WG Discipline-specific Guidance for DMPs

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25 Feb 2022
Group(s) submitting the application: 
Meeting objectives: 

1) To present the results of the survey examining discipline specific data management practices and how best to provide discipline-specific guidance to DMPs

2) To learn from our discipline-specific colleagues and collect their feedback/input on the survey results

3) To gather input for the discipline specific guidance from discipline specific colleagues and to network among the researchers, professionals and related RDA groups interested in discussing and advancing discipline-specific guidance for DMPs

Meeting agenda: 

Collaborative session notes: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1AGDeDJaq_zC8pFVE1Ld07L1dU_joEfAFYjrM...


Preliminary agenda:

  • Introduction and welcome (10 min)

  • Presentation of the results of the online survey (max. 20 min)

  • Discussion within parallel breakout groups) (40 min)

    • How to develop the guidance, in what structure, format?

    • Where would you share the guidance? What platforms? 

    • What questions should be added to a standard template to provide guidance to? Should adding questions be done at all? Where to add guidance which does not exactly match existing questions?

    • How to maintain and sustain the guidance? (or to be discussed during next session)

    • TBC

  • Summary and next steps of action (10 min.)

Target Audience: 

This topic is relevant to anyone handling research data or supporting research data management activities. For example, please attend this session if you are:

  • a researcher - to discuss current shortcomings of generic DMPs and to share your domain expertise 

  • a data steward, data manager, data librarian or repository curator - to discuss how current DMP templates function for researchers you work with and how templates may be improved

  • a DMP platform provider - to discuss how discipline-specific templates could be incorporated within your platform and how that might improve DMP usage

  • a journal publisher - to share expectations of how more tailored DMPs may improve FAIR data outputs related to published research

  • an institutional or governmental policy maker or research funder - to share expectations of how more tailored DMPs may improve the achievement of policy goals

Group chair serving as contact person: 
Brief introduction describing the activities and scope of the group: 

This working group aims to continue work within the international community to fully support improving the effectiveness of DMPs. Research environments increasingly involve international collaborations, thus it is important to represent varying available tools and policy requirements within the discipline-specific guidance. To gain input from different disciplinary experts, we conducted a survey. During the RDA 19th Plenary Meeting, the survey results will be shared. This survey solicits feedback from experts to understand how a discipline-specific guidance catalogue could impact their daily workflow and be a useful tool in the creation of data management plans. This survey is the first step in our working plan, and will inform the next steps the group takes in the creation of the guidance.


Groups within RDA, including the DMP Common Standard WG and Exposing DMPs WG, have worked to establish standards and best practices for machine-actionable DMPs as well as a reference model and recommendations for sharing data management plans. While these efforts drastically advance the progress of making DMPs an effective research tool for numerous stakeholders, they could be supplemented with more detailed, disciplinary-specific guidance. Thus, to further advance the relevance, effectiveness, and utility of DMPs, discipline-specific guidance is a necessary component. The discipline-specific adaptations allow DMPs to be better integrated into research. The DMP is then adapted to the needs of the researchers and the challenges of the respective discipline. This makes life easier for the researchers. To our knowledge, there have been a few efforts in this direction, in fields of mechanical engineering by RWTH Aachen University in Germany, archeological research by DANS in the Netherlands and education research by the Leibniz Institute for Social Sciences in Germany, all these efforts were presented during our BoF session in RDA Plenary 16. 


Initial work in this area was initiated during the Active DMP Interest Group session at the 14th Plenary in Helsinki, Finland. During this session, a lack of discipline specific guidance for data management planning was identified as an area that needed development to support the work of the other working groups (DMP Common Standard WG, Exposing DMPs WG, Engaging Researchers with Research Data IG). Additionally discipline specific guidance. Additionally discipline specific guidance will effectively support the work of stakeholders such as DMP service providers, funders, institutions, researchers and RDM professionals. Individuals interested in this topic with expertise in data management planning support for behavioral and social sciences, life sciences, medical sciences, and engineering have since worked together to develop a working group case statement. This case statement was presented at the 16th Plenary held virtually and hosted through Costa Rica, and a case statement was submitted. During this meeting, further refinement of what discipline specific DMP guidance would look like was discussed, including guidance by data type as well as discipline. Then the WG started drafting the survey. During the RDA Plenary 17 and a public meeting, the survey questions were presented to ask for input from the community. The survey was opened to participants in November 2021 and closed in January 2022. The survey results will be shared during the RDA Plenary 19. During the plenary session input on how to create the guidance along with format and sharing platform will be discussed. 

Short Group Status: 

The WG is endorsed and is currently analyzing the survey results which is the first step in our working plan, and will inform the next steps the group takes in the creation of the guidance. Additionally the WG is currently planning workshops to have discussions with disciplinary experts which is the next step in the working plan.

Type of Meeting: 
Working meeting
Avoid conflict with the following group (1): 
Avoid conflict with the following group (2): 
Meeting presenters: 
Briana Wham, Daniela Hausen, Ivonne Anders, Santosh Ilamparuthi, Shannon Sheridan, Yasemin Türkyilmaz-van der Velden