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!

What are your burning questions about the DMPTool?

We are currently developing content for the new DMPTool site, to be launched early 2014 alongside the DMPTool Version 2. One of the components of the new website is a section of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). We want to be thorough – what questions do you have for us to answer? Comment on this blog, tweet us (@TheDMPTool), or email us ( with your suggestions.

Our current list of questions:

  1. How do I get to the DMPTool?
  2. What’s the purpose of the DMPTool?
  3. What can I do with theDMPTool?
  4. Who can create a data management plan using the DMPTool?
  5. How do I get to the DMPTool?
  6. What’s the purpose of the DMPTool?
  7. What can I do with theDMPTool?
  8. Who can create a data management plan using the DMPTool?
  9. Is use of the DMPTool free?
  10. Who owns the data management plans created with the DMPTool?
  11. Who created the DMPTool? Who owns it?
  12. My institution isn’t a “partner”. How can I make that happen?
  13. What does it mean to be a partner institution?
  14. What are the terms of use for the DMPTool?
  15. What is the privacy policy for the DMPTool?
  16. How do I sign up for the DMPTool?
  17. Can I get a PDF of the help text and resources without logging in?
  18. Where can I read more about funder requirements for DMPs?
  19. Who can help me at my institution?
  20. What does it mean to share my plan publicly?
  21. Are there examples of data management plans somewhere?
  22. I have a collaborator. How can we work on the same plan?
  23. What does it mean to have a plan “reviewed”? Who reviews it?
  24. How long will you save my plans?
  25. What if I move to a new institution?
  26. Will you share my information with anyone?
  27. Has [the funder] endorsed the use of the DMPTool?
  28. Does the DMPTool have the most up-to-date requirements?
  29. I’m a librarian. What are the benefits of becoming a DMPTool partner?
  30. How do I configure the DMPTool to work with Shibboleth?

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.

DMPTool2 Project – October 2013 Report


DMPTool2 continues to take shape and we are now shifting more into planning for release and promotion.

Technical Team

The development team is presently focused on connecting the HTML presentation layer to the application layer and bringing the second version to reality!   We will share this as soon as it is ready for consumption.

We are presently in the midst of organizing plans for the first round of usability testing to be conducted at the DataONE All Hands Meeting in the 3rd week of October and then a broader round of testing across our community in the last week of October and first week of November.  These tests will be focused on the new administrative user interface.  We will then conduct similar tests on the researcher interface in later November.

We have spent a considerable amount of time thinking about how to transition from the old to the new tool.  At this time, we plan to initially release access to the administrative interface in early December to allow institutions to configure their content.  We will then make the new version available to all users in early January and allow researchers to still access the first version if they prefer.  In late February we will complete the transition and turn off the first version.  We will be handling a migration of data from the first to second version, but do not have specifics on that yet.

Communications/Outreach Team

Most notably perhaps, we reached our 100th institution with customized content during the past month.  This is a big deal and helps to gain additional traction and momentum for building this community.  On the outreach activity front, we have presentations of the new DMPTool in planning for the upcoming November DLF Forum, the December CNI Forum, and the February IDCC conference.


No major update on metrics since the last report.

Overall Project

We are on schedule to release a final production version in February 2014.

DMPTool adds 100th institution!

From Flickr by Anvica

From Flickr by Anvica

We are pleased to announce that as of September 23rd, with the addition of Baylor University100 institutions have taken the step of customizing the DMPTool to provide local guidance and resources for their researchers. Check out the full list of participating institutions.

While institutions do not have to customize the DMPTool for their researchers to take advantage of the tool, taking that step can provide many benefits to their researchers as well as their data management and stewardship programs. These include:

  • Integration with Shibboleth so that researchers can use their institutional credentials;
  • Ability to add help text and links to institutional resources;
  • Ability to add contact information for the units that support data management; and
  • Ability to add text that can be copied into a data management plan.

With the release of the new and improved DMPTool in early 2014, there will be even more functionality for those institutions who integrate with and customize the tool. These features include:

  • An interface to manage all of the customizations directly;
  • Improved institutional branding;
  • The ability to add institution specific data management requirements;
  • Reviews of DMPs on a case by case basis or as a required step for all researchers; and
  • Multiple roles for administrative users including as editors of requirements and reviewers of DMPs, so that you can have appropriate teams working on the DMPTool.

If you are interested in talking to us more about this process, please contact us. It is a straightforward process that we are happy to walk you through.

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.

DMPTool2 Project — August 2013 Report


We have had a very busy past month, with lots of progress on all fronts.  We are rather deep into application development, finalizing UI plans and transitioning to design work, and are aggressively reaching out to expand the user base of the DMPTool.  During this time, we’ve also come to the realization that our project timeline was imperfect, and we are more realistically looking at a full completion at the beginning of February 2014.  We’ve added a few extra pieces of design, testing, and data porting which weren’t originally included, but which we see as critical.

Technical Team

During the past month the development team has been focused and has completed functionality for the profile, administrator, institution, and authorization pages, authorization and role assignments, and has been doing significant testing.  The team will soon move the application over to a stage environment for further testing.  The UI sub-team has spent significant time on wireframe revision to cover all anticipated immediate use cases.  These wireframes are now in transition to a design vendor for development of the graphical design version for the end user.

Communications/Outreach Team

The outreach team is now actively recruiting new institutions to enable Shibboleth authentication, and has already had a very positive response.  All of this work is being tracked through a customer relationship management (CRM) system, which makes coordination of communications across the team far more efficient than previously.   The first major push has been on ARL institutions to work on advancing that metric.    The third advisory board meetings have been scheduled for August and September.  The team has also increased presentations on the project over the past month, with Carly Strasser and Amber Budden presenting at the annual Ecological Society of America conference, and Sarah Shreeves presenting at the CLIR Data Curation Fellows meeting and at the BePress Digital Commons meeting.   We have also submitted proposals to the Digital Library Federation Forum (accepted), the American Geophysical Union meeting (waiting), the HubZero HUBBub meeting (accepted), and the Research Data Alliance Plenary 2 (about to submit).


As many of the metrics are dependent upon the release of the new version, we have no progress to report on those.  The metrics involving growth of our ARL and Shibboleth user bases are advancing now with dedicated focus from the outreach team, and we expect to see improved numbers on those by next month.  Our metrics for doubling user in user numbers and plans are nearly complete, and may be reached by the end of August.

Overall Project

We are presently right in the middle of the most work intensive period of the project across all areas, and expect to report significant advancements by next month.   As noted in the beginning, the schedule has been adjusted slightly, and delivery of a production version of the new tool should be expected for February 2014 instead of our original November date.

DMPTool2 Project — July 2013 Report


While technical developments are still underway and on-time, much of the past month’s focus has been on outreach efforts. Not only has the outreach team achieved their objectives for the month, but they have also developed several initiatives that impact the project and its trajectory in positive ways.

Technical Team

In the last month, the technical team has completed all Phase One stages of their development schedule. With all login functionality pieces in place, the team is prepared to begin Phase Two—implementing all remaining functions of the tool, with an estimated completion at the end of September. Meanwhile, user interface (UI) design is underway. Site wireframes are undergoing a second round of review, with a more aesthetic focus. The technical team is collaborating with several others on such design decisions as branding and outsourcing. The team has engaged in continued talks with the Center for Open Science (COS) regarding implementing DMPTool into Open Science Framework. A similar opportunity has arisen with the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative, who have expressed interest in implementing DMPTool in a similar way. Discussions with these organizations should continue within the next month or so. These developments have placed the technical team on-track toward the intended DMPTool2 release date.

Communications/Outreach Team

The outreach team has made significant strides during the past month. The outreach schedule is complete and will be finalized and implemented this week. The team publicized functional requirements and have not only received public enhancements requests but also developed a policy to address such requests with the assistance of the technical team. They have also up a customer relationship management system, in the interest of reaching our Shibboleth and ARL institution authentication goals. The team has coordinated responses to Advisory Board requests and is currently assessing logistics for August meetings. The webinar series continues to meet success, with an average turnout of approximately 70 participants. The consensus is that there is a core of repeat librarian participants. In response, the team is brainstorming alternative outlets to reach other stakeholders. Other current brainstorming projects include: developing a “tiers of participation” matrix to clarify institutional status confusion, and seeking use cases for the technical team. Finally, the outreach team has scheduled an end-of-project meeting for Spring, 2014.


Upon assessing progress toward each goal outlined in Sloan Foundation communications, the project management team and the outreach team set strategic achievement plans in motion. The outreach team continues to implement such plans as the project management team monitors progress. An extensive project tracking system has been set up and distributed to all team members with weekly status updates. Several goals are on-track, including those pertaining to: conference attendance, webinars, open API testing, doubling the user base, and doubling the number of plans. The project management team continues to seek feedback from Advisory Boards as well as through community outreach regarding impact metrics.

Overall Project

As previously expected, the team has made significant progress in the past month. There has been a lot of activity in all areas of the group. With the technical team caught up and the now-expanded outreach team doubling their efforts, a smaller number of project items may carry into next year than previously determined. The project is, therefore, on track to completion by January, 2014.