Because good research needs good data

How does DMPonline v.4 work?

Sarah Jones | 04 December 2013

We’ve made some major changes to DMPonline this year in light of user feedback:

  • Users were confused which DMP template to pick, so we’ve simplified this process. We now ask a few quick questions to determine which set of questions and guidance to present, rather than providing a list of checkboxes to select.
  • Users wanted to answer funder questions directly. We now present these rather than using the DCC Checklist throughout.
  • Users also wanted to see tailored guidance. We now use a set of themes to associate guidance from institutions, disciplines and groups such as the DCC with each question. The guidance is drawn in when users select to display it.

Selecting a template

When users start to create a plan, we ask them if they are applying for funding. If so, and they pick a funder with requirements for DMPs, these questions and guidance will be presented.

We then ask about the institution. This is pre-selected, but can be changed if users want to respond to the requirements and guidance from another university.

Occasionally, a third dropdown option is presented when different templates are available. Some universities have one set of questions for postgraduate students and another for staff.

If no funder is selected and the institution doesn’t have a DMP template, we present the DCC Checklist as a short set of generic questions to answer.

Finally users have the option to select additional guidance. This could be generic guidance from the DCC, discipline-specific guidance, or guidance from departments/units within an institution.

Answering funder questions

Users were concerned that their answers didn’t always match the funder requirements in the previous version of DMPonline, as we matched these to DCC Checklist questions instead. We now present each funder’s requirements directly, using the particular sections, questions and wording they ask for. This can be seen in the AHRC Technical Plan example below.

Tailored guidance

There are a range of options for presenting guidance in DMPonline. The right-hand panel presents relevant guidance from the funder, university, department/unit, discipline and DCC, depending on which guidance the users wants to see.

There are also options to provide suggested answers as boilerplate text for researchers to copy & paste, or a series of pre-defined dropdown options.

Please try out the tool and let us know what you think.