DMPonline at Maastricht University Medical Center

Knowledge exchange 

DMPonline case study - Maastricht University Medical Center by Mirjam Kamps

DMPMaastricht is hosted by DataHub Maastricht. DataHub provides data management services to researchers in the Maastricht University Medical Center and the life sciences faculty of Maastricht University. DataHub acts as a data broker to enable researchers from multiple disciplines to reuse valuable data from the hospital, the university, and beyond. 

Ease the burden on the researcher

DMPMaastricht enables Maastricht researchers to collaborate with other researchers, internal as well as external. Moreover, we are very happy to add institutional guidance and example answers. It really helps researchers to write their DMPs. Of course, researchers can also contact our support departments. They can offer advice in writing a Data Management Plan. Working together with researchers on their DMPs has also given us the opportunity for finding out the difficulties for researchers in setting up their DMPs. 

(inter)National initiatives

The first step in working towards the Science Europe initiative is taken on a national level. At the moment, we are setting up an institutional DMP that will replace the ZonMw template, one of the most important funders in life sciences. Part of ZonMw’s new approach for research data management is to acknowledge the institutional DMP templates of universities and academic medical centers. This means that researchers can use the DMP template of their own institution, provided that it is acknowledged by ZonMw.

Looking forward

By implementing DMPMaastricht we brought together representatives from several support departments within the university and the academic hospital. By sharing our experiences we aim to minimise the overlap between forms and input from researchers as much as possible. 

Whilst we have seen increased activity in DMPMaastricht, there are still improvements we would like to make. Ideally, we would like to introduce conditional questions to the Data Management Plan, allowing researchers to skip questions that are not applicable to their field of expertise or faculty. We would also like to incorporate some other institutional processes in DMPMaastricht, for example by integrating an intake form concerning GDPR compliancy. 

At the moment, we do not actively use the review option in DMPMaastricht. I think it would be an added value for researchers to be offered the option of having their DMP reviewed. I think we can also improve our services by using the API. It can give us important information on the use of DMPMaastricht.

Last but not least I would like to mention the pleasant collaboration with the people from the Digital Curation Centre. They are highly experienced and most of all, really helpful. The fact that DMPonline is used worldwide is certainly due to their service-oriented approach. They do not just offer a tool, for us they are a partner. They have built a worldwide community.


We would like to say thank you to Mirjam Kamps for sharing this blog post with us. If you would like to get involved in our knowledge exchange and share a story from your institution please do get in touch with us.