DMPTool is an online service to enable researchers to create data management plans now required by many funding agencies, and to receive tailored institutional guidance to help them in the process. The DMPTool provides data management plan templates for numerous U.S. funding agencies, giving step-by-step instruction and where possible alerting users to the services available at their own institutions.
The Tool was designed and developed by a consortium of US research bodies. It is currently hosted by The University of California Curation Center at the California Digital Library.
Licensing and cost
GNU GPLv3 – free.
DMPTool v1.0 was launched in October 2011. The project is supported by a number of institutions, with the goal of consolidating expertise and reducing costs. The project team received two grants in late 2012 to fund further development. The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation awarded the project $590,000 to expand functionality of the DMPTool, In addition, the US Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) awarded a grant to the project team to develop training and education resources for librarians interested in supporting data management. The work from both grants should be available in late 2013 or early 2014.
Platform and interoperability
As a browser-based application, DMPTool aims to be platform-agnostic. It is coded in Ruby on Rails.
The data management plan templates are built around providing direct answers to verbatim funder requirements, with further prompts which can be tailored by institutions. The Tool can export plans as PDF, TXT, and RTF, and URLs can be created to enable ready sharing. If the user's institution has decided to participate in the service, it will provide all the information it can about institutional resources for each of the funders' requirements. Additionally, where possible, the Tool allows a federated login through the user's institution.
Documentation and user support
Within the tool, help text is offered for each section, appearing above the text entry box. More formal documentation consists of a DMPTool Guide, and a Video Demo. The site also includes an online contact form. As part of the IMLS grant described above, more training and educational materials will be developed.
The interface is extremely straightforward and easy to use.
Users must have a solid understanding of their project's data management strategy; institutional guidance and support will not, in most cases, provide all required information.
As of May 2013, DMPTool directly addresses 20 funding agencies' data management requirements, including branches of the NSF, NIH, IMLS, NEH, and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.
Influence and take-up
DMPTool had over 5,400 registered users as May 2013. They come from over 750 institutions (largely in the US) and have created over 4,500 data management plans. 87 institutions in the US have become DMPTool partners by customizing it for their users.