in the DCC news item.

What to expect in the future…

  • More communications via blogs, listserv, Slack with a revised timeline and release date for the MVP. Once estimates are in place, we can schedule usability testing with the DMPTool and DMPonline communities and prepare materials for a rollout (stay tuned).
  • More marketing and outreach about the DMPRoadmap project and machine-actionable DMPs. A huge thanks to our DMPTool street team for helping to spread the word (and stickers) at meetings on this side of the pond (RDAP, ALA, DUG/ESIP, ESA, upcoming DLF)! Extra props to Sophie Hou (NCAR) for presenting our poster at the US Geological Survey Community for Data Integration workshop and Sherry Lake (UVA) for taking a poster turn at the Dataverse community meeting.
  • Stephanie presented in a morning course “Data in the Scholarly Communications Life Cycle” at the FORCE11 Scholarly Communications Institute (event, slides). Thanks to Natasha Simons (ANDS) for coordinating a great course!
  • Meanwhile, Sarah and DCC colleagues have been making the UK/EU rounds. You can see slides from our presentation at the Jisc Research Data Network event. We also ran DMP sessions at the inaugural EUDAT summer school and the CODATA research data science school. These gave participants a grounding in developing DMPs, FAIR data principles, and the tools and services that can help with this.

Where to catch up with us next on machine-actionable DMPs

  • Join us at the next RDA Plenary in Montreal (19-21 Sept) for an Active DMPs and Domain Repositories IGs joint session. There will be lightning talks and discussion of work in this arena including updates from two new RDA working groups—DMP Common Standards and Exposing DMPs—that each have case statements out for comment. Remote participation details to follow.
  • The FORCE2017 meeting in Berlin (25–27 Oct) presents another opportunity to engage on the topic. We just submitted a FAIR DMPs session proposal to refine concepts and define 10 simple rules for machine-actionable / active / dynamic / FAIR DMPs.

    Sophie (left) & Sherry (right) evangelizing about machine-actionable DMPs

    Sophie (left) & Sherry (right) evangelizing about machine-actionable DMPs

On the right track(s) – DCC release draws nigh

blog post by Sarah Jones

Eurostar photo

Eurostar from Flickr by red hand records CC-BY-ND

Preliminary DMPRoadmap out to test

We’ve made a major breakthrough this month, getting a preliminary version of the DMPRoadmap code out to test on DMPonline, DMPTuuli and DMPMelbourne. This has taken longer than expected but there’s a lot to look forward to in the new code. The first major difference users will notice is that the tool is now lightning quick. This is thanks to major refactoring to optimise the code and improve performance and scalability. We have also reworked the plan creation wizard, added multi-lingual support, ORCID authentication for user profiles, on/off switches for guidance, and improved admin controls to allow organisations to upload their own logos and assign admin rights within their institutions. We will run a test period for the next 1-2 weeks and then move this into production for DCC-hosted services.

Work also continues on additional features needed to enable the DMPTool team to migrate to the DMPRoadmap codebase. This includes additional enhancements to existing features, adding a statistics dashboard, email notifications dashboard, enabling a public DMP library, template export, creating plans and templates from existing ones, and flagging “test” plans (see the Roadmap to MVP on the wiki to track our progress). We anticipate this work will be finished in August and the DMPTool will migrate over the summer. When we issue the full release we’ll also provide a migration path and documentation so those running instances of DMPonline can join us in the DMPRoadmap collaboration.

Machine-actionable DMPs

Stephanie and Sarah are also continuing to gather requirements for machine-actionable DMPs. Sarah ran a DMP workshop in Milan last month where we considered what tools and systems need to connect with DMPs in an institutional context, and Stephanie has been working with Purdue University and UCSD to map out the institutional landscape. The goal is to produce maps/diagrams for two specific institutions and extend the exercise to others to capture more details about practices, workflows, and systems. All the slides and exercise from the DMP workshop in Milan are on the Zenodo RDM community collection, and we’ll be sharing a write-up of our institutional mapping in due course. I’m keen to replicate the exercise Stephanie has been doing with some UK unis, so if you want to get involved, drop me a line. We have also been discussing potential pilot projects with the NSF and Wellcome Trust, and have seen the DMP standards and publishing working groups proposed at the last RDA plenary host their initial calls. Case statements will be out for comment soon – stay tuned for more!

We have also been discussing DMP services with the University of Queensland in Australia who are doing some great work in this area, and will be speaking with BioSharing later this month about connecting up so we can start to trial some of our machine-actionable DMP plans.

The travelling roadshow

Our extended network has also been helping us to disseminate DMPRoadmap news. Sophie Hou of NCAR (National Center for Atmospheric Research) took our DMP poster to the USGS Community for Data Integration meeting (Denver, CO 16–19 May) and Sherry Lake will display it next at the Dataverse community meeting (Cambridge, MA 14-16 June). We’re starting an inclusive sisterhood of the travelling maDMPs poster. Display the poster, take a picture, and go into the Hall of Fame! Robin Rice and Josh Finnell have also been part of the street team taking flyers to various conferences on our behalf. If you would like a publicity pack, Stephanie will send out stateside and Sarah will share through the UK and Europe. Just email us your contact details and we’ll send you materials. The next events we’ll be at are the Jisc Research Data Network in York, the EUDAT and CODATA summer schools, the DataONE Users Group and Earth Science Information Partners meetings (Bloomington, IN), the American Library Association Annual Conference (Chicago, IL), and the Ecological Society of America meeting (Portland, OR) . Catch up with us there!

RDA-DMP movings and shakings

RDA Plenary 9

We had another productive gathering of #ActiveDMPs enthusiasts at the Research Data Alliance (RDA) plenary meeting in Barcelona (5-7 Apr). Just prior to the meeting we finished distilling all of the community’s wonderful ideas for machine-actionable DMP use cases into a white paper that’s now available in RIO Journal. Following on the priorities outlined in the white paper, the RDA Active DMPs Interest Group session focused on establishing working groups to carry things forward. There were 100+ participants packed into the session, both physically and virtually, representing a broad range of stakeholders and national contexts and many volunteered to contribute to five proposed working groups (meeting notes here):

  • DMP common standards: define a standard for expression of machine-readable and -actionable DMPs
  • Exposing DMPs: develop use cases, workflows, and guidelines to support the publication of DMPs via journals, repositories, or other routes to making them open
  • Domain/infrastructure specialization: explore disciplinary tailoring and the collection of specific information needed to support service requests and use of domain infrastructure
  • Funder liaison: engage with funders, support DMP review ideas, and develop specific use cases for their context
  • Software management plans: explore the remit of DMPs and inclusion of different output types e.g. software and workflows too

The first two groups are already busy drafting case statements. And just a note about the term “exposing” DMPs: everyone embraced using this term to describe sharing, publishing, depositing, etc. activities that result in DMPs becoming open, searchable, useful documents (also highlighted in a recent report on DMPs from the University of Michigan by Jake Carlson). If you want to get involved, you can subscribe to the RDA Active DMPs Interest Group mailing list and connect with these distributed, international efforts.

Another way to engage is by commenting on recently submitted Horizon2020 DMPs exposed on the European Commission website (unfortunately, the commenting period is closed here and here — but one remains open until 15 May).

DMPRoadmap update

Back at the DMPRoadmap ranch, we’re busy working toward our MVP (development roadmap and other documentation available on the GitHub wiki). The MVP represents the merging of our two tools with some new enhancements (e.g., internationalization) and UX contributions to improve usability (e.g., redesign of the create plan workflow) and accessibility. We’ve been working through fluctuating developer resources and will update/confirm the estimated timelines for migrating to the new system in the coming weeks; current estimates are end of May for DMPonline and end of July for DMPTool. Some excellent news is that Bhavi Vedula, a seasoned contract developer for UC3, is joining the team to facilitate the DMPTool migration and help get us to the finish line. Welcome Bhavi!

In parallel, we’re beginning to model some active DMP pilot projects to inform our work on the new system and define future enhancements. The pilots are also intertwined with the RDA working group activities, with overlapping emphases on institutional and repository use cases. We will begin implementing use cases derived from these pilots post-MVP to test the potential for making DMPs active and actionable. More details forthcoming…

Upcoming events

The next scheduled stop on our traveling roadshow for active DMPs is the RDA Plenary 10 meeting in Montreal (19–21 Sept 2017), where working groups will provide progress updates. We’re also actively coordinating between the RDA Active DMPs IG and the FORCE11 FAIR DMPs group to avoid duplication of effort. So there will likely be active/FAIR/machine-actionable DMP activities at the next FORCE11 meeting in Berlin (25–27 Oct)—stay tuned for details.

And there are plenty of other opportunities to maintain momentum, with upcoming meetings and burgeoning international efforts galore. We’d love to hear from you if you’re planning your own active DMP things and/or discover anything new so we can continue connecting all the dots. To support this effort, we registered a new Twitter handle @ActiveDMPs and encourage the use of the #ActiveDMPs hashtag.

Until next time.

Active, actionable DMPs

IDCC workshop participants

Roadmap project IDCC debriefing
We had a spectacularly productive IDCC last month thanks to everyone who participated in the various meetings and events focused on the DMPRoadmap project and machine-actionable DMPs. Thank you, thank you! Sarah has since taken the traveling road show onward to a meeting at CERN (slides) and Stephanie discussed institutional infrastructure for DMPs at a meeting of California data librarians. In the midst of travels we’ve been wrangling the mountain of inputs into a draft white paper on machine-actionable DMP use cases. For now, we offer a preview of the report and an invitation to keep the momentum going at the RDA plenary in Barcelona, which is just around the corner (5–7 April).

The white paper represents the outputs of the IDCC workshop: ”A postcard from the future: Tools and services from a perfect DMP world” (slides, etc. here). We convened 47 participants from 16 countries representing funders, educational institutions, data service providers, and the research community. There was so much interest in the topic that we added an overflow session to accommodate everyone who wanted to weigh in. We’re gratified to discover how many folks have been thinking about DMPs as much as we have, and aim to continue synthesizing your stakeholder-balanced, community-driven solutions for improving the data management enterprise.

mind map exercise

Solving DMPs with rainbow stickies

The contributions from IDCC align with previously gathered information and drive the agenda summarized here. Consensus emerged to:

  • Focus on integrating existing systems (Interoperability was top-voted topic for the workshop)
  • Integrate DMPs into active research workflows to emphasize benefits of planning to researchers, but keep in mind that funders still drive demand.
  • Consider the potential of persistent identifiers (ORCID iDs, Crossref Funder Registry, etc.)
  • Explore ways to offer tailored, discipline-specific guidance at appropriate points

Next steps…
All stakeholders expressed a need for common standards and protocols to enable information to flow between plans and systems in a standardized manner. This would support APIs to both read and write to DMPs, as well as creating a framework for the development of new use cases over time. Therefore, it is a top priority to define a minimum data model with a core set of elements for DMPs. The model should incorporate existing standards and avoid inventing something new; it could potentially be based on a template structure and/or use the DMPRoadmap themes. Additional requirements in this area include that it:

  • Must make use of existing vocabularies and ontologies whenever possible
  • Must employ common exchange protocols (e.g., json)
  • Must be open to support new data types, models, and descriptions
  • Should be available in a format that can be rendered for human use
  • Should accommodate versioning to support actively updated DMPs

At the RDA 9th Plenary meeting in Barcelona during the Active DMPs IG session (6 April, 9:30-11:00) we propose establishing a working group to develop standards for DMPs. This isn’t our particular area of expertise so once again we’re relying on all of you to help steer the DMP ship. We hope that additional working groups might spin out from the session and invite your ideas and contributions (e.g., publishing DMPs).

…and beyond
The DCC and UC3 will continue to pursue international collaborations related to DMPRoadmap through pilot projects. As part of an iterative process for developing, implementing, testing, and refining these use cases we’re beginning to model domain-specific and institutional pilot projects to determine what information can realistically move between stakeholders, systems, and research workflows. We have some existing funds to support a subset of this work and are actively seeking additional sources of funding to carry the project forward. In addition to technical solutions, these projects will expand our capacity to connect with key stakeholders, with particular emphasis on addressing the needs and practices of researchers and funders. Stay tuned for more details in the coming weeks and months.

You can also track our progress and find oodles of documentation on the DMPRoadmap GitHub wiki.