Because good research needs good data

DMPonline - supporting institutional log-in

Magdalena Drafiova, Patricia Herterich & Ray Carrick | 16 July 2021

We have been in touch with our subscribed clients few months ago, asking you to provide testing institutional log-in accounts. In this blog post we explain what the institutional log-in  is on our website, how this can be installed for your organisation if you have not done so yet and reasons why we ask you to provide test or guest accounts.

Signing with your institutional credentials is slightly different then SSO

We currently offer Login with Shibboleth via the UK Federation. This is subtly different from Single-Sign-On, because we still require users to create an initial account when signing up with DMPonline before linking it to their institutional login. The reason we require this is for the account recovery. Researchers commonly move institution and loose access to their SSO, but still need to access their plans. The de-coupled account allows them to retain access to this data. 

When researchers log-in to DMPonline, they have two options how to do this – either by signing-in from the front page by adding the email address and password, or there is an option to ‘Sign in with your institutional credentials.’ Any organisation can connect via the UK Federation(UK orgs) or through EDUGAIN (world-wide orgs). If their sign-on is registered with one of those federations, then they'll be able to use shibboleth to sign-in to our site. 

How to install institutional log in/check whether it works for your organisation

By default, most of UK organisations are already having the Shibboleth available through DMPonline. However, if you are not sure whether this works for your organisation you can check yourself following the steps explained below.

1. Go to > click on ‘sign in with your institutional credentials’


2. Select your home organisation and hit continue (alternatively you can look through the list)


3. After this step you will find out that either you:

a. need to get in touch with the service desk at your institution who will be able to do the plug in following the instructions on the page you have been presented


b. in a case that this works you will just see the shibboleth log-in page e.g. University of Edinburgh


Reasons for asking for test credentials

The reason why we are asking for institutional testing credentials now, is because in a case there might be a bug with your institutional specific log-in credentials in the future – it proved to be impossible for us to debug issues after the last major update without this option. By having testing institutional credentials – our software developers can properly investigate where the bug is and apply fixes. We will not be touching any data with the testing institutional log-in – these will be purely to debug the step where this fails.

We do not need the testing institutional credentials immediately, but we are aware that normally the IT services are reluctant to provide these, and you will need to start the negotiation rather earlier than later – so at least they will be notified that this might be needed in the future. Some institutions tend to offer temporary testing institutional credentials with an expiry date which is a great alternative to providing a permanent testing institutional log-in. By reaching out, we want to ensure that you can explore local processes and policies around test accounts and thus, your researchers will not be frustrated in a case that there might be a bug in the future and the feature does not work.

Last but not least...

If you have any further thoughts and ideas or take to take part in the upcoming user groups, please contact us at and feel free to contact us at the details below:

  • DMPonline helpdesk at

  • Social media: Twitter @DMPonline  and LinkedIn

  • Do not forget to subscribe to our monthly newsletter. To keep up with DMPonline news, you can subscribe to the RSS feed to receive our blogs and tweets, and watch GitHub for code updates. You can also discuss any of our new features on the user group mailing list