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Interview: Digital Scholarship Librarian on DMPTool

Q: What is the DMPTool?

A: The DMPTool is a web tool that helps researchers create data management plans (DMPs). It provides guidance from specific funders who require DMPs and offers information on the resources and services available to help fulfill data management requirements.

Q: Ok, let's take a step back, what is a data management plan?

A: That’s a great question! A data management plan describes the data that a research project will generate and how the researcher, or research team, intends to document, organize, store, and share the data.

Q: Why would I need a data management plan?

A: The easy answer here is that it’s required. Many grant funders, including the NIH, NSF, NEH, and IMLS, now require a data management plan as part of the grant application. Certainly that’s important, as you want a complete and compelling grant application and a data management plan is part of that! But I would also encourage researchers to consider creating a data management plan even for projects where the funder does not require a plan. Creating a data management plans prompts you, and your research team, to give early and frequent consideration to important issues of data governance, which can save you a lot of time and strife in the long run.

Q: Ok, so now I have a better idea of what a data management plan is and have a better sense of why I might need one, let’s talk more about the DMPTool. It can help me create a data management plan? How does it work?

A: The DMPTool is essentially a series of fillable web forms that walk you through the process of creating a data management plan step-by-step. If you’re creating the plan for a grant that requires one, you can select the funder, and the DMPTool will walk you through a custom template tailored specifically for that funder’s requirements so you ensure your data management plan meets all the expectations. If you sign into the DMPTool with your Georgetown NetID, you’ll automatically see Georgetown-specific guidance in the sidebar as you work through any of the DMPTool templates. You can also turn on guidance from other institutions, if they’ve created it, which can be helpful if you have collaborators from other universities.

Q: Is there help available for the DMPTool?

A: Absolutely! Email digitalscholarship@georgetown.edu to set up a data management consultation. In those sessions, a librarian can help you with the DMPTool or with data management planning more generally.

Q: How do I get started with the DMPTool?

A: Go to https://dmptool.org/get_started, select Georgetown from the “Your Institution” drop down menu, and sign in with your NetID and password.