Data management planning: the what, the why, the who, the how


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Session on DMP tools at INTECOL2013, London, August 2013, as part of a DataONE-organised workshop on data management for ecologists.

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  • What I’m going to cover
  • A DMP is a basic statement of how you will create, manage, share and preserve your data Funders expect the decisions to be justified, particularly where it ’ s not in line with their policy (e.g. limits on data sharing)
  • A DMP is a basic statement of how you will create, manage, share and preserve your data Funders expect the decisions to be justified, particularly where it ’ s not in line with their policy (e.g. limits on data sharing)
  • The DCC Checklist is by nature very long, and its length was felt to be off-putting to researchers. Most of them don ’ t want to deal with this stuff even at a basic level, and a long Checklist with over 100 questions was not going to enjoy a large takeup. No matter how many times we said “ you don ’ t need to fill it all in, just the bits that are relevant to you at this time ” the message wasn ’ t going to sink in, so we developed a fairly basic wizard style tool which asked a few questions about what stage your research was at, who your funder was, etc, and then pulled out only the most relevant questions from the Checklist to help you meet the pertinent requirements. So instead of seeing 115 questions, you might be presented with only 15 or 20. Much better. We then added functionalities like export and customisation, and some generic guidance to help with some of the more esoteric sections such as file format selection and metadata.
  • Similarly, DMP Online can also be used in conjunction with other tools that support the data management/curation lifecycle, be these DCC tools or tools from other sources.
  • So in summary, these are some of the key DMP-related resources.
  • The main things to remember about DMPs is that all research projects are different- the DMP will vary with context. Apart from a few very specialised areas like backup - there are no universal rights and wrongs. R esearch data management by nature involves multiple stakeholders, so planning is important as a communication mechanism. The process of producing a plan (i.e. engaging with others and deciding on the best way forward) is as important as the plan itself.
  • Thank you.
  • Data management planning: the what, the why, the who, the how

    1. 1. INTECOL 2013 workshop 22 August 2013 Data management planning: the what, the why, the who, the how Martin Donnelly Digital Curation Centre University of Edinburgh
    2. 2. Running order 1. What and why: 1. Thinking it through, then writing it down 2. Carrots and sticks 2. Who: roles and responsibilities 3. How: DMPonline and DMP Tool
    3. 3. 1. WHAT and WHY?
    4. 4. What is a DMP? • Research funders (and other bodies) often ask for a short statement/plan to be submitted alongside grant applications – in the UK, 6 of the 7 RCUK funders require something like this as part of the Je-S application process (and NERC ask for two versions) – in the US, as of 2011 the NSF requires that all grant applications include a data management plan of no more than 2 pages (also true of NIH) – An EC requirement/expectation is coming in FP8/Horizon 2020 • Institutions increasingly see a benefit in asking their researchers to do this too • As do some publishers…
    5. 5. Why do they want this? • Planning is an important early stage in the research lifecycle • For researchers, it’s an opportunity to think things through, to prepare for longer-term preservation, and to identify tacit assumptions which may exist in multi-partner / multi-disciplinary research • From the funder’s point of view, DMPs contribute to the grant awards process. They also help to drive efficiencies and improve the longevity of data assets
    6. 6. Typical DMP contents In general, funders want to know: - What kinds of data will be created and how? - How will the data be documented and described? - Are there ethical and Intellectual Property issues? - What are the arrangements for data sharing and third-party access? - What is the strategy for longer-term preservation? - In short, how and why: list methods and standards, justify decisions, and note any limitations (e.g. on access) But they all have different requirements, and express them in different ways…
    7. 7. 2. WHO?
    8. 8. - Just the principal investigator? (usually directly/ultimately responsible) - But what about the research assistants? - And the institution’s funding office? - And the Library/IT? - What about partners based in other institutions? - And commercial partners? - Etc and so on So, who’s involved in this process?
    9. 9. Researcher Research Support Office Data Library / Repository Computing Support Faculty Ethics Committee Etc... DATA MANAGEMENT …PLAN? UNRULY DATA
    10. 10. 3. HOW?
    11. 11. What do & do? Two free and Open Source web-based tools which enable users to... i.Create, store and update Data Management Plans across the research lifecycle ii.Meet a variety of specific data-related requirements (from funders, institutions, publishers, etc.) in a single place iii.Get tailored guidance on best practice and helpful contacts, at the point of need iv.Customise, export and share DMPs in a variety of formats in order to facilitate communication within and beyond research projects
    12. 12. i. DMPonline walkthrough
    13. 13. - User logs in and starts a new DMP by filling in some basic details. She then chooses the template(s) she needs. - Each template contains a subset of the checklist questions, which have been mapped to the requirements of the funder, institution, discipline, publishers, etc. Templates also contain detailed guidance and links to further information to help the user on her way. - The DMP owner can share access with collaborators or with support staff. They can therefore work together on different sections of the plan. - Plans can be exported at any stage, and in a variety of different formats; once complete, they can be submitted alongside the funding application. How it works
    14. 14. Screenshot #1: Login
    15. 15. Screenshot #2: create a plan
    16. 16. Screenshot #3: plan homescreen
    17. 17. Screenshot #4: guidance
    18. 18. Screenshot #5: tailored templates
    19. 19. Screenshot #6: sharing
    20. 20. Screenshot #7: export process
    21. 21. Screenshot #8: export result
    22. 22. ii. DMP Tool walkthrough
    23. 23. As part of the workflow… DMP tools can also be used in conjunction with other tools that support the data management/curation lifecycle, e.g.… - DAF (Data Asset Framework) - DRAMBORA (Digital Repository Audit Method Based On Risk Assessment) - CARDIO (Collaborative Assessment of Research Data Infrastructure and Objectives) - LIFE - Planets testbed tools - CRIS and RMS systems - DataONE tools - and more
    24. 24. PRO -Users prefer using an online tool to paper templates -They like the sharing functionality -Considerable demand for institutional customisations CON -Users generally find the current screen layout and user interface too complex -Some also complained about the mapping process, and say they would prefer to answer funder questions verbatim (as is the case with DMP Tool) DMPonline evaluation (2012)
    25. 25. - We’ll be simplifying and improving the user interface ASAP - We’ve produced a new version of the Checklist, with fewer questions. In time this *might* develop along the lines of a taxonomy of data management, and we’re looking into linking up with work that CASRAI are doing (which we influenced via the original Checklist!) - We’re freshening up the associated guidance - Users will be able to select new templates that don’t map to the Checklist at all, or relate to it in a different way - New system will retain compatibility with existing content See DCC Director Kevin Ashley’s blog post at Future plans (short and longer term)
    26. 26. DMPTool 2: Responding to the Community DMP Tool: Improvements in 2013
    27. 27. DMPTool2: Responding to the Community
    28. 28. A few more DMP resources – “Dealing with Data” (Lyon, 2008) – Analysis of Funder Policies (Jones, 2009) – Checklist for a Data Management Plan (Donnelly and Jones, 2009-2012) – “How to Develop a Data Management and Sharing Plan” (Jones, 2011) – “Data Management Plans and Planning” (Donnelly, 2012) in Pryor (ed.) Managing Research Data, London: Facet Links to all DCC resources via
    29. 29. Key things to remember All research projects are different, so there’s no one- size-fits-all DMP approach The DMP will depend upon the nature of the research AND its context (funder, domain, institution(s) etc) DMPs are useful communication tools between multiple stakeholders Keep the twin goals of RDM in mind throughout, i.e.  Keep sensitive data safe  Enable reuse via ongoing access
    30. 30. Thank you Image credits: Slide 1 - Slide 3 - Slide 7 - Slide 9 - Thanks to DMPTool’s Bill Michener and Carly Strasser for the use of their slides. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 UK: Scotland License. Martin Donnelly Digital Curation Centre University of Edinburgh Twitter: @mkdDCC For other DCC services see or follow us on twitter @digitalcuration and #ukdcc