Author : Daniel Spichtinger
Data Management Plans (DMPs) are at the heart of many research funder requirements for data management and open data, including the EU’s Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, Horizon 2020. This article provides a summary of the findings of the DMP Use Case study, conducted as part of OpenAIRE Advance.
As part of the study we created a vetted collection of over 800 Horizon 2020 DMPs. Primarily, however, we report the results of qualitative interviews and a quantitative survey on the experience of Horizon 2020 projects with DMPs.
Results & Conclusions
We find that a significant number of projects had to develop a DMP for the first time in the context of Horizon 2020, which points to the importance of funder requirements in spreading good data management practices. In total, 82% of survey respondents found DMPs useful or partially useful, beyond them being “just” an European Commission (EC) requirement.
DMPs are most prominently developed within a project’s Management Work Package. Templates were considered important, with 40% of respondents using the EC/European Research Council template. However, some argue for a more tailor-made approach.
The most frequent source for support with DMPs were other project partners, but many beneficiaries did not receive any support at all. A number of survey respondents and interviewees therefore ask for a dedicated contact point at the EC, which could take the form of an EC Data Management Helpdesk, akin to the IP helpdesk.
If DMPs are published, they are most often made available on the project website, which, however, is often taken offline after the project ends. There is therefore a need to further raise awareness on the importance of using repositories to ensure preservation and curation of DMPs.
The study identifies IP and licensing arrangements for DMPs as promising areas for further research.