Exposing Data Management Plans WG Case Statement

24 Jul 2017

Exposing Data Management Plans WG Case Statement

A variety of stakeholders are showing growing interest in exposing data management plans (*) to other actors (human/machine) in the research lifecycle, beyond their creator and the funder or institution that mandates their production. Interested stakeholders include researchers themselves, funders, institutions, and a variety of service providers and community organisations including repositories, institutions, journals, publishers, and providers of tools for writing and maintaining plans.  Implementation and adoption is currently hampered by two problems:

  • A lack of standards for expression and interchange of DMPs

  • Insufficient understanding of the needs of users and the benefits and risks of different modes of action

This proposed working group will address both of these issues; the issue of a standardised form of expression for DMPs is the concern of the proposed DMP Common Standards Working Group. The group’s output will include a reference model and alternative strategies for exposing plans, to best serve community interests in meeting FAIR principles,  based on shared experience of ‘early adopters’ in test implementations. It will be supported by work to gauge user needs and motivations for exposing DMPs as well as perceived risks and disbenefits. Note * our main focus is on Data Management Plans (DMPs) but we will seek examples of Software Management Plans (SMPs) where relevant to the exposure use cases of interest to the Active DMP Interest Group.   

The key beneficiaries of the WG outcomes will be stakeholders with a common interest in using Data or Software Management Plans as instruments for demonstrating that research products have been managed according to research community standards and generic principles (e.g. that the research products should be FAIR), and that recognition is given for doing so. 

There is potential value in exposing plans for a variety of stakeholders involved in their production and consumption. These include researchers themselves, funders, institutions, and a variety of service providers and community organisations including repositories, institutions, journals, publishers, and providers of tools to help write and maintain plans. The WG will provide a Use Cases Catalogue to describe implementation scenarios and articulate their benefits to researchers and other stakeholders, with case studies of how those benefits have been realised. Through consultation with users of well-established planning tools (DMPTool, DMPonline), the Use Cases Catalogue will also identify the degree of acceptance among researchers for the levels of exposure/publication each use case entails, barriers to realising the benefits, and any concerns about undesirable impacts.

Generalising from the scenarios and  examples contained in the Use Cases Catalogue, the WG will produce a Reference Model to document generic components and workflows for exposing plans (and metadata about them), and offer recommendations for further action by each of the relevant stakeholder groups . By gaining endorsements for the Reference Model from relevant stakeholders for each use case we will provide a community endorsed approach to using plans to share demonstrable advancement in data sharing practice.

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