The History, Advocacy and Efficacy of Data Management Plans

Authors : Nicholas Smale, Kathryn Unsworth, Gareth Denyer, Daniel Barr

Data management plans (DMPs) have increasingly been encouraged as a key component of institutional and funding body policy. Although DMPs necessarily place administrative burden on researchers, proponents claim that DMPs have myriad benefits, including enhanced research data quality, increased rates of data sharing, and institutional planning and compliance benefits.

In this manuscript, we explore the international history of DMPs and describe institutional and funding body DMP policy. We find that economic and societal benefits from presumed increased rates of data sharing was the original driver of mandating DMPs by funding bodies.

Today, 86% of UK Research Councils and 63% of US funding bodies require submission of a DMP with funding applications. Given that no major Australian funding bodies require DMP submission, it is of note that 37% of Australian universities have taken the initiative to internally mandate DMPs.

Institutions both within Australia and internationally frequently promote the professional benefits of DMP use, and endorse DMPs as ‘best practice’. We analyse one such typical DMP implementation at a major Australian institution, finding that DMPs have low levels of apparent translational value.

Indeed, an extensive literature review suggests there is very limited published systematic evidence that DMP use has any tangible benefit for researchers, institutions or funding bodies.

We are therefore led to question why DMPs have become the go-to tool for research data professionals and advocates of good data practice. By delineating multiple use-cases and highlighting the need for DMPs to be fit for intended purpose, we question the view that a good DMP is necessarily that which encompasses the entire data lifecycle of a project.

Finally, we summarise recent developments in the DMP landscape, and note a positive shift towards evidence-based research management through more researcher-centric, educative, and integrated DMP services.

URL : The History, Advocacy and Efficacy of Data Management Plans


A Research Graph dataset for connecting research data repositories using RD-Switchboard

Authors : Amir Aryani, Marta Poblet, Kathryn Unsworth, Jingbo Wang, Ben Evans, Anusuriya Devaraju, Brigitte Hausstein, Claus-Peter Klas, Benjamin Zapilko, Samuele Kaplun

This paper describes the open access graph dataset that shows the connections between Dryad, CERN, ANDS and other international data repositories to publications and grants across multiple research data infrastructures.

The graph dataset was created using the Research Graph data model and the Research Data Switchboard (RD-Switchboard), a collaborative project by the Research Data Alliance DDRI Working Group (DDRI WG) with the aim to discover and connect the related research datasets based on publication co-authorship or jointly funded grants.

The graph dataset allows researchers to trace and follow the paths to understanding a body of work. By mapping the links between research datasets and related resources, the graph dataset improves both their discovery and visibility, while avoiding duplicate efforts in data creation.

Ultimately, the linked datasets may spur novel ideas, facilitate reproducibility and re-use in new applications, stimulate combinatorial creativity, and foster collaborations across institutions.

URL : A Research Graph dataset for connecting research data repositories using RD-Switchboard

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