Jul 092013

We planned to produce discipline specific examples DMPs for our researchers.  However, as we prepared our best practice advice we learnt how many of the DMP answers for the working data stages are similar throughout the university in respective of the subject, and that the main differences are in the funding-body requirements for archiving and preservation.

We therefore endeavoured to develop a DMP template for the University of Hertfordshire that would stand alone, cover the full life cycle of research, and not require a great deal of extra information on top of what is already answered by the researcher in other funding-body templates.  We are conscious that researchers are not inclined to repeat themselves and that by limiting the answers that are unique to the UH template, they are more likely to complete an additional template.

We therefore began by comparing the DMP questions within the existing RCUK templates on DMPonline to the checklist in our data policy – this checklist has subsequently been removed from the UH data policy in a favour of a requirement to complete the DMPonline UH template.  We found that 95% of the UH checklist was covered by one RCUK template or another.

We therefore decided to include the 50 questions that were also in the RCUK templates, adding only contextual information at the beginning and four questions unique to UH which focus on file naming conventions and resources for computing.

We have sent the draft UH template to our champions to gather multidisciplinary advice before we upload our template this summer by which point our website will also be finalised and published.  Our main concerns with this template is that it should be sent post-award to our document management system (DMS), where it will be store in perpetuity.

We have already received a number of requests for help with DMPs and our champions have been contacted with collaborations based on their basic knowledge of DMPs, all of which suggests that training sessions based on DMPs will be popular and that we should hurry to get our template in place on DMPonline before too many of our researchers complete other templates.