Hang A DMPTool Poster!

In addition to working hard on the new version of the DMPTool (to be released in May), we are also working on outreach and education materials that promote the use of the DMPTool. Our latest addition to these materials is a generic poster about the DMPTool, including information about what’s to come in the new version. You can download a PDF version, or a PPTX version that you can customize for your institution. We plan on updating this poster when the new version of the DMPTool is released, so keep an eye out!

“DMPTool: Expert Resources & Support for Data Management Planning”. 30″x38″ poster

Posters available as:

  • PDF (cannot be customized)
  • PPTX (can be customized)

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 (uc3@ucop.edu) 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?

Report on DMPTool at ESA 2013

Last week in Minneapolis, about 4,000 ecologists got together to geek out and enjoy the midwest for eight days. The DMPTool had a couple of appearances in the course of this 2013 Ecological Society of America Meeting– a workshop on managing ecological data and a session on data management planning and the DMPTool. It was also mentioned in numerous presentations about the DataONE Investigator Toolkit, of which the DMPTool is a part.

Here I want to briefly mention the special session on the DMPTool, which occurred on the first official day of #ESA2013. The session was 75 minutes long, and Bill Michener of DataONE and I were sharing the podium. He planned to introduce DMPs generally, followed by my explanation and demonstration of the DMPTool, including the new version of the tool due out in Winter 2013-2014.

Fifteen minutes before the presentations were due to start, the room was packed. Attendees were sitting on the floor in the aisles by 5 minutes before, and there was a nonstop trickle of attendees entering throughout the 75 minute session. The catch? We had no power.

That’s right: Bill and I were forced to talk about data management plans, demo the DMPTool, and discuss future plans to a packed room, all without a microphone, a projector, or even a chalk board. We managed to get through the session, and folks seemed to appreciate the impromptu soliloquies on data management by myself and Bill. The power came on about 5 minutes before the close of the session (of course), at which point I scurried behind the podium to show screen shots of the DMPTool. By the time I looked up from my laptop, about 60% of the audience had left. Apparently slides were not the big draw for our session.

My takeaway lessons? When giving a talk, be prepared for anything; people enjoy the element of surprise and improvisation; and researchers are dying to learn about DMPs, regardless of the potential hurdles put before them. This is most likely due to funder requirements for DMPs, but I’d like to think it also relates to my and Bill’s dulcet tones.

The slides I didn’t get to show are available on slideshare.


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!

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