What is the DMPTool?
The DMPTool is a free, open-source, online application that helps researchers create data management plans (DMPs). These plans are now required by many funding agencies as part of the grant proposal submission process. The DMPTool provides a click-through wizard for creating a DMP that complies with funder requirements. It also has direct links to funder websites, help text for answering questions, and data management best practices resources.
The original DMPTool was a grassroots effort, beginning in 2011 with eight institutions partnering to provide in-kind contributions of personnel and development. The effort was in direct response to demands from funding agencies, such as the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health, that researchers plan for managing their research data. As a result, the contributing institutions consolidated expertise and reduced costs in addressing data management needs by joining forces.
The original contributing institutions were: University of California Curation Center (UC3) at the California Digital Library, DataONE, Digital Curation Centre (DCC-UK), Smithsonian Institution, University of California, Los Angeles Library, University of California, San Diego Libraries, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign Library, and the University of Virginia Library. Given the success of the first version of the DMPTool, the founding partners obtained funding from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to create a second version of the tool, released in 2014.
The proliferation of open data policies across the globe led to an explosion of interest in the DMPTool and the UK-based version, DMPonline. So in 2016, UC3 and DCC decided to formalize our partnership to codevelop and maintain a single open-source platform. By providing a core infrastructure for DMPs, we could extend our reach and move best practices forward, allowing us to participate in a truly global open science ecosystem.
The DMPTool continues to be a community support tool. The tool's Editorial Board provides leadership and expertise to ensure that grant requirements and corresponding best practices remain current. Our Board includes representation across disciplines with varied areas of expertise from a wide range of institutions committed to supporting effective research data management.
Networked Data Management Plans
Recent feature developments have focused on transforming the DMP from a static text file into an interoperable, networked hub of information wherein details about a research project can be updated and queried over the project’s lifetime. This new Networked DMP allows information within a DMP to be fed across stakeholders, linking metadata, repositories, and institutions, and allowing for notifications and verification, reporting in real-time. A key goal of this new system is to reduce the burden on researchers by generating automated updates to a plan and facilitating seamless integration with systems and groups that support research.
We welcome integrations that utilize this new system. The DMPTool API complies with the RDA Common Standard Metadata schema v1.0, which is recommended to transfer DMP metadata between systems. If you have an integration project, please contact us.
How to Participate in the DMPTool
DMPTool participants are institutions, profit, and nonprofit organizations, individuals, or other groups that leverage the DMPTool as an effective and efficient way to create data management plans. Our community of participating organizations helps to sustain and support the DMPTool in the following ways:
- Establish institutional authentication with the DMPTool (Shibboleth)
- Customize the tool with resources, help text, suggested answers, or other information
- Contribute to the maintenance and enhancement of the DMPTool codebase
- Help ensure that the DMPTool maintains its relevance and utility by notifying the DMPTool Helpdesk when:
- Funders release new requirements that are not reflected in the tool
- Errors, mistakes, or misinformation are discovered in the tool
- The tool's functionality is compromised (i.e., slow response times, poor performance, or software bugs)
The following principles guide our work on the DMPTool. Organizations that actively participate in the DMPTool community agree to abide by these principles.
- Continuous improvement of the DMPTool's utility and features
- User-driven requirements and priorities for development
- Enthusiasm for the DMPTool
- Commitment to an open process for development, enhancement, and improvement (see Panton Principles)
- Quality of code and materials created (Contributor guidelines)