The JISCMRD Workshop on ‘Meeting (Disciplinary) Challenges in Research Data Management Planning’ (March 23, 2012, London) saw the projects in this strand present their interim outputs; the development of DMPonline (now in v3.0), disciplinary templates and further institutional approaches rounded up the event.
The discussion circled around a number of issues and questions, some covered, some yet to be fully answered as Steve Hitchcock points out in his excellent blog piece (e.g. What is a DMPs scope, defined by whom? Where to best host a DMP? To what extent and how to (pre-)populate DMP records?).
Overall it is fair to say that a lot of good progress has been made on the DMP front – but challenges remain, especially as the implementation of funder requirements, data management policies and therefore DMPs has gained speed on institutional level:
- For researchers/research groups “changing RDM culture is (going to be) hard work” as pointed out by Simon Dixon (SMDMRD project), representative of the overall discussion. Sticks AND carrots are needed (in a positive way: show benefits!).
- Along with disciplinary working practices and cultures the requirements from DMPs in use are further evolving – not bound by project schedules and implementation time lines.
- Furthermore, time is always a constraint for filling out DMPs, we have to try to mitigate the duplication of effort for data already stored electronically.
- Good practice is not at all easy to implement and in connection to that training and documentation has to be a part of it all.
- In the end, DMP tools not only need to mature in general, but the DMP as such has to be a dynamic thing (vs. a static snapshot only) in a running project before it will be put to rest in an archive at the end of the research lifecycle.
Meik Poschen <firstname.lastname@example.org>