New Year, New DMPTool Release

Our latest DMPTool release includes several exciting features and improvements, including a new API. The release highlights are outlined below, for a comprehensive listing please check our release notes for v2.1.4 and V2.1.3. 

API 

DMPTool administrators who have been granted tokens can now access statistical information about their organizational accounts and query plans created in the DMPTool via our new full text API. The API currently has 2 endpoints: Plans and Statistics. 

The full text Plans API allows users to retrieve plans as a JSON file and filter by dates, specific templates, users and plans. This new API will be essential in our work with machine-actionable DMPs as it will enable the export of plans into other RDM systems and facilitate further integration with external applications. 

The Statistics endpoint includes data regarding users, templates and plans. Users can retrieve information from this endpoint on queries such as: number of users who have joined your organization; number of plans created by your organization’s users; and metadata about all plans created by all users from your organization.

In order to use the API, permissions for each endpoint must be given to your organization and an API token must display on your ‘edit profile’ page. To request access to the API please contact us.

Please keep in mind that we will be updating the API to conform to the DMP Common Standard in Spring of 2020, so while the API is up and ready for use, we recommend holding off on building any integrations or applications around it until the updated version is released. 

One Click Plan Creation

Screenshot of the ability to create a new plan from the Funder Requirements page.

Users can now create a plan for a specific funder template from the Funder Requirements page instead of going through the create plan page. You can also retrieve a static URL to the plan that can be sent along to users, thus enabling them to go straight to the desired page. (A big thank you to DMPOPIDoR for contributing this new feature to our shared codebase.)

Accessibility

Building off several months of analysis, testing, and expert recommendations, the DMPRoadmap crew has been working towards making the DMPTool accessible for all users, including those with disabilities. Highlights of new accessibility features include: support for assistive technologies, improved visual cues and improvements to text magnification tools. A full list of all accessibility issues addressed in this release is available on our git repository.     

Create departments within an organization

The new Department field enables administrative users to define specific schools or departments to the organization. Our partners at DMPOnline have made a short video demonstrating how to utilize this new feature. 

Request Feedback

The button to Request Feedback on a plan has been moved to its own tab in an effort to highlight this feature. If you have the ability to request feedback enabled for your organization, it will now appear after the Share tab when creating a plan. If you don’t have this feature enabled but are interested in learning more, please check our documentation or contact us for any questions.

Request feedback tab has moved to the end

This year promises to be a busy one for the development crew with many big features currently in the works, including machine actionable DMPs, improved usage dashboards, and Zenodo/RIO Journal integration. For a high level overview of our upcoming work for 2020 please check out our development roadmap

As always, feedback or questions are most welcome and can be sent directly to maria.praetzellis@ucop.edu.

DMP services unite!

This November the DMPRoadmap team conducted a series of strategic planning meetings. Meeting in-person was highly productive and a great way to energize the team for the ambitious work we have planned for the upcoming year. Read more about the meeting and our development goals below. This blog post was originally published by Magdalena Drafiova from DMP online on 3 December, 2019.

From left to right: Brian Riley, Benjamin Faure, Marta Nicholson, Maria Praetzellis, Sarah Jones, Sam Rust and Ray Carrick.

In the middle of November we were joined for three days by our colleagues Maria Praetzellis and Brian Riley from DMPTool and Benjamin Faure from OPIDoR. On our end Sarah Jones, Sam Rust, Ray Carrick, Marta Nicholson, Diana Sisu and Magdalena Drafiova represented DMPonline. We’ve had a number of new people join the team over the past year so the meetings were a great opportunity to get to know one another and discuss where to take things next.

Over the three days we had a mix of group discussions to plan the future development roadmap (results of that later), as well as developer / project manager sessions and discussions with the wider DCC and CDL team on machine-actionable DMPs. Below we report out on the results of our sessions and the future development roadmap

Developer team meeting

The tech team had a separate team meeting to give more time to discuss changes to the codebase and development procedures.They walked through the data model and key functionality to bring new devs up to speed and discussed major pieces of infrastructure work to schedule over the coming year (e.g. upgrading to Rails v.5, making a more robust test infrastructure, etc.). They also reviewed the current development project management processes and will be revising our PR review workflow and incorporating a continuous integration approach. This will allow developers to work more atomically. A single bug fix or feature enhancement will now be handled individually instead of as a component of a larger single release. Each issue will be merged into the codebase as a single point release allowing the team to work more efficiently as well as making it easier to accept contributions from external developers.

Project management meeting
Magdalena, Maria, Sarah and Diana discussed procedures for prioritizing tickets, managing the team and conducting User Acceptance Testing (UAT). Sarah and Diana will share expertise on weekly PM meetings to bring Magdalena and Maria up to speed. We have also decided to change our sprint schedule as we will be joined by more developers. We want to do our releases more often and have less tickets on the board so we can review them all in each call. This coupled with the continuous integration approach should get fixes and features out more quickly. We have assigned a developer to each area which we want to work on, although we want to ensure that the knowledge is shared and everyone has an opportunity to work across the codebase so we don’t create dependencies.

We also discussed the need to conduct user testing, especially on the administrative area of the tool. This will involve setting some tasks and observing users complete them to see what issues they encounter and where the tool is not intuitive. We hope to run these tests in Summer 2020. If you would be interested in getting people from your organization involved, please let us know.

Development roadmap
We agreed on the development roadmap by dividing our key areas of work into time phases. Some activities are ongoing system improvements and will happen throughout the time periods.The first part of work which we hope that will run till February 2020 is around the feedback we have received in our user groups. This work will finalize the conditional questions functionality, improve search for administrators and make the usage dashboard more insightful so you can get better analytics about how is the tool used at your institution. We will also integrate a new feature from DMP OPIDoR to enable one click plan creation. From the public templates page, users will be able to click on an icon and create a plan based on that template. We are also planning integrations so you can export DMPs to Zenodo and RIO Journal and complete our work on regional filtering to separate funders/templates/organization by country.

The second part of the work will focus on making our default template machine-actionable by adding integrations to controlled vocabularies, a re3data repository selector, license selector, fewer free text fields, as well as important identifiers for users (ORCID ids) and organizations (ROR ids). We will also update our API so that it conforms to the RDA Common standard.

We will finish the year by adding new features that allow administrators to pre-define a subset of good institutionally shared plans. We will also improve the current plan version and a lifecycle of plan version so you can indicate the status of the plan. We will also work on incorporating multiple datasets into DMPs so you can get better insights about various storage requirements, license requirements etc. Enabling static pages to be edited is also on the to-do list. Lots to look forward to!

What’s new with our machine actionable DMP work?

Building on the conceptual framework laid out in articles such as Ten principles for machine-actionable data management plans and prior blog posts covering such topics as what maDMPs are, what they can do to support automation, utilizing common standards and PIDs, and maDMPs as living documents, we are now moving into active development on the technical aspects of our NSF funded EAGER research project

A phased approach: building a plan for maDMPs

The goal of our EAGER research project is to explore the potential of machine-actionable DMPs as a means to transform the DMPs from a compliance exercise based on static text documents into a key component of a networked research data management. This ecosystem will not only facilitate, but also improve the research process for all stakeholders. 

We will be laying out the phases of work in the coming months and will continue to use this blog to keep the community informed of our progress, and to solicit your feedback and ideas.

Phase 1 Workplan

maDMP_phase1

Phase 1 of of our research entails exploring the following three high level ideas:

  1. How to best restructure the DMPTool metadata to utilize the RDA Working Group Common Standard
  2. How to optimize the Digital Object Identifiers (DOI) metadata schema for DMPs 
  3. How to best incorporate other Persistent identifiers (PIDs) into DMPs

Common Standards

The common data model for the creation of machine-actionable DMPs, produced by the RDA working group on DMP Common Standards, was recently released for community feedback. Our partners at the Digital Curation Center (DCC) have now implemented this model into the DMPRoadmap codebase. A big thank you to Sam Rust from DCC for his work on this! Those interested in learning more about the Common Standard in DMPRoadmap may want to view a recent webinar recording of Sam detailing this work. This was a fundamental step towards machine actionable DMPs, as it forms the foundation to enable information flow between DMPs and affiliated external systems in a standardized manner.

DOIs for DMPs

With our partners at the Digital Curation Center (DCC), we are working to incorporate the common standards into the shared DMPRoadmap codebase and our DMPTool development plans. As part of this work, we have partnered with DataCite to update their metadata schema to better support DMPs and to optimize a workflow for generating DOIs for DMPs. By relying on the DOI infrastructure, we will then be able to utilize the Event Data service from DataCite to record when assertions have been made on the DOI. More on the workflows surrounding this aspect of the project below. 

DMPs and the PID graph

Projects such as Freya have been working to connect research outputs through a PID graph.  A key question underpinning much of our work is how we can best leverage the PID graph (see Principle 5: Use PIDs and controlled vocabularies) within the DMP ecosystem. To connect DMPs to the larger PID ecosystem, our first phase will also include incorporating the following persistent identifiers into the DMP as a baseline for future work:

Phase 1 workflows

As discussed above, in Phase 1, we are building a system to mint DOIs for DMPs and creating a landing page for DMP DOIs to record updates to the DOI that occur over time. Although the system can be thought of as a giant API, pulling and pushing data from various sources, we are also building a landing page for these DOIs in order to visually demonstrate the types of connections made possible by tracking a research project over time from the point of DMP creation. 

Below is a high level overview of this workflow and whiteboarding of its potential architecture. (For those that would like a more detailed view, please check out our GitHub).maDMPRegistry

  1. maDMP system accepts common standard metadata from DMPTool (DMP Roadmap) 
  2. maDMP system sends that metadata to DataCite to mint a DOI (which it then returns to the DMPTool)
  3. A landing page is generated for the DMP DOI
  4. A separate harvester application queries outside APIs to check for assertions recorded against the DOI. For this phase of work we will work with the NSF awards API, and return any award information into the maDMP system. 
  5. The maDMP system then sends any award info returned to DataCite 

Our goal is to leverage the work being done by the RDA Exposing DMP working group to help inform the privacy concerns of exposing certain types of assertions on this landing page.  

Next Steps

Looking ahead, we plan to produce a basic prototype ready for testing and feedback by the end of October. I will be presenting on our work thus far at the upcoming RDA and CODATA meetings. During these meetings, I look forward to continuing our work with the RDA Common Standards Working Group (and to meeting many of those active in this space for the first time in-person)! 

Once we establish the workflow to record assertions to a DMP DOI, our next phase of work will include pilot projects with domain-specific and institutional stakeholders to test the flow and integration of relevant information across services and systems. With these partners we plan to test how maDMPs can help track data management activities as they occur during the course of a grant project. 

Finally, it’s important to note that all of our development work is being done in a test environment where we will continue to iterate for the next several months as we determine how best to deploy new features to the DMPTool and DMPRoadmap codebase. 

Interested in contributing?

Lastly, we realize that maDMP is far from the most euphonious or creative name for this service (nor is our original idea of the DMPHub much better). We are open to any and all ideas for naming this work so if you have any ideas, however strange or off the wall, please do let us know. If we use your idea we promise to shower you with accolades for your denomination genius. Also, free stickers galore.

To review or contribute to the technical components of the project check out our GitHub. And most importantly, please send any and all feedback, questions, or ideas for names to maria.praetzellis@ucop.edu.

 

What’s new with the DMPTool?

The past few months have been quite fruitful in terms of pushing forward on the technical details surrounding machine-actionable DMPs.

The common data model for the creation of machine-actionable DMPs, produced by the RDA working group on DMP Common Standards, was recently released for community feedback. With our partners at the Digital Curation Center (DCC), we are now actively incorporating this model into the DMPRoadmap codebase and our DMPTool development plans.

As part of our NSF EAGER grant, CDL has partnered with DataCite to explore how DOI infrastructure could enable the passing of information between RDM systems and supporting integration between various related systems. The initial phase of this work includes piloting workflows that efficiently move information between stakeholders, systems, and researcher workflows. Our goal is a working prototype developed by mid-October of this year. This is exciting as it represents the first step towards realizing our long-term goal of machine-actionable DMPs as critical infrastructure in the research process.


Community involvement 

Another key goal for the coming months is to re-engage the DMPTool community via regular virtual user meetings, the re-creation of advisory boards, and most importantly hearing more from you about how the DMPTool is working (or not) and gathering feedback on future developments and ideas for new areas of making the DMPTool even more useful and vital. In the coming weeks, we will reach out with more details on the above. However, in the meantime, please feel free to contact me and introduce yourself!

I am interested in hearing any input, questions, comments or feedback. You can contact me directly at maria.praetzellis@ucop.edu.

Meet the new DMPTool Product Manager

MariaPraetzellisHeadshotToday, August 19, marks my seventh week as the new DMPTool Product Manager, and the latest Research Data Specialist to join the team at UC3. I’m thrilled to be joining such an active and engaged community of professionals committed to the principles of open science, open infrastructure, and public access to research and knowledge.

As I take the reins from Stephanie Simms, I’m grateful for her instrumental work in rethinking the capabilities of a data management plan (DMP) and her work with the community in developing the conceptual frameworks and use cases for the creation of machine-actionable DMPs. As I’ve learned more in these first weeks, I am invigorated by the plans for machine-actionable DMPs, seeing the critical role they could play in research and data sharing and the exciting potential for expanding their dynamism, utility, and centrality to research data workflows. 

Prior to joining CDL, I was a Program Manager in the Web Archiving and Data Services group at the Internet Archive. At the Internet Archive, I managed domain-scale web harvesting, dataset and indexing services, and computational access to large-scale data for researchers. I bring a strong background in product management for services used by a global set of partners and a commitment to community-driven feature development and system integrations. 

I’m looking forward to expanding upon this experience as I begin work on furthering development of the DMPTool, keeping in step with what can be useful to and benefit the community, and advancing our shared commitment to open access to research and research data.

Please feel free to reach out and introduce yourself! I’m eager to receive any feedback or questions. You can reach me directly at maria.praetzellis@ucop.edu.