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.

Data Management Resources: Libguides

What are Libguides?

While putting together our upcoming webinar on existing data management resources, one consistent source of useful information was librarian-authored research guides called libguides, hosted by various institutions. While we’ll be going into more detail in the webinar itself, I wanted to talk about what makes the libguide platform especially useful to librarians looking to make a data management guide for their patrons.

Libguides are designed to be made up of replaceable parts that are easy to share with other guides. Img source: Wikimedia Commons

Libguides are a web platform designed for librarians to create and share research guides, without having to tangle with web design tools. They can be used to answer frequently asked questions, highlight materials in the catalog, or point to useful outside resources. Organizationally, Libguides are made up of tabs and boxes. Tabs allow you to create sub-pages within the guide to keep content organized. Each page is populated with boxes that contain different kinds of content, such as lists of links, RSS feeds, or videos.

The Power of Linked Pages

Aside from allowing librarians to assemble simple page structures, breaking the site into various boxes allows users to share individual components of their guides with other librarians for use in their own guides. This means useful information can be repeated across multiple guides without reinventing the wheel. This modularity makes libguides a great tool for disseminating data management information. Not only can librarians create a guide specifically to answer questions about data issues, but relevant pages can be easily ported to subject specific guides. By properly organizing the information on your data management libguide, you can easily re-use pages specific to the sciences or humanities to their relevant topics. Later, when  you update these pages the changes will automatically be reflected across all the guides that are using it as a linked page.

When sitting down to create a data management libguide, you should design it in such a way where it can be useful to researchers who might only see a portion of it. Properly sharing individual tabs will not only capture researchers who might not have started considering the data management element of their work, but also guide traffic to the main data management site. Reaching out to the authors of frequently visited libguides can be a good way to add information that might be of value to their patrons.

For examples of data management libguides and other useful resources, check out the DMPTool Community Resources Page. If you need technical advice on how to customize your libguide, check out to find answers to frequently asked questions about the libguide platform.

Existing Data Management Resources Overview

Image Source: LACMA Digital Collection

Have you been wondering whether someone else is thinking about data management, especially as it relates to the DMPTool? The answer is YES. Dan Phipps from UCLA is compiling an overview of data management resources that might provide useful background information. The full list can be found at the DMPTool site, but we’ve put together sampling of resources below. Thirsty for more? Plan to attend a webinar on this topic as part of our DMPTool Webinar Series. Mark your calendar for Tuesday, June 4 at 10 am PT. Details and pre-registration information available here.

University Libguides

Libguides are institution-based reference guides designed to be authored by librarians. There are a number of data management libguides, but we chose to emphasize ones that have different subject specializations. The data management guides hosted by Cal Poly, UCLA, and Georgia Tech each emphasize different aspects of data management, and show how the DMPTool can best be integrated into that lifecycle.

Data Repositories

Data Repositories often provide great overviews on the importance of data management. Many of them also provide guides for their upload requirements that make for effective best practices guides throughout the research and data curation process. Databib is a comprehensive catalog of online research data repositories, and is a great way to get an overview of available receptacles. Repositories are often divided by subject, but the guides at The Dataverse Network, ICPSR, and The UK Data Archive provide an excellent general overview.

Presentations & Training Resources

Visual metaphor for the intended use of these educational materials. Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Over time we’re going to be separating this section into resources on data management in general and those specifically about how to get the most out of the DMPTool. These are being included not only for educational purposes, also to provide a template for librarians in a position to do education and outreach within their own institution. Some of these presentations, such as the DataONE Education Modules are provided under a very generous Creative Commons license, allowing them to be remixed and reused. The University of Edinburgh MANTRA Training course is a more thorough explanation of these resources, designed for researchers intending to use digital data.

More resources, with descriptions, are hosted at our Data Management Resources page, and will be subject of a forthcoming webinar. If you feel like there’s another resource type that would be useful to information professionals, feel free to email us at


Advisory boards established

In support of the current grant project efforts, we are pleased to announce the establishment of two advisory boards.  One board will focus on the interests and needs of researchers using the DMPTool, and the other will focus on administrative users (ie. librarians, IT personnel, sponsored research officers, funders, etc.).  Our hope is that these two groups will provide necessary concrete and direct advice on how the DMPTool project team can better direct efforts to meet the needs of our various constituencies.  We plan to seek feedback on application functionality, DMPTool content, community engagement, and overall value for their constituents.  Boards will meet virtually on roughly a quarterly basis, scheduled around key milestones where feedback is most needed.

Researcher Advisory Board:

The board is intended to represent the interest of all researchers, scholars, and scientists who use the DMPTool for preparation of data management plans and discovery/access of support resources.

  • Laurie Burgess, Associate Chair, Department of Anthropology, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
  • Bruce Campbell, Geophysicist, Center for Earth and Planetary Studies, Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum
  • John W.Cobb, Research and Development Staff Member, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
  • Michael Denslow, Assistant Director for Scientific Research Collections, National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON)
  • Heather Henkel, Information Technology Specialist, United States Geological Survey
  • Puneet Kishor, Project Coordinator for Science and Data, Creative Commons
  • Sharon Leon, Director of Public Projects and Research Associate Professor, Center for History and New Media, George Mason University
  • Keith Micoli, Director of the Postdoctoral Program and Coordinator of Ethics Program, Sackler Institute, New York University School of Medicine
  • Jim Regetz, Scientific Programmer/Analyst, National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS)
  • Angela Rizk-Jackson, Biomedical Informatics Project Manager, Clinical & Translational Science Institute (CTSI), University of California, San Francisco
  • Mary Vardigan, Assistant Director and Director, Collection Delivery, Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR)

Administrative User Advisory Board:

The board is intended to represent the perspective of the administrative and institutional support user group (ie. librarians, IT managers, sponsored research officers, etc.) using the DMPTool to enhance the quality of data management plans from institutional researchers, gain insights into practices and behaviors, and to promote education and best practices in data management planning.

  • Lisa Federer, Health and Life Sciences Librarian, UCLA Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library
  • Mike Frame, Chief of Scientific Data Integration and Visualization, U.S. Geological Survey
  • Patricia Hswe, Digital Content Strategist and Head, ScholarSphere User Services, University Libraries, The Pennsylvania State University
  • Andrew Maffei, Senior Information Systems Specialist, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
  • Paolo Mangiafico, Coordinator of Scholarly Communications Technology, Office of Copyright and Scholarly Communication, Perkins Library, Duke University
  • Holly Mercer, Associate Dean of Libraries for Scholarly Communication & Research Services, Director, Newfound Press, University of Tennessee
  • Susan Parham, Head, Scholarly Communication & Digital Curation, Georgia Institute of Technology Library
  • Rebecca Snyder, Digital Media Specialist, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
  • Thea Vicari, Director, Sponsored Projects Services, Office of Research, University of California, Merced
  • Alan Wolf, Assistant CIO for Advanced Computing Infrastructure, Office of the CIO and Vice Provost for Information Technology, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Thank you to these individuals for their contributions.

Library Outreach Update

Photo from Flickr by Glyn Lowe

Since our Kickoff Meeting at Berkeley, we’ve hit the ground running to begin working on building a foundation for our IMLS funded library outreach project. Internally we’ve been fine tuning the original IMLS meeting report,  converting it into a calendar of tasks and laying to groundwork for the success of our later objectives. We’ve already begun planning and researching for a series of educational webinars and putting together a wiki to house online resources on data management planning. These resources will stand alone as useful tools, but are also vital first steps toward accomplishing some of our larger goals.

Over the next few weeks our priority is going to be developing educational materials – continuing to assemble research for the coming webinars, putting together outreach materials and talking points, and adding to our list of useful outside resources. Many of these projects will be ongoing, with some major updates coming further down the pipeline to better assist librarians undertaking data management responsibilities.

We’re also going to be gunning for feedback as these projects develop and are finalized. If you’re interested in being involved, please leave a comment or send me an email.

The Guide to Guides: New Wiki Page on Data Management Resources

July 2014 Update: these materials are now available on the DMPTool Website.


One of many possible repositories for your data. Photo from Flickr by Matt.Nicklas

Planning for data management and curation is a major undertaking, and at the outset it can seem imposing. The data management plan is a useful way to break data management into component parts. Over the next few weeks, we will be working on a central repository for useful guides, presentations, and webinars on how to structure your data management plan. Some of these will help walk through the data management plan itself, while others will provide context for why certain sections are required, and how to make the different elements fit together.

The first round of available resources can be found on our bitbucket wiki. We’ll be expanding the scope of this list over the weeks to come, and providing a more granular organization of how these resources can fit into the development of a better, actionable, and funder-friendly data management plan. Some of the highlights include educational materials from the University of Edinburgh, the Cal Poly Libguide to Data Management Plans, and a guidance and resources video specifically for using the effective use of the DMPTool. For those of you looking for more academic papers on the topic, this University of Florida Zotero Group has over 100 items relating to data management and preservation. If you are the author of a data management guide, or know of one that we’ve missed, please let me know at

Announcing the DMPTool Webinar Series

All breeds welcome to the DMPTool Webinar Series! From Flickr by baldr90

As part of our grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, we are creating resources for librarians interested in promoting the DMPTool at their institutions. Based on input from a group of librarians back in February, we determined that a webinar series would be useful for introducing the tool, communicating how to use it effectively, and describing how it can be customized for institutional needs.

We are excited to announce our first webinar of the DMPTool Webinar Series on 28 May! We plan to present a webinar every two weeks on Tuesdays, with current plans for 12 webinars. The series will go into November 2013.

A few things to note:

  • All webinars will be recorded and made available for viewing.
  • The webinar schedule might change a bit depending on presenters’ availability.
  • We are always interested in new webinar ideas; please send them to, or comment on this blog post.
  • We plan to collect these webinars and make them available as a set. We then hope to create a short course in Data Management with the DMPTool that will offer certification for librarians as “DMPTool Experts” (we are still working on the title!).

Our current list of topics:

  1. Introduction to the DMPTool (scheduled for 28 May – pre-register now!)
  2. Learning about Data Management: resources, tools, materials you can use
  3. Customizing the DMPTool
  4. Environmental Scan: who’s important at your campus & how to talk to them
  5. Promoting services with the DMPTool; EZID as example (co-promote with EZID)
  6. Data curation profiles webinar (Guest presenter from Purdue)
  7. How to give the data management sales pitch to various audiences
  8. Digital humanities and the DMPTool 
  9. Other tools and resources that work with/complement the DMPTool
  10. Beyond funder requirements: more extensive DMPs (institutional versus funder requirements)
  11. Case studies 1 – how librarians have successfully used the tool (big university library with lots of resources)
  12. Case studies 2 – how librarians have successfully used the tool (small university library few resources)
  13. DMPTool Outreach Kit introduction 
  14. Certification program introduction

With all successful pursuits comes governance…

Following two years of collaboration and development of the DMPTool, it now seems the appropriate time to address the lingering questions of “who’s in charge of this thing?” and “what does it mean to be a Partner?”.  The DMPTool team is pleased to now introduce a formal collaboration agreement and set of operating principles to guide the continued efforts, enable broader community engagement, and facilitate collaboration with the data management community.  This seemed like a smart and necessary move as the service has seen users from over 650 institutions and continues to gain interest and diversity in application.  Additionally, this structure will dovetail nicely with the advisory organizations and community-building activities made possible through our current Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and IMLS grants.

Here are the highlights:

  • A DMPTool Steering Group will coordinate all technical, content, and community development activities.  This group will be comprised of DMPTool Partners who have made significant contributions to the DMPTool community and are eager to help guide it’s future.
  • DMPTool Partners will now be defined as institutions, corporations, individuals, or other groups who have signed the collaboration agreement, made the commitment to use the DMPTool technical and content framework via an authenticated connection, and contribute to the community in some other way as well.  We will be working to enroll institutions currently using the DMPTool over the course of the next month.
  • In the interest of building a stronger and more cohesive community, we will now accept new Partners via the following process:
    1. Express interest to the DMPTool Steering Group by writing
    2. Sign the Collaboration Agreement and Memorandum of Understanding.
    3. Establish institutional authentication with the DMPTool.

While the Collaboration Agreement and Memorandum of Understanding is NOT a contract, it does serve as a set of common operating principles for the growth and operation of this service and community effort.  Until DMPTool2 is released, we will house the governance process information on the DMPTool BitBucket wiki pages here: 

We hope that this new structure provides the community with a clear path for decision-making, opportunities for integration with other software and systems, and quite simply, a better-defined entity to affiliate with in order to build community.

The DMPTool team looks forward to your involvement!

-Andrew Sallans & Patricia Cruse, Co-Conveners of the DMPTool Steering Group


Library Outreach: Call for DMPTool Guides

Hello, everyone! My name is Dan Phipps. I’m coming to the DMPTool project from UCLA’s Graduate School of Education and Information Studies. My academic focus has been on informatics, especially the preservation and curation of disaster data. Aside from digitizing maps for the UCLA Digital Libraries project, I’ve also worked at the UCLA Social Science Data Archive to help researchers better archive their data.

I’m working with California Digital Libraries as part of the IMLS funded Librarian Outreach project. Our focus is going to be specific to librarians and the role they play in the development of data management plans. While this is a relatively new hat for some librarians to wear, there is already a lot of resources from data archivists, repository institutions, grant departments and other librarians. We’re hoping to use the DMPTool as both a data management resource as well as a hub for information specialists to find useful materials.

The management of data is a major undertaking for any institution, and involves support everywhere from IT departments to individual researchers to granting offices and beyond. Librarians, by training, are uniquely suited to work within this environment – it is a field that has been focused on providing people with knowledge and support for centuries. Data management and preservation is a relatively new area of focus, but one which will be more and more important in the coming years.

One of the major goals of the Libraries Outreach project is to provide librarians with easy access to educational materials. Over the next few weeks we’ll be highlighting Libguides, wikis, webpages, and other useful online resources that have made using or teaching the DMPTool easier. If there are any references you find particularly useful, please email me your suggestions.

-Dan Phipps

Kickoff Meetings for Newly Funded DMPTool Projects


The meetings were held in Downtown Berkeley, near Durant Ave. This image of the area was taken in 1978. From Calisphere, contributed by Berkeley Public Library and Betty Marvin. Click for more information.

Two weeks ago, a meeting of the data management minds took place in Berkeley, California. There were two back-to-back meetings to kick off projects funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation (read the blog post about it) and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Here we provide a report of each meeting.

Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Project: “DMPTool2: Responding to the Community”

The primary goal of this project is to improve on the DMPTool (free, easy-to-use application that guides researchers through the process of creating data management plans). To accomplish this, we aim to build on the success of the tool to create DMPTool2, and use this improved version as a centerpiece for encouraging collaboration in data management efforts across all stakeholder groups (researchers, institutions, funders, libraries).  In support of the project goals, we convened a meeting of DMPTool partners to synchronize the project kickoff efforts and revisit our planned activities.  The meeting aimed to review:

  • Current DMPTool status
  • Community engagement plans
  • Functional development plans
  • Metrics for impact and success

Meeting participants were mainly from founding DMPTool institutions.  Over the course of the 1.5 day meeting, participants reviewed the course of the DMPTool thus far, the expectations and plans for the project, and then specific activities for the next 12 or so months.  Some highlights include:

  • Observations that the DMPTool has had significant use, but should to put increased emphasis on gaining repeat users and providing more value to users.  Underlying this point, while the team aims to address user needs and demands, it is important to still stress that the goal should be making data management planning EASIER, rather than just EASY.  Research data lives in a complex environment and this must not be underestimated.
  • Community engagement in coming months will be on many fronts.  Some include development of two advisory boards, one focused on administrative users and one on researchers.  The team will also implement the planned governance structure to give the user community greater access to and participation in future directions and ownership of the DMPTool; this will be in the very near term.
  • Functionality for this project ranges far and wide, but fits into two main broad categories:  functions for the researcher (ie. Writing plans, finding resources, getting advice, etc.) and functions for the administrative user (ie. Reporting on institutional use, adding institutional guidance, etc.).  The team will offer blog posts on specific technical elements, request feedback, and conduct user testing as the project moves along.  Expect first posts in coming weeks.
  • The last discussion of the meeting was around metrics for impact and success, what’s possible, what’s easy versus hard, and what matters to our different constituents.  We have many ideas in this area, and will have blog posts to outline some of these points and request feedback in coming weeks.

IMLS Grant Project: “Improving Data Stewardship with the DMPTool: Empowering Libraries to Seize Data Management Education”

The meeting funded by the IMLS grant took place over February 21-22. The primary goal of this project is to provide librarians with the tools and resources to claim the data management education space. In an effort to ensure the tools and resources developed meet the needs of librarians, we convened a meeting of DMPTool partners, as well as librarians from five University of California campuses. We had three goals for the meeting:

  1. Identify the resources most useful for helping librarians use the DMPTool for outreach.
  2. Prioritize resources based on user profiles and use cases.
  3. Create timelines and brainstorm dissemination tactics for resources to be developed.

Participants were primarily librarians, along with members of the DMPTool partner institutions. Over the course of the two day meeting, we discussed the barriers and solutions associated with using the DMPTool as a librarian, especially for outreach. Common themes emerged related to a lack of support and education, as well as limited resources including time, money, personnel, and institution-level services.  Poor communication among institutional partners and stakeholders was also often mentioned. The solutions proposed to eliminate these barriers became the template for potential products from the IMLS grant. Here we present a list of proposed outcomes and tasks for the project, i.e. things that will help librarians use the DMPTool effectively on their campuses:

  1. Checklist/talking points documents & brown bag kit for librarians to talk to campus partners and stakeholders, including researchers, VCRs, Special Projects/Grants offices,  IT, and other librarians
  2. Slide deck for presenting to researchers
  3. Promotional materials (posters, pamphlets, bookmarks, postcards, flyers) that can be customized for the institution
  4. Startup Kit for undergoing an environmental scan of institutional resources and services
  5. DMPTool Webinar Series for librarians
  6. DMPTool Screencasts for users, librarians
  7. A collection of case studies of institutions using the DMPTool successfully
  8. A collection data management success and horror stories
  9. A calendar of funder deadlines
  10. DMPTool Libguide

A larger outcome of the IMLS grant will be that we plan to set up an online common space that allows for sharing customization of tool, provides a forum for user conversation streams, provides access to materials developed by the grant project, and can be used as a platform for collecting use cases, success and horror stories. The list above is only a subset of the long list of suggestions that emerged from our meeting. Stay tuned into this blog for more updates as the project progresses.

Download the full IMLS meeting report