WG Discipline-specific Guidance for DMPs

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25 Jan 2021
Group(s) submitting the application: 
Meeting objectives: 

1) To discuss the first draft of the online survey and gather feedback

2) To assess interest for the proposed WG within the RDA community 

3) To network among the researchers, professionals and related RDA groups interested in discussing and advancing this topic

4) To engage with the community to identify additional disciplines where subject-specific guidance is needed and collaborate with related efforts to improve DMPs

Meeting agenda: 

Collaborative session notes: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1rYt0qFY9fN_2FvF4KlStKRoK2Wg2uqA3CLPe_10hvE4/edit?usp=sharing

Preliminary agenda:

  • Introduction and general overview of the prospective WG (max. 10 min)

  • Presentation of the first draft of the online survey (max. 20 min)

  • Discussion of the first draft of the online survey (40 min)
    possible questions which could be addressed in the discussion:

    • What is missing? 

    • What other information would be interesting to collect?

    • What should be changed in the survey and why?

    • TBC

  • Discussion about other relevant issues (10 min):

    • What other disciplines would benefit from discipline specific guidance?

    • TBC

  • Summary and next steps of action (10 min.)

Target Audience: 

This topic is relevant to anyone handling research data or supporting research data management activities. For example, please attend this session if you are:

  • a researcher - to discuss current shortcomings of generic DMPs and to share your domain expertise 

  • a data steward, data manager, data librarian or repository curator - to discuss how current DMP templates function for researchers you work with and how templates may be improved

  • a DMP platform provider - to discuss how discipline-specific templates could be incorporated within your platform and how that might improve DMP usage

  • a journal publisher - to share expectations of how more tailored DMPs may improve FAIR data outputs related to published research

  • an institutional or governmental policy maker or research funder - to share expectations of how more tailored DMPs may improve the achievement of policy goals

Group chair serving as contact person: 
Brief introduction describing the activities and scope of the group: 

This working group aims to continue work within the international community to fully support improving the effectiveness of DMPs. Research environments increasingly involve international collaborations, thus it is important to represent varying available tools and policy requirements within the discipline-specific guidance. To gain input from different disciplinary experts, we propose conducting a survey. This survey will solicit feedback from experts to understand how a discipline-specific guidance catalogue could impact their daily workflow and be a useful tool in the creation of data management plans. This survey is the first step in our working plan, and will inform the next steps the group takes in the creation of the guidance.


Groups within RDA, including the DMP Common Standard WG and Exposing DMPs WG, have worked to establish standards and best practices for machine-actionable DMPs as well as a reference model and recommendations for sharing data management plans. While these efforts drastically advance the progress of making DMPs an effective research tool for numerous stakeholders, they could be supplemented with more detailed, disciplinary-specific guidance. Thus, to further advance the relevance, effectiveness, and utility of DMPs, discipline-specific guidance is a necessary component. The discipline-specific adaptations allow DMPs to be better integrated into research. The DMP is then adapted to the needs of the researchers and the challenges of the respective discipline. This makes life easier for the researchers. To our knowledge, there have been a few efforts in this direction, in fields of mechanical engineering by RWTH Aachen University in Germany, archeological research by DANS in the Netherlands and education research by the Leibniz Institute for Social Sciences in Germany, all these efforts were presented during our BoF session in RDA Plenary 16. This working group will develop and expand upon these efforts. 


Initial work in this area was initiated during the Active DMP Interest Group session at the 14th Plenary in Helsinki, Finland. During this session, a lack of discipline specific guidance for data management planning was identified as an area that needed development to support the work of the other working groups (DMP Common Standard WG, Exposing DMPs WG, Engaging Researchers with Research Data IG). Additionally discipline specific guidance. Additionally discipline specific guidance will effectively support the work of stakeholders such as DMP service providers, funders, institutions, researchers and RDM professionals. Individuals interested in this topic with expertise in data management planning support for behavioral and social sciences, life sciences, medical sciences, and engineering have since worked together to develop a working group case statement. This case statement was presented at the 16th Plenary held virtually and hosted through Costa Rica, and a case statement was submitted. During this meeting, further refinement of what discipline specific DMP guidance would look like was discussed, including guidance by data type as well as discipline. 

Short Group Status: 

The WG had a BoF session at P16. The WG has submitted its case statement. It is not endorsed yet (December 20). The WG has received TAB's feedback and will include it in the case statement in a timely manner. So that the case statement can be submitted again by the end of January/ beginning of February 2021. 

In January, we plan to start drafting the online survey and discuss it at P17.

Type of Meeting: 
Working meeting
Avoid conflict with the following group (1): 
Avoid conflict with the following group (2): 
Meeting presenters: 
Briana Ezray, Daniela Hausen,Hollydawn Murray, Ivonne Anders, Jessica Hrudey, Santosh Ilamparuthi, Shannon Sheridan, Yasemin Türkyilmaz-van der Velden