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The Digital Curation Centre and Data Management Planning: Our Role in the EUDAT Initiative

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In EUDAT, DCC will be customising the DMPonline tool for data management planning to profile the support available via the initiative. Details of existing services, such as the B2SHARE repository and B2DROP for secure data exchange, will be added to the tool to raise awareness amongst researchers when they are responding to funder requirements.

Sarah Jones

The Digital Curation Centre or DCC supports the UK Higher Education sector with Research Data Management.

We work in collaboration with university libraries, IT services and administrators to help them establish services that support researchers to manage and share their data. To do this we provide training, best practice guidance and tools. We are really pleased to be part of the EUDAT initiative. It builds on the support we provide in the UK and places that in a wider European context.

Our role in EUDAT is focused on training and data management planning. The DCC has done lots of work in this area and is recognised internationally as a key service provider. We launched the first data management planning toolDMPonline – back in 2010. This provides templates and guidance to help researchers write short statements that explain what data they will create, how it will be managed and what their plans are for data sharing and preservation. DMPonline was developed in response to increasing requirements from Research Councils UK, but has since been extended in light of research data policy in other contexts. For example it is currently being piloted by ZonMW, a Dutch medical funder.

The DCC is also recognised for its training. We first piloted the DC101 summer school back in 2008 in conjunction with the National e-Science Centre in Edinburgh. This was a week-long course introducing participants to the digital curation life cycle and the range of activities that need to be undertaken by different stakeholders. We have since developed a suite of courses aimed at researchers, librarians, administrators and other support staff. We tailor these to the specific context of delivery: sometimes we run discipline-specific training, while other courses focus on data management planning or developing research data management (RDM) support services.

In EUDAT, we will be customising the DMPonline tool for data management planning to profile the support available via the initiative. Details of existing services, such as the B2SHARE repository and B2DROP for secure data exchange, will be added to the tool to raise awareness amongst researchers when they are responding to funder requirements.

The other aspect of our data management planning work with EUDAT is about interoperability. If researchers intend to use EUDAT services, DMPonline will capture relevant information on their needs to feed into service requests. This work aligns with the plans for a data project coordination portal as a tool for managing and coordinating the realisation of data projects throughout their lifecycle, from the project proposal to implementation.

The DCC will play an integral role in the delivery of the EUDAT training programme, specifically around support for data management planning.  This will include webinars, face-to-face training and online materials for self-paced self-learning. We already provide workshops on data management planning that include examples, demonstrations and practical exercises on how to write and review data management plans (DMPs). Through EUDAT we can bring similar content to a wider audience across Europe.

The Digital Curation Centre is committed to enhancing DMPonline and has announced a roadmap of enhancements to come in 2015. We have just pushed out the first release which includes a comment feature to assist in collaboration when developing plans, and improved guidance for deployment and signing on with institutional credentials.  Over the coming months we’ll be adding institutional branding, functionality to review DMPs, alerts to notify institutions of support needs, statistics for administrators and an application programming interface (API). Perhaps of most interest to the EUDAT community will be the locale-aware support. This will enable different languages, funder options and organisations to be presented based on the user’s context.

If you would like to engage with the DCC or have any questions about our work with EUDAT, please contact me: sarah.jones@glasgow.ac.uk.


Sarah Jones works at the Digital Curation Centre, a UK national service to support the higher education sector with research data management. She coordinates work on DMPonline and undertakes research on data policy and data management planning. She has written several articles and book chapters on these topics, and co-edited Delivering Research Data Management Services: fundamentals of good practice. She provides advisory services and consultancy to universities, and is also involved in the EC-funded FOSTER project, facilitating open science by training researchers in open access and open data.