DMPTool2 Project – Functional Requirements

In our last post, we mentioned that we would be talking more about the development work on the next generation of the DMPTool: the DMPTool2. We have now made available our current draft of the functional requirements. For those of you who haven’t read a functional requirements document, these are fairly detailed documents that specify the capabilities and, well, functions of a system. But this document should begin to give those of you who are interested a sense of where we’re expanding and adding functionality to the DMPTool.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be highlighting very specific areas to talk in more detail (and in more colloquial language!) about these developments.

DMPTool2 Project – Advisory Board Meetings

The DMPTool 2 project has two advisory boards: one for researchers and one for administrative users, such as librarians, research offices, and IT professionals. The role of both is to provide feedback and guidance on the development of the DMPTool as well as our outreach and communication efforts. May was a busy month for both sets of board members, as we held two (virtual) meetings with each advisory board, with the second meetings. We thought we’d highlight here some of the things that we talked about at these informative and enlightening meetings.

For both boards, we shared examples of the functionality, roles, and wireframes that are under development for the next phase of the DMPTool. For both groups we highlighted the new functionality that will allow researchers to truly collaborate with others on the development of a DMP. For the Administrative Advisory Board, we focused in large part on the new functionality for institutions: ability to customize resource templates, such as local links and help text, requirement templates if an institution has a need to set up their own DMP requirements,  and new types of institutional roles such as editors. This was the first chance we had had to share these with people outside of the project team, and we were thrilled to hear positive response to these developments, as well as feedback and suggestions. (Also, watch this space as we’ll be highlighting a lot of this functionality over the next few weeks!)

In response to questions from the first meetings with the advisory boards, we had begun to investigate further some of the usage patterns of the tool. While we have always collected use statistics, we haven’t done much in depth exploration or segmentation of these – for example, tracking numbers of repeat users or understanding spikes in usage of the tool. Working with this data and hearing the questions from board members is helping us to better understand the types of data that would be interesting to the institutions that use the tool, but also how we begin to measure the impact of the tool. For example, is the number of repeat users within a year a strong metric of success? How many researchers apply multiple times for funding within a year? The advisory boards are helping us to think critically about these issues.

We are lucky to have such engaged advisory boards and we encourage you to share your thoughts with board members as well as with us directly!

DMPTool2 Project — June 2013 Report


DMPTool2 is currently immersed in the execution phases of the project. Each team has met significant project deadlines and milestones. Furthermore, the group is deeply engaged with each of the User Advisory Boards, implementing feedback into the project as well as engaging in constructive discussion with each board.

Technical Team

The technical team has made significant progress on development. The technical development schedule has been finalized and is currently on track. Much of the first of four planned phases is complete. Initial wireframes were presented to Administrative User and Researcher Advisory Boards at the end of May. The team is currently processing feedback from the boards to influence some remaining minor changes. As all the login functionality pieces fall into place, focus has shifted toward user interface design. Most functionality should be in place by the end of August, when efforts will transition toward the open API. In preparation, the technical team has already reached out to the Center for Open Science to discuss integrating the DMPTool2 into their Open Science Framework.

Communications/Outreach Team

The Outreach Coordinator position faced significant bureaucratic delays in May; however, with the coordinator now hired, the team is at work developing an outreach plan. Meanwhile, the team was successful in attaining targeted feedback and directing specific questions to the Advisory Boards in May. The communications team is currently coordinating responses to board inquiries and tentatively scheduling the next meeting for the beginning of September. Furthermore, while the team regularly receives collaborative agreements from Partner Institutions, we have only received 30 agreements. The outreach team is currently discussing strategies to attain the rest in a timely manner. Finally, the recently-launched webinar series has met success. The first two sessions had 150 and 80 participants, respectively.


The outcome metrics outlined in Sloan Foundation communications are currently being used to track and evaluate project success. After defining each metric, the DMPTool team has assessed its progress toward each goal as well as a tentative due date for each. The project management team is currently discussing an objective-based strategy with the outreach team and technical team. Furthermore, we have presented initial impact metrics to Advisory Boards, the feedback from which has proved to be useful in refocusing the team’s current concentration.

Overall Project

Though it is still estimated that certain aspects may carry into early next year, the overall project is on track to end on time. In the next month, we expect to see significant strides in technical development and outreach efforts.

DMPTool2 Project – May 2013 Report


DMPTool2 is at the point of transition from formal planning activities to startup efforts toward the execution phases of the project.

Technical Team

Many of the planning and preparation goals have been accomplished and the technical team is moving forward on development. Both application developers have been hired and have commenced work as of May 1st. The functional specifications have been revised and reviewed and initial wireframes have been drafted. We are currently working through revising and making minor changes to wireframes and user stories and will present them to Researcher and Administrative User Advisory Boards for feedback on May 30th. The updated technical development schedule is nearly complete and will be shared soon.

Communications/Outreach Team

Candidate evaluation for the Sloan Outreach Coordinator position began on May 2nd, as planned, and we hope to have that position filled within the next month or so. The Researcher and Administrative User Advisory Boards have begun meeting, with initial meetings both in early May. These meetings focused on review and discussion of high-level project issues and technical specifications. The next set of meetings is scheduled for the end of May, and will focus on more targeted feedback.  With the newly implemented governance structure in place, we continue to enroll institutions as “Partners” through signed collaborative agreements. We maintain our goal to enroll all currently authenticating institutions by the end of May. Furthermore, the outreach team has successfully launched a webinar series on the DMPTool blog, already garnering significant community interest.


There have been significant developments in project metrics. The outcome metrics outlined in Sloan Foundation communications will be used to track and evaluate project success. We are currently creating objective-based strategies for each. Longer-term impact metrics are still in development and we are still evaluating the best choices. We will seek more targeted feedback on them during the meetings at the end of May, and likely via broader community discussion opportunities.

Overall Project

Though we expect that certain project aspects may carry into early next year due to previously stated delays, we are quickly catching up to our original project plans. Now that the project is fully staffed, with a complete set of requirements, we are moving forward quickly on development.

-Andrew Sallans, University of Virginia Library, DMPTool2 Project Manager


DMPTool2 Project – April 2013 Report

While the coding has not yet begun, we have made significant progress over the past month in continuing to get pieces in place to strengthen the overall project and community effort. We continue to make frequent announcements on the blog and social media presences to share the status on various project fronts, so please consult those sources for more detail on issues outlined below.

Technical Team
Much of the past month’s technical effort has been spent on review and revision of specifications and hiring of staff. A revised specification document is now complete, along with basic use cases, and each will proceed in the next week forward into development of initial wireframes. In the area of staffing, one of two application developers began on 4/1 at CDL, and interviews continue to fill a second position. In addition, we now have a UI designer on-board at Purdue who will be working on the wireframe and UI aspects during this process. We are presently determining the best process for community review and feedback on technical specifications.

Communications/Outreach Team
The Sloan outreach coordinator position has been posted at UIUC and candidate review will begin 5/2. Both Researcher and Administrative User Advisory Boards are now fully composed, posted on the public website, and initial phone meetings are scheduled for May. Initial meetings will consist of a high-level project introduction and review of technical specifications and plans. The governance structure is now being implemented, and most of the originating institutions have signed the agreement already. We are just beginning the process of enrolling institutions currently setup with authentication to shift them to “Partner” status. We hope to get most of them onboard within a month.

Nothing new to report. We have not yet fully settled on metrics for use in evaluating 1) project success or 2) impact of the new DMPTool. We have an extensive list produced at the kick-off meeting, but are still sorting and determining best choices. We plan to gather feedback from the advisory boards on this topic.

Overall Project
While we expect most of the work to be completed within 2013, final activities may carry into early 2014 given the delays experienced in receiving and processing awards at the main institutions, and the posting and hiring of several key positions.  We remain generally on track to finish within 12 months, considering the startup delay from receiving and processing awards at the main institutions. We are now beginning to move more smoothly.

-Andrew Sallans, University of Virginia Library, DMPTool2 Project Manager

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.

Now hiring Communications Coordinator and Requirements Builder

The team is pleased to announce that we have a new half-time role available to join the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation DMPTool2 project as a Communications Coordinator and Requirements Builder.  This is a great opportunity to network extensively with the data management community and focus knowledge around what is REALLY important in providing support for data management planning.  This position will report to Sarah Shreeves at UIUC, and remote work candidates will be considered.   We are looking to fill this position quickly, so apply now and don’t delay!

The Communications Coordinator and Requirements Builder is responsible for:
•  Communicating regularly on the status of the DMPTool 2 project via multiple methods including social media, listservs, conferences, and webinars with stakeholders;
•  In conjunction with the PIs on the grant, communicating with the advisory boards for the DMPTool 2;
•  Outreach to libraries, institutions, and funders in order to build requirements for the second phase of the DMPTool;
•  In conjunction with DataONE providing outreach to researchers in order to build requirements for the second phase of the DMPTool; and
•  Gathering feedback from stakeholders on iterations of the DMPTool.

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


DMPTool2 Project – March 2013 Report


The project team held an initial kick-off meeting on February 20/21 in Berkeley, CA, to realign all team members and other participants around the current status of the DMPTool and new objectives supported through the grant.  Following the kick-off meeting, the team has begun weekly conference call meetings and developed specific project deadlines and goals.  A complete meeting report was prepared.

Technical Team

The initial focus has been on posting of application developer positions, interviewing and hiring, and review of proposed technical specifications.  One developer is scheduled to start work on 4/1, and additional interviews are finishing up for the second position.  Technical specifications are being reviewed and updated and plans are underway for moving forward with use cases and wireframes.

Communications/Outreach Team

This team has focused thus far on filling the 50% roles for the Sloan and IMLS grants and recruiting and preparing advisory boards.  The IMLS outreach coordinator has been hired and the Sloan outreach coordinator position is still being processed by UIUC.  Both the Researcher and Administrative advisory boards are nearly full and initial meetings are presently being planned.  Additionally, Facebook and Twitter presences have been established and are gaining followers.

The process of implementing the proposed governance structure has begun, and originating institutions are now signing the official Collaboration Agreement document.  We will then begin enrolling institutions that have setup institutional authentication, and then we will shift into public enrollment of new “Partners”.


We have not yet fully settled on metrics for use in evaluating 1) project success or 2) impact of the new DMPTool.  We have an extensive list produced at the kick-off meeting, but are still sorting and determining best choices.  We plan to gather feedback from the advisory boards on this topic as well.

Overall Project

We remain generally on track to finish within 12 months, considering the startup delay from receiving and processing awards at the main institutions.   Once our key hires of application developers and community engagement/outreach coordinator are settled, we should proceed more smoothly.   We continue to get inquiries into new collaboration and integration opportunities, and remain aware of new developments with funders (ie. February OSTP mandate).  Recent opportunities include integration with Columbia’s IEDADATA DMPTool, VIVO, and eagle-i.


-Andrew Sallans, University of Virginia Library, DMPTool2 Project Manager

Summer DMPTool Internship Opportunity – Apply Now!

As part of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation sponsored DMPTool2 project, the University of Virginia Library will host a summer MLIS intern for 10 weeks (specific period is negotiable), 40 hrs/wk, at $15/hr. Intern may be able to earn credit hours, subject to approvals by their school and the supervisor (see example at Indiana SLIS: The intern will work day-to-day with the grant project manager, Andrew Sallans, and will be responsible for providing support in all active and relevant task areas during the internship period. The internship is intended to provide a mid-project effort boost and to offer a MLIS student real-world experience in working on a complex project to develop software and services for research data management support.   Candidates will be expected to be on-site at the University of Virginia Library in Charlottesville, VA, for the duration of this internship.  Must apply by March 24, 2013 to Andrew Sallans ( at the University of Virginia Library, providing a CV and cover letter indicating why this project is of interest and how this experience will be of value to future career prospects.