Because funding agencies like the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) now require data management and sharing plans as part of grant applications, researchers tasked with writing these documents may feel at a loss about where to start. Luckily, University of Iowa researchers have support in this process. Not only does Research Data Services at the UI Libraries offer workshops, consultations, and web resources to facilitate the writing of data management and sharing plans, we’re also partnering with DMPTool to offer even more assistance for researchers.
DMPTool is a free, open-source web platform designed specifically to help users write data management and sharing plans. Originally created by eight research institutions (including UCLA, UC San Diego, University of Virginia, and the Smithsonian Institution), DMPTool now has over 300 partners – including the University of Iowa.
Here’s how DMPTool can be useful:
- It offers step-by-step instructions. DMPTool walks users through the process of writing their plans with a click-through wizard. It has fill-in fields for the basics, like project title, abstract, and contributors, while also guiding users through describing their data types, standards, and preservation strategies. It even offers example wording someone can use as they craft their plan.
- It includes funder-specific templates. Since different granting bodies require different elements in their data management and sharing plans, DMPTool offers templates tailor-made to meet the needs of various funders. In addition to heavy hitters like NIH and NSF, DMPTool also has built-in templates for many other agencies – including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), United States Geological Survey (USGS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and dozens more.
- It integrates local help from the University of Iowa Libraries. Because Iowa is a DMPTool partner institution, our researchers have access to some added features – like the ability to submit your plan directly to a data librarian at the Libraries so you can receive feedback on it. When writing your plan you can also see UI-specific tips by clicking the box under “Select Guidance” in the Project Details tab. If you have questions at any point in the process, DMPTool also includes links to Research Data Services’ email and website at the top of every page. Just ensure you set up your account with your UI email address and these services will automatically be integrated into your dashboard.
If you’re ready to try out DMPTool, our website has some tips for getting started. Whether or not you use DMPTool to write your data management and sharing plans, Research Data Services is here to support you. We’re available by email, offer guidance on our website, put on workshops, and do one-on-one consultations as well.