DMP Common Standards WG


Group details

Secretariat Liaison: 
Lynn Yarmey
TAB Liaison: 
Wenbo Chu

The need for establishing this working group was articulated during the 9th plenary meeting in Barcelona during the Active DMPs IG session.  The discussion was framed by a white paper by Simms et al. on machine-actionable data management plans (DMPs). The white paper is based on outputs from the IDCC workshop held in Edinburgh in 2017 that gathered almost 50 participants from Africa, America, Australia, and Europe. It describes eight community use cases which articulate consensus about the need for a common standard for machine-actionable DMPs (where machine actionable is defined as “information that is structured in a consistent way so that machines, or computers, can be programmed against the structure”)


The specific focus of this working group is on developing common information model and specifying access mechanisms that make DMPs machine-actionable. The outputs of this working group will help in making systems interoperable and will allow for automatic exchange, integration, and validation of information provided in DMPs, for example, by checking whether a provided PID links to an existing dataset, if hashes of files match to their provenance traces, or whether a license was specified. The common information models are NOT intended to be prescriptive templates or questionnaires, but to provide re-usable ways of representing machine-actionable information on themes covered by DMPs.


The vision that this working group will work to realise is one where DMPs are developed and maintained in such a way that they are fully integrated into the systems and workflows of the wider research data management environment. To achieve this vision we will develop a common data model with a core set of elements. Its modular design will allow customisations and extensions using existing standards and vocabularies to follow best practices developed in various research communities. We will provide reference implementations of the data model using popular formats, such as JSON, XML, RDF, etc.  This will enable tools and systems involved in processing research data to read and write information to/from DMPs. For example, a workflow engine can add provenance information to the DMP, a file format characterization tool can supplement it with identified file formats, and a repository system can automatically pick suitable content types for submission and later automatically identify applicable preservation strategies.


The deliverables will be publicly available under CC0 license and will consist of models, software, and documentation. The documentation will describe functionality and semantics of terms used, rationale, standard compliant ways for customisation, and requirements for supporting systems to fully utilise the capabilities of the developed model.


The working group will be open to everyone and will involve all stakeholders representing the whole spectrum of entities involved in research data management, such as: researchers, tool providers, infrastructure operators, repository staff and managers, software developers, funders, policy makers, and research facilitators. We will take into account requirements of each group.This will likely speed up and increase adoption of the working group outcomes.


The group will predominantly collaborate online, but will use any possibility to meet in person during RDA plenaries, conferences, workshops, hackathons or other events in which their members participate. All meetings in which decisions are made will be documented and their summaries will be circulated using the RDA website.


The work will be performed iteratively and incrementally following the best practices from system and software engineering. We will evaluate preliminary drafts of the model with community to receive early feedback and to ensure that the developed common model is interoperable and exchangeable across implementations. We will also express existing DMPs using the developed common model and will investigate how to support modification of machine actionable DMPs by various tools involved in data management process, while ensuring that proper provenance and versioning information is stored with. Finally, we will build prototypes to investigate possible system integrations and to evaluate to which degree the information contained in the DMPs can be automatically validated and which actions or alerts depending on a DMP state can be triggered, e.g. by sending notifications to repositories or funder systems.


During our work we will monitor parallel efforts and engage with various research communities to find candidates for pilot studies and to transfer the acquired know-how. Towards the end of the lifetime of the working group we will launch pilot projects in which the model will be customised to suit the needs of the identified interested communities. Pilot studies will use the models to integrate systems and demonstrate how machine-actionable DMPs can work.


We believe that the outcomes delivered by this group will contribute to improving the quality of research data and research reproducibility, while at the same time reducing the administrative burden for researchers and systems administrators.

Recent Activity

18 Sep 2017

“R programming language to manage metadata, data complying with OGC standards and controlled vocabularies: the case of Tuna Fisheries”

Dear IG's / WG's,

We would like to invite you to an RDA related event that we believe to be relevant to your activities; “R programming language to manage metadata and data by complying with OGC (EML, CF conventions) standards and controlled vocabularies: the case of Tuna Fisheries” .

When: Tuesday 19 September 2017, from 11:30 to 13:00 local time

Where: room: Mansfield 10, RDA Plenary Meeting, Montreal, Canada

15 Sep 2017

DMP sessions at RDA P10 next week - local & remote participation

To members of the RDA DMP interest group, and of the exposing plans
working group & DMP common standards WG.
We're looking forward to our joint session with the domain repositories
group at RDA P10 in Montreal next week. A near-final agenda is available
on the plenary site:
Once again we have facilities available for remote participation.

07 Sep 2017

Re: [rda-datamanagplans][dmp-common][exposing-plans] Re: [rda-datamanagplans][dmp-common][exposing-plans] Re: [rda-datamanagplans][dmp-common] RE: [rda-datamanagplans][dmp-common][exposing-plans] An unfortunate clash in the schedule for P10

On 07/09/17 17:08, chodacki wrote:
> I agree that the timing probably won’t be changed at this late date. Maybe
> we can suggest with their group that we have a rep from us join there meeting
> and vice versa? Maybe give 5min to plug the other group? Or maybe some
> other configuration to make sure everyone in each understands there is tons
> of overlap?
Yes - I was assuming we would want to send someone there for that reason.
Suggesting a mutual exchange is a much better proposal.

07 Sep 2017

Re: [rda-datamanagplans][dmp-common][exposing-plans] Re: [rda-datamanagplans][dmp-common] RE: [rda-datamanagplans][dmp-common][exposing-plans] An unfortunate clash in the schedule for P10

I agree that the timing probably won’t be changed at this late date. Maybe we can suggest with their group that we have a rep from us join there meeting and vice versa? Maybe give 5min to plug the other group? Or maybe some other configuration to make sure everyone in each understands there is tons of overlap?

07 Sep 2017

Re: [rda-datamanagplans][dmp-common] RE: [rda-datamanagplans][dmp-common][exposing-plans] An unfortunate clash in the schedule for P10

On 06/09/17 17:32, sjDCC wrote:
> They blogged a while back and Steph and I subsequently had a call with them. We actually encouraged them to come to RDA as we want to collaborate more.
> The overlap is significant and Stephanie had already emailed RDA to see if one could be rescheduled but we haven't heard anything back.
OK, that's good to know. I believe Timea Biro handled the scheduling again this
time so she is the best person to ask. However, an email to the secretariat

06 Sep 2017

An unfortunate clash in the schedule for P10

Members of the RDA DMP interest group & the DMP working groups:
I and the the other group co-chairs are looking forward to joining
some of you at the forthcoming plenary in Montreal, and particularly
to the joint session on Wednesday with the domain repositories IG.
Unfortunately it seems we have a clash with what appears to be
a pertinent BoF session. I didn't spot this clash early enough to ask
the RDA Secretariat to reschedule one or other session.
The BoF in question is titled "Data Management Records and Persistent