Because good research needs good data

Delivering Research Data Management Services MOOC: Week 3 recap

Sarah Jones, GÉANT | 27 September 2021

In week 3 of the Delivering RDM services MOOC we looked at Data Management Plans (DMPs) and RDM guidance websites. We asked participants to review content from DMPs to assess what makes a good plan and to look at existing websites to see what models could be copied. 

Participants reflected on some of the challenges they may face when implementing DMPs, such as reluctance from researchers to complete the plan, especially if there are many questions. They are sensibly trying to overcome these in the way they construct their template:

“I think DMPs sound like a great idea from the perspective of a data steward but researchers often view them as one more hoop to jump through to get to their final product. With the template I'm putting together, I'm hoping that it meets an immediate need for researchers while also facilitating the mid and long term data management goals.” Colin Schwantes

The feedback on example DMP text displayed the need for accurate, detailed information. In some of the more vague examples it was not always clear which repository would be deposited in or how the data would be documented. Some of the risks in sharing sensitive data were also reflected on, with examples given on how to mitigate these with data sharing agreements. With the more detailed examples, participants found it much easier to understand what the researcher was studying and how they plan to accomplish. 

“A lot more detail has been provided around file formats, licencing and process for assigning metadata, permissions, and retention period” Liz S

After the DMP exercises, we examined ways to develop DMP webpages, and got lots of great input from learners! We are glad to see that many of you are inspired to engage with your institutions on implementing similar practices. 

Next week will focus on repositories and supporting researchers to share and preserve their data. We look forward to seeing your comments and interactions in the forum.