Authors : Live Kvale, Nils Pharo
A three-phase Delphi study was used to investigate an emerging community for research data management in Norway and their understanding and application of data management plans (DMPs). The findings reveal visions of what the DMP should be as well as different practice approaches, yet the stakeholders present common goals.
This paper discusses the different perspectives on the DMP by applying Star and Griesemer’s theory of boundary objects (Star & Griesemer, 1989). The debate on what the DMP is and the findings presented are relevant to all research communities currently implementing DMP procedures and requirements. The current discussions about DMPs tend to be distant from the active researchers and limited to the needs of funders and institutions rather than to the usefulness for researchers.
By analysing the DMP as a boundary object, plastic and adaptable yet with a robust identity (Star & Griesemer, 1989), and by translating between worlds where collaboration on data sharing can take place we expand the perspectives and include all stakeholders. An understanding of the DMP as a boundary object can shift the focus from shaping a DMP which fulfils funders’ requirements to enabling collaboration on data management and sharing across domains using standardised forms.