Writing a data management plan in DMPonline

DMPonline is a Web application for writing data management plans. Follow the steps below to create, complete, share and export your own data management plan. Alternatively, the Digital Curation Centre provides a short screencast that demonstrates how to use the service.

Creating an account

If you have not used the service before you will have to register for an account.

  1. Go to the DMPonline site.
  2. Select 'Sign up' and fill out the form with your email address, 'University of Bath' as your organisation, and a password. Review the terms and conditions, and to proceed, tick the box and select the 'Sign up' button.
    Sign-up form asking for email address, institution, password and acceptance of terms and conditions.
  3. The system will send a confirmation email to the address you have provided, to ensure it is correct. Open the confirmation link in the email to activate your account.
  4. This will bring up your profile screen where you can fill out your name and, if you have one, your ORCID iD. Select 'Save' to save your changes.
    Profile editing form asking for email address, first and last names, organisation, ORCID number, current password, new password, and password confirmation.
  5. If you need to change your email address, password, organisation or other details at any point, you can return to the profile screen by selecting the 'Signed in' link at the top right and choosing 'Edit profile' from the list that appears.
    'Signed in as' link producing pop-up with links 'Edit profile' and 'Sign out'.

Linking your DMPonline and University accounts

If you would prefer to use your BUCS username and password to sign in, you can do this by linking your DMPonline account to your University account.

  1. Make sure you are signed in to DMPonline, and return to your profile screen as described above.
  2. Follow the link that says 'Link your DMPonline account to your institutional credentials'.
  3. This will take you through to a page operated by the UK Access Management Federation, who manage the linking process. Type 'Bath' into the search box, select 'University of Bath' then 'Continue'.
    Form asking which organisation you would like to sign in with.
  4. Next you will be taken to the University of Bath Single Sign-on page. Fill out your BUCS username and password and select 'Log in'.
    University of Bath Single Sign-on screen, asking for a Bath username and password.
  5. You will then be returned to DMPonline. The next time you come to sign in, you will be able to follow the link that says 'Sign in with your institutional credentials' and use your BUCS username and password.
    Sign-in form asking for email address and password, with links to reset your password or sign in with institutional credentials.

Creating a data management plan

Having successfully signed in to DMPonline, you will be presented with the 'My plans' page, listing any plans to which you have access.

  1. Either select the 'Create plan' tab at the top of the page, or the 'Create plan' button at the bottom.
  2. If you are creating a plan as part of a funding application, select your funder from the drop-down list. This will ensure the system loads the most appropriate template for you. If your funder is not listed, or you are not applying for funding, leave the drop-down on 'Funder' and select 'Not applicable/not listed' to load the University of Bath postgraduate template. Alternatively you can follow the link that says 'select here to write a generic DMP' towards the top of the page, which will load a completely generic template, skipping the following step.
    Form element for selecting research funder.
  3. You will then be asked what guidance and additional questions you would like to see. We recommend leaving 'University of Bath' selected, and also selecting 'DCC guidance'. Select the 'Create plan' button to continue.
    Form elements for selecting institutional guidance and DCC guidance.
  4. Review the plan details. You can go back and make changes by selecting 'Cancel', or continue by selecting 'Yes, create plan'.
  5. You will then be presented with the plan summary screen. It begins with a form where you can enter some information about the project to which the plan applies. When you have finished, select 'Save'.

    Form asking for plan name, ID and grant number.
    • Plan name: Replace this with the name of the project. If you anticipate needing more than one plan for the project, add a note in parentheses at the end to identify which plan this is.
    • ID: Provide the Agresso code for the project if it has already started, otherwise leave blank.
    • Grant number: Provide the funder's grant number for the project if it has already been awarded, otherwise leave blank.
    • P.I./Researcher: This defaults to your name. Change it to the principal investigator(s) named in the grant proposal, or main researcher(s) working on the project.
    • P.I./Researcher ID: If known, provide the corresponding ORCID iDs for the person or people named above.
    • Plan data contact: Provide the name, telephone number and email address of the lead author of the plan. You can omit the name if this is the same as the principal investigator named above.
    • Description: Briefly describe (in 100 words or so) the nature of the project, the research questions it seeks to answer, and for what purpose data are being collected.
  6. The remainder of the summary screen gives an overview of the plan template. We recommend you read this through so you know what to expect and understand why certain questions are asked.
  7. When you are ready to begin, you can either select the 'Answer questions' button or the next tab along from 'Plan details', the name of which will depend on the template you have chosen.

Completing a data management plan

The plan is divided into different sections.

Section headings of an ESRC Data Management and Sharing Plan, the number of questions in each section and the number answered.

To work on a section, select the title to reveal the associated questions.

Question text, answer box, and tabbed interface for viewing guidance and making notes.

Beneath each question is a text box where you can write your answer. You can use rich text formatting, but it is recommended that you use plain text as far as possible. Select 'Save' to save your progress. A status line beneath the button lets you know if you have unsaved changes, when the last save was, and who did it.

To the side of the question is a panel providing guidance from various sources. Select the guidance source to reveal or hide the guidance.

If you want to leave a note for yourself or a collaborator about a question, you can select the 'Share note' tab to swap the guidance panel for an additional text box. Select the 'Save' button immediately below to save the note, but be aware that this can cause you to lose any unsaved changes you have made in the main answer box. Once you have saved a note, the tab title changes to show you how many notes have been added.

As you work through the template, a progress bar at the top shows you the proportion of questions you have answered. If your template places a limit on plan length, you will also see an estimate of how much of the available space you have used.

Sharing a data management plan

You can give other people access to a plan you have created.

  1. Select the plan's 'Share' tab. This will bring up a list of everyone with access to the plan. Initially, this will just be you.
  2. Provide the email address of the person to whom you want to give access. This should be the address they use, or will use, to sign in to DMPonline. They do not have to be at the University of Bath.
    Form for adding a collaborator, requiring email address and permissions granted.
  3. Set the permission level you wish to grant to the collaborator.
    • Read-only access means that the person can read the plan but not edit it.
    • Edit access means that the person can make changes to the plan and export it, but cannot delete it or share it with others.
    • Co-owner access means that the person can do all the same things with the plan as you.
  4. Finally, select the 'Add collaborator' button to save the changes. An email will be sent to the collaborator using the address you supplied.

Exporting a data management plan

When you have finished writing your data management plan, you can export it from DMPonline in different file formats.

  1. Select the plan's 'Export' tab, or on the 'Export' button on the plan summary screen or editing screen.
  2. Select the format in which you want to export your plan. Options include DOCX, PDF, CSV, plain text, HTML, JSON and XML. If you will be sending it to the Library Research Data Service for internal review, the best formats to use are DOCX, HTML or plain text.
    Form for exporting a plan, asking for format and settings.
  3. Select 'Settings' to reveal the ways in which you can customise the output. In all cases you can adjust the title of the plan and choose which summary details and answers are included. In the case of PDF export, you can also choose the margin and font sizes, and choose between a serif or sans serif font. Select 'Save' to save your changes or 'Reset' to return to the defaults.
  4. Return to the drop-down list of formats and select the 'Export' button to save the exported plan.