A postcard from the future: Tools and services from a perfect DMP world

20 February 2017


Data Management Plans (DMPs) are becoming commonplace across the globe, but opportunities are being missed to make the best use of the data and truly support researchers’ practices. What are DMPs being created for? And how can we improve the experience for all involved? This workshop will address ideas for making DMPs machine-actionable and integrating them with other tools and services to embed the DMP in existing workflows. Brainstorming and discussion sessions will give participants an opportunity to help shape the future of DMP services.
DMPs are a thing mostly thanks to research funders requiring them with grant proposals. But the current manifestation of a DMP—a static pdf/doc/txt file created before a project even begins—only contributes to the perception that they’re an annoying administrative exercise. What they really are is an integral part of research practice since today most research (across all disciplines) involves data, code, and other digital components. So can we reimagine DMPs in this context? 
How do researchers manage information? What tools and processes are already in use? If we assume that DMPs are here for good, then how do we position them in existing workflows and convert them into something useful, a tool for improving research practice and ensuring FAIR data comes out at the end? Where are we now regarding DMPs and data sharing?  Where will we be in 2 years? 5 years? 10 years?
Peering into the future we can anticipate enforced mandates and OA2020 in Europe and beyond...
We know better data management is possible and think that better DMP infrastructure that serves as an educational platform and hooks into other systems is part of the solution. We happen to have a piece of DMP infrastructure with a decent level of adoption that we want to use for experimentation. Our larger goal, though, is to connect stakeholders, foster consensus where appropriate/necessary, make this a collaborative and community-driven effort, make sure everyone understands the problems and then work together to solve them.
Preparatory materials for the workshop and notes from discussion are collated in a googledrive folder
The DMPRoadmap code and a timeline for delivery are on the GitHub wiki


Intro on workshop aims and scope

Stephanie Simms (UC3) & Sarah Jones (DCC)


Demo of the INDIGO-DataCloud system and slides

Fernando Aguilar Gómez, IFCA


Demo of life science Data Stewardship wizard

Rob Hooft, DTL


Activity: where do DMPs sit in the lifecycle and what systems could be integrated

Mind map typical workflows, highlighting tools and systems that interface with DMPs and which data could be fed automatically from other systems into DMPs or vice versa?



Group discussion

  • Which systems/services should connect with DMP tools?  
  • What can be automated and what will always have to be completed manually?
  • Workflows for DMPs - consider pathways to sharing/publishing/discovering…
  • How can we bring DMPs closer to data (e.g., should we package DMPs together with data)?





Active Data Management Plans – a vision of what could be achieved

Tomasz Miksa, TU Wien


Activity: Machine-actionable use cases

Join tables based on the most popular topics noted below. In groups, define a use case(s) for the theme proposed and identify requirements. Prioritise these requirements considering what would add most value and is feasible in current circumstances.



DMPRoadmap project update

Stephanie Simms (UC3) & Sarah Jones (DCC)






Costs and Registration

The event was supported by UC3 and the DCC. It was free to attend.