IDCC15 Demo Sessions: DMPOnline

A summary of the demo session by DMPOnline given at IDCC15

Monica Duke | 11 February 2015

Demo of DMPOnline at IDCC15

Sarah Jones (DCC) jointly with Marta Ribeiro (DCC) gave a demo on the latest developments of DMPOnline.

The new features of DMPOnline were the focus of a demo given at IDCC15 on Day One. Version four of DMPOnline was completely redesigned and launched in December 2013. Since then new features have been added. The idea of different project phases in which the plan may be updated have been introduced (pre-award, during project, post-award). This ties in with the idea of encouraging an 'active' plan which is revisited and updated as the project progresses. The general idea that researchers create plans based on templates remains the same. Templates can be generated based on funder or institution, and tailored guidance, suitable to funder or institutional requirements and support, can be presented (and combined).

In summary, some of the features shown were:

  • A simple sign-up interface, for researchers and administrators.  Shobboleth-based authentication is supported (but currently geared towards UK institutions). Institutional selection of templates happens automatically when institutional credentials are used for sign-in.
  • When creating a plan, an overall summary of the sections that are to be filled is presented. While filling a plan, a progress bar shows how far along the process has moved (as a %).
  • A sharing feature is available for plans, to support collaboration. There is a choice of permissions that can be granted when sharing a plan (co-owner, editor, read-only). An email invite is sent to the person with whom the plan is shared.
  • The researcher is presented with a list of their plans (and connected actions). Plans can be filtered and the display of information about plans shown in the results can be controlled.
  • Export formats for plans have been expanded, with greater control over the sections or individual questions to be exported, font size, type and margin (to meet funder requirements).
  • Insittutional administration is better supported. Additional admin roles can be assigned; there is more control over institutional templates to define guidance questions, default or suggested answers for users of those templates. Overviews of plans and users can be requested through the interface.

The Roadmap for future development was also presented. This has been shaped by a recent user meeting. The user group expressed a strong priority for end user improvements to help users focus their energies on getting the job done. Users want examples to suit their context, and they want to be able to add comments to plan contents as a means of communicating while collaborating on plans. Institutional support staff also have requirements, such as being able to determine what stage plans are at (being reviewed, submitted to funder) and to find completed plans. Comments from plan reviewers should also be flagged.

Other ideas for future development include work on an API. Some use cases have been put forward to be explored through the Jisc Research Data Spring; the ideas include the ability to link to institutional systems, to mine plans and generate metadata, as well as exporting plans to reference collections. Increasing international interest also suggests that the future may hold support for multilingual versions and locale aware support as possible developments. A mailing list for users has been recently set up, and it is hoped that it will comprise user representing different groups (researchers, admin support, developers).

A lively question and answer session followed the demo. Some slides related to the demo are available.