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.