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Data management planning tool in development

Data management planning tool in development

Data management planning tool in development (from UC Newsroom)

Date: 2011-02-15
Contact: Patricia Cruse, director, UC Curation Center
Phone: (510) 987-9016

A group of major research institutions is partnering to develop a flexible online tool to help researchers generate data management plans. This effort is in response to demands from funding agencies, such as the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), that researchers plan for managing their research data.

The partners in this project include the University of California Curation Center (UC3) at the California Digital Library, the UCLA Library, the UCSD Libraries, the Smithsonian Institution, the University of Virginia Library, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, DataONE, and the United Kingdom's Digital Curation Centre (DCC).

By joining forces the partners expect to consolidate expertise and reduce costs in addressing data management needs. The primary goal of the partnership is to simplify the process of creating plans while increasing the quality of decisions made by funders to pre-define policies and infrastructures that support research activities. CDL Executive Director Laine Farley stated, "This tool will streamline UC faculty's ability to produce a credible and high-quality plan for managing data.  An important consequence of that is the general raising of awareness about the services that libraries provide in data curation."

The tool for generating data management plans (DMP) will be based on DMP Online, a software tool  developed by the DCC and designed to accommodate different funder requirements;  this function will be tested by tailoring it to the requirements of U.S. research  funding agencies and the institutions they fund. It will be publicly available,  allowing researchers at all institutions to initiate a data management plan quickly and provide answers to  various data management questions relating to their research, such as how data will  be documented throughout the research project and made available for public  use and potential secondary uses, how data quality will be assured, data  backup procedures, and preservation plans. The tool will make the entire  process easier, less expensive, and more consistent in moving research data management forward at the  national and international levels.  It will also aid institutions in identifying associated costs and in future resource planning. The new version of the  DMP is expected  to be available within the next several months.

Kevin Ashley, DCC director, stated, "Research is an international activity, and data management planning is also international in scope. Funders around the world already require such plans with grant applications or as a condition of funding; many more are planning to do so. The DCC is pleased to be part of this work to develop planning tools that also have international utility and relevance."

In fiscal year 2010, the University of California received more than $498 million in research funds from the NSF alone, so the potential impact of the data management requirements on researchers is enormous.

James Carey, professor of Entomology at the University of California, Davis, said, "Thanks to [...] the UC Curation Center I am confident that the section in my proposal on data management that we submitted last week will not only impress the reviewers of our grant proposal (which of course we hope to get funded), but also enlighten them and the program officers about UC's leadership in data management and curation. All of my colleagues from the other institutions involved in our research program were impressed with (not to mention jealous of) the help we are receiving form UC3."

About the University of California Curation Center (UC3) at the California Digital Library
UC3 is a creative partnership bringing together the expertise and resources of the University of California. Together with the UC Libraries we provide high quality and cost-effective solutions that enable campus constituencies — museums, libraries, archives, academic departments, research units, and individual researchers — to have direct control over the management, curation, and preservation of the information resources underpinning their scholarly activities.  For more information, visit

The UCLA Library, ranked among the top 10 research libraries in the U.S., is a campuswide network of libraries serving programs of study and research in many fields. Its collections encompass more than 8 million volumes, as well as archives, audiovisual materials, corporate reports, government publications, microforms, technical reports and other scholarly resources. More than 50,000 serial titles are received regularly. The UCLA Library also provides access to a vast array of digital resources, including reference works, electronic journals and other full-text titles and images.

The UC San Diego Libraries, ranked among the top 20 public academic research libraries in the nation, play an integral role in advancing and supporting the university's research, teaching, patient care, and public service missions. The nine libraries that comprise the UCSD Library system provide access to more than 7 million digital and print volumes, journals, and multimedia materials to meet the knowledge demands of scholars, students, and members of the public. Each day, more than 7,300 people stream through one of the university's nine libraries. The Libraries' vast resources and services are accessed more than 87,500 times each day via the UCSD Libraries' website.

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