Data management plans (DMPs) are becoming commonplace across the globe as a result of funders requiring them with grant proposals, but they are not being employed in ways that truly support the research enterprise. The current manifestation of a DMP—a static document often created before a project begins—only contributes to the perception that they are a useless administrative exercise. Conversations about the need for machine-actionable DMPs (also referenced as “active,” “dynamic,” or “machine-readable” DMPs) have been brewing for a few years. We still need a human-readable narrative, but there is now widespread recognition that, underneath, the DMP could have more thematic, machine-actionable richness with added value for all stakeholders: researchers, funders, repository managers, research administrators, data librarians, etc.
The original DMPTool was launched in 2011 and has become a hugely popular resource among researchers and the research data management community as a hub of information about DMP requirements for US funders, especially the NSF and NIH. The webinar will introduce the new (just launched!) version of the DMPTool that represents a joint development effort with the Digital Curation Centre in the UK and other international partners. Now with a single, internationalized DMP infrastructure, our next steps will focus on piloting machine-actionable DMP use cases. This includes engaging with DataONE member repositories, the Research Data Alliance, and other community-driven initiatives. Our collective vision is to transform DMPs into a tool for better data management by embedding them into existing workflows and exchanging information between research tools and systems. This project is supported by an NSF EAGER grant awarded to the California Digital Library (Award no 1745675).