Category: knowledge exchange

“Inundated, overloaded and bombarded” – Seven insights for communicating research to busy policymakers

Parliamentarians and their staff want to use evidence to support their decisions, but they can often feel ‘bombarded’ with the sheer amount of material that is sent their way. Drawing on the findings of a wide ranging study looking at the use of evidence by UK parliamentarians and their staff, Dr David Rose and Dr … Continued

To improve the global evidence ecosystem we need to listen to the Global South.

Drawing on their recent study of South Africa’s evidence ecosystem, Ruth Stewart, Harsha Dayal, Laurenz Langer and Carina van Rooyen, show how the global north has much to learn from evidence ecosystems in the global south. Outlining five lessons that can be learnt from the South African evidence ecosystem, they argue that if notions of … Continued

For the humanities to play a stronger role in public policy making, they must move from individual to institutional engagement

What should society expect from the humanities? This question has become pressing in the debate around interdisciplinary research in support of public policy that aims to tackle societal issues. To influence that policy effectively, argues Frans Brom, the humanities must transcend individualism. This would mean not only abandoning “outsider” perspectives focusing solely on criticism of … Continued

Managing data @Melbourne by Peter Neish

The University of Melbourne started using DMPonline in 2017 and around the same time began to develop some data management training for graduate researchers. The library had piloted the MANTRA program from EDINA and Data Library, University of Edinbur…

2019 In Review: Practising research impact

The ways in research shapes and influences the wider world are a key focus of the LSE Impact Blog. This post brings together some of the top posts on the subject of research impact that featured on the Impact Blog in 2019. Invisible impact and insecure academics: structural barriers to engagement and why we should do it anyway Participatory Action […]

Legislative science advice is a powerful tool, yet the majority of parliamentarians around the world don’t have access to it

The Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) has played an important role in UK politics, by providing horizon scanning research summaries to parliamentarians on emerging issues. Here, Sarah Foxen and Chris Tyler discuss the challenges and opportunities faced in setting up services that put leading edge research in front of busy politicians and reflect on their work to help set up […]

Party political conferences – A key site for research impact

Party political conferences provide a unique opportunity for academics to engage with politicians and the policymaking process, as well as a variety of different stakeholders in any given policy issue. In this post, Dr Grace Lordan, Professor Tony Travers, Dr Anna Valero and Megan Marsh describe how academics and the public affairs team at LSE have used party political conferences […]

Lindsey Myers shares how University of York uses DMPonline

Knowledge exchange 

DMPonline case study – University of York by Lindsey Myers

Like many other libraries, internal and external drivers challenged the University of York Library to identify new ways to support its research community. As a result, the Research Support Team emerged from a reorganisation of the Academic Liaison Librarian Team in 2014. Along with open access, responsibility for research data management (RDM) services and support sits with the Library’s Research Support Team

In our eyes the team is relatively small, consisting of two Research Support Librarians and a Research Support Manager (apologies to solo professionals grappling with all aspects of research support). Of course others are involved and we couldn’t provide a service without the valuable input of our Research Data and Outputs Specialists. This post, a job share, manages process and procedures for the validation of datasets records in Pure and supports our researchers to deposit their research data with the Research Data York service.

With limited resource it is important to seize opportunities when they arise. The team quickly realised the value of DMPonline and we incorporated it into our service provision at an early stage. DMPonline is a tool that we actively promote to our research staff and research students in one-to-one appointments, at the training we deliver and online (e.g. within our RDM online tutorial). We customised the tool, adding our own guidance to it, some time ago. The process of gathering and agreeing on the text for the guidance was a great starting point for communication with colleagues from other services (e.g. IT Services, Archives, Legal) about data management. We then went on to create a simplified data management plan (DMP) template for postgraduate research projects and unfunded research.

In 2018 we cautiously launched a DMP feedback service. I say cautiously as there was concern that I, as the only person reviewing plans, might be inundated. This has not been evidenced, although I’m sure with more robust promotion of the service our fears could be realised. Providing feedback on draft plans has proven to be a useful entry point for conversations with researchers about their research, research data, the services needed to support good RDM practice, and in identifying the skills that researchers have or don’t have for data management. Encouraging researchers to share their DMPs within the institution, as examples to help other researchers write their plans, has proven to be more difficult but I continue with my endeavours.

DMPs are strongly encouraged but not mandated by York’s RDM Policy. Lack of a mandate has guided me to be more cautious in contacting researchers out of the blue as they create new plans in the DMPonline tool. However, our researchers have discovered and are clicking on the ‘Request expert feedback’ button and I’ve noticed more enquiry traffic coming my way as it also promotes the Team as a point of RDM support. 

The Digital Curation Centre’s work to develop machine-actionable DMPs is an area of particular interest. The creation of a DMP is seen by some as a one-off administrative burden. I’d like to change this perception and move to a position where DMPs are seen as an integral part of research practice at York. DMPs could provide valuable information to researchers, funders, administrators and to the Research Support Team, to help us successfully manage the long-term storage and access to valuable research data.


We would like to say thank you to Lindsey Myers 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.