Because good research needs good data

NWO - Dutch Research Council subscription to DMPonline

Maria Cruz | 10 November 2020


Two years ago, at the request of the data stewards from some of the Dutch university libraries, the Dutch Research Council (NWO) added its DMP template to DMPonline. Two years later, we found ourselves proudly signing up a contract with the Digital Curation Centre for delivering DMPonline for NWO in the next three years. What took us down this path and what will DMPonline do for us. 

NWO and Open Science 

NWO is the Dutch national research council. It funds over 7200 research projects per year at public research institutions in the Netherlands, investing close to 1 billion euros per year in research and research infrastructure. 

Open Science is a strategic priority for NWO. Science is increasingly called upon to tackle complex societal issues, requiring dialogue between science and society. Open Science is vital in this regard. By facilitating unimpeded access to research and its results to a much larger audience than to just the research community, Open Science contributes to enhancing the societal impact of research. 

Putting our money where our mouth is 

The transition to Open Science requires sustainable investment in open scholarly infrastructures. Through its Open Science Programme, NWO supports critical Open Science infrastructures and related tools and services.  

As a community-led, open source DMP solution, DMPonline is one of the tools we are proud to support and to recommend to researchers for data management planning.  

Encouraging responsible data management and data sharing through policies  

In October 2016, NWO introduced its research data management policy, aimed at making research data generated as part of NWO funded projects as open and FAIR as possible, as closed as necessary. Encouraging responsible data management practices through careful data management planning has been at the heart of our policy since then. In the research proposal, applicants are asked to consider how they will manage the data the project will generate and plan for which data will be preserved and be made publicly available. After a proposal has been awarded funding, the data management section needs to be elaborated into a data management plan. A funded project can only start once NWO has approved the data management plan. 

Going beyond issuing policies to provide practical tools and support 

Policies are important drivers in the implementation of good data management practices but they need to be accompanied with adequate tools and professional support. Since January 2020, NWO requires researchers to complete their data management plans in consultation with research data management support staff at their home institution. This support is available at the vast majority of public research institutions in the Netherlands and NWO is investing in the creation or further development of Digital Competence Centers at the Dutch public research institutions.  

DMPonline simplifies the data management planning process for researchers and institutions 

Many research institutions in the Netherlands already use DMPonline to support researchers in the process of writing a data management plan. For example, at the VU Amsterdam, “requests for feedback on DMPs (through the ‘request feedback’ button in DMPonline) are forwarded to the appropriate faculty data steward, who provides comments on the plans in tool.” At Utrecht University, DMPonline is used to simplify the process of writing a data management plan: “DMPonline accomplishes this by bringing together all of the funder and institutional templates under one roof.”  

What will DMPonline do for us? 

Besides providing the core DMPonline service for NWO with custom branding and URL, our contract with DCC will deliver a suite of additional features that were designed with funders, and with NWO in particular, in mind – for example, usage statistics on the use of the NWO template. Since January 2020, researchers funded by NWO are allowed to submit data management plans prepared according to their institution’s template, provided the template has been approved by NWO. A workflow will be developed for us that will allow institutional administrators to mark their institutional templates as approved by NWO.  

Congratulations to DMPonline on its 10th anniversary! Here’s to another very successful 10 years! 

We would like to say thank you to Maria Cruz for sharing with us this blog post for DMPonline 10th year anniversary! 

As always, we are keen to hear from you about how you use the tool, how RDM works at your institution and fits within your workflows and also how we can improve it, so please feel free to contact us at the details below: 

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