Category: user group

DMPonline 2020 Utrecht User group

2020 has just started and we have already run our first user group in the Netherlands to ensure that we have a great start to the New Year! We gave an update on all the hard work done since the last user group in Autumn 2019 and explained plans for the coming year. Most importantly, we wanted to offer an open space for discussion and get as much suggestions and ideas from users as possible to ensure that DMPonline works well for you. Below is a summary from the day.

Our agenda for the day was packed with interesting talks, demos and space for discussion (there are links for the presentation slides in the agenda). Our key topic was revising the create plan wizard and template selection. We were also joined by the European Commission, NWO, ZonMw and FCCN to consider funder use cases as funders are becoming more and more involved in using our tool. 

An overview of presentations

We started the day with a roundtable intro and for the first time we made the user group open for attendees who wanted to join us remotely – thanks to those dialling in from Portugal and the UK. Sarah then presented the exciting work we have done over the past year. Sam showed a demo of full text API, and we have discussed forthcoming features planned during a December team meeting with our collaborators from CDL and DMPOPIDoR. The main planned work for the upcoming weeks is to improve usage statistics and make these more responsive, and easier to read and analyse for your institution. We are planning to upgrade to Rails v.5 and make DMPs more machine actionable (e.g. integration with F1000 Open Research Platform, FundRef, ROR and assigning DOIs…).

Magdalena presented some ideas on changing the display for the plan creation wizard. We have found that users don’t always understand the logic behind this or know how to select a certain template e.g. their uni requirement for PhD students. We presented four alternate wireframes and discussed which most people found clearest. The preference seems to be the researcher setting two filters (organisation and funder) then being presented with a drop down menu of all available templates. We plan to consult further on this within various contexts (with our collaborators in CDL, and our subscribed institutions outside Netherlands) as we need to ensure any change will work for all.

Carlos Casorrán from the European Commission explained the future plans for data management beyond H2020 under the next framework programme. Data management will continue to be in line with the FAIR principles, and data management plans should become living documents, have PIDs and rich metadata. An outline DMP is expected at the proposal stage and the DMP will be mandatory whether data are open or not. It is still to be decided whether evaluation of DMPs in proposals will come under impact or move to excellence which would give greater visibility and weight. Also the output to be covered in a DMP will not be just the data, but also the software, tools, workflows, protocols, algorithms or notebooks.

Your DMPonline feature wish list

A number of ideas were raised in discussions throughout the day. These are summarised below with thoughts on potential new features:

Enhanced DMP feedback functionality (#2365)

Data Stewards in the Netherlands are making great use of the new department feature to understand where researchers are based. This allows them to assign the right data steward when plans come in for review. There is a desire to better track the status of the plan review. So for instance, understanding whether the DMP has already been picked up by a data steward, whether the review has been started, or whether some comments were already added so work is not duplicated amongst the reviewers. We intend to add some basic status tracking to the plan feedback notification table. This will display the department (if in use), allow anyone with reviewer privileges to be allocated or to self-select a plan and will provide basic status indications to show whether work is in progress. You also suggested that we rename the ‘Comments’ tab to ‘Feedback’ so it’s more obvious to end users (#2366)

API extension to tag users with departments (#2235)

One feature that got raised in the last user group but we’ve not had time to work on yet is developing an API extension to allow institutions to extract all their user details, match these with data from local HR or other systems to match to departments, and issue an update to us so that the department of each user is selected in their profile. This saves existing users updating the entry and will make other features like allocation of plan reviews to data stewards work more effectively. You would also like us to add the department to the registration workflow for any new users.

Usage statistics (#2367)

We discussed the planned statistics work and got some additional requests. Dutch unis would like to know how many users come from each department and also how many plan reviews are associated with each department. Since we’re working on these features currently we welcome any other ideas. You would also like to be able to control the dashboard by personalising which usage statistics display. This may be beyond our current scope but we can explore options for more personalisation in future.

Ownership of plans (#2368)

The current logic behind the ownership of the plan is that when a user leaves/changes the institution in their profile, any DMPs also transfer as they are owned by the original creator. This means the plans will disappear from institutional statistics and administrator view permissions are lost. Institutions would like to have access to the plan, even when the user changes their affiliation, since the data may still be stored there and the plan approvals and funding assignment is linked to the institution the researcher was based at when they created the plan. In order to do this, we will need to update the terms and conditions for our users to make clear that affiliated institutions will retain access.

One other small feature you requested was to add a guidance configuration option on the admin interface so each institution can decide which guidance is selected by default (#2369). Currently it is a site-wide setting that DCC guidance is applied by default but we could easily adjust this.

Last but not least, would you find it useful to add a new field to user profile where the user could edit their profile to say they are e.g. PhD students? Get in touch with us to let us know.

Thanks and keep in touch!

As usual, we are very grateful that so many of you could make it for the day. It is lovely to see our community growing, and we are very lucky to work with you all. It is also fantastic to see that our DMPonline community is becoming more international and that funders are becoming more active in using DMPonline so that you get the space to interact with them more.

Just so you know, we are already planning our next user group for Spring 2020 in London, and we will be in touch with you about further details.

Last but not least – as always, we are keen to hear from you about how you use the tool and how we can improve it, so please feel free to contact us at the details below:

Do not forget to subscribe to our monthly newsletter. To keep up with DMPonline news, you can subscribe to the RSS feed to receive our blogs and tweets, and watch GitHub for code updates. You can also discuss any of our new features on the user group mailing list


DMPonline user group at the London School of Economics

On the 17th September 2019 we ran a user group at the London School of Economics. Many thanks to Helen Porter for offering us the space to host us and hosting us. Please get in touch if you wish to host a DMPonline user group at your institution.

For the first time we had a user group with subscribers from the UK, Sweden, Finland and the Netherlands so we could look at the tool from different perspectives and backgrounds. It was great to discuss how you use DMPonline, which new functionalities you wish us to add to the tool, and to get your feedback on our future plans and developments. We started the session with Sarah presenting our most recent updates, future plans and growth of our DMPonline team. Afterwards Killian (our summer intern from Edinburgh University) showed you a demo of the fantastic work he has done over the summer on conditional questions. We are currently testing this with you and will be deploying in the following month. Magdalena showed you a demo of a new feature where you can add departments to categorise where users come from, and after the coffee break Sam joined us remotely and explained his work on full text API & mapping to the DMP common standard released by the Research Data Alliance.

We have raised several tickets

Based on your request we have raised tickets on GitHub, which are labeled as ‘ user group.’ These include features to improve the admin functionality when you are searching for plans and users, further API development to support bulk assignment of departments, adding document upload and relocating the ‘request feedback’ button.

We held a meeting to review these requests and prioritise work for the coming months. You can read the outcome of that in Sarah’s blog.

Other information…

In Manchester we did an axe throwing social, so this time around we decided to do something more peaceful and went to Bloomsbury Lanes to play bowling the night before the user group.Helen, Sarah and Judith represented the north-west of England and took on the rest of the world. Unsurprisingly, after a brave start, the north-west floundered and the rest of the world got stronger. We are all much better off as one big community!

After our user group had lunch at an Italian restaurant where attendees had more space to just chat and network with the rest of the community. We really enjoyed the time with you and we are looking forward to our next user group in few months time! We have been offered a venue in the Netherlands, so are planning to hold the next DMPonline user group on 20th January 2020 in Delft. We will be in touch with you about further details but mark your calendars now.

Last but not least – as always, we are keen to hear from you about how you use the tool and how we can improve it, so please feel free to contact us at the details below:

Do not forget to subscribe to our monthly newsletter. To keep up with DMPonline news, you can subscribe to the RSS feed to receive our blogs and tweets, and watch GitHub for code updates. You can also discuss any of our new features on the user group mailing list


Full steam ahead!

Photo byLee Hull on Unsplash
Following on from our user group last week, the DMPonline team met yesterday and has prioritised the feature requests you raised. Ray Carrick started work for the DCC on Monday so we have doubled developer effort…

DMPonline user group: where next?

We’ve run a couple of user group sessions over the last few weeks. Many thanks to those who attended in Amsterdam and Manchester. It was particularly helpful to hear how you are using the tool and what changes you would like. The DCC team met on Monday to process your feedback and have set the following priorities:

  1. Full text API (#2086)
    You wanted an extension of the plans API to allow authorised admin users to pull out the full text of DMPs for their organisation. Sam has already developed this but it takes a long time to run in real-time so we are going to harvest the data overnight. This requires some changes to our infrastructure but we should be able to release the API later this month.
  2. Reviewer admin permission (#2087)
    It seems that many of you have multiple reviewers of plans and would like this to be a separate role that can be assigned by the org admin. We’re in the process of adding this, and will adjust our contract so you’re not paying more for multiple plan reviewers.
  3. Adding a field for School / Division / Department (#2088)
    We plan to add one field to the edit profile page for which you can name and define a controlled value list. This will allow you to identify the sub-unit affiliation of your users. In time we could extend the functionality to allow you to pull stats on this (e.g. plans by school) and to allow customisations to be done by sub-unit level. Currently it is only the guidance that works in their vein.
  4. Conditional questions (#1772)
    This is a bigger piece of feature development, which we have scheduled for the summer months. It was top priority for you so we will add it first.
  5. Custom section on funder templates (#2072)
    Many of you have the same custom section on funder templates and want to create it once and apply across all / a selection. This will be provided as a new feature in Summer 2019.
  6. Plan versioning 
    Again, this is a bigger piece of feature development, which we have scheduled for the summer months.

There were a number of smaller items raised during discussion too. These have been added as tickets (see the ‘user group’) label and will be addressed during the coming few sprints.

Other areas of interest which represent larger feature development and are to be placed into development plans have been captured on the ‘Future enhancements’ section of the wiki for now.
Manchester’s case study on using DMPonline was really inspiring and we wanted to ask how we can support others to do some similar things. We realise not everyone has development effort in-house so we wondered whether it would help if we wrote a script to send you weekly/monthly email notifications of new users and plans so you can monitor usage and start to interact with and assist users more? Let us know what you think.
We are due to push out a new release immediately after Easter. Amongst other things, this includes:
  • bug fixes for guidance / comment display when text runs outside the box
  • adjustments to comment notification so users don’t receive multiple emails when you provide feedback
  • display of themed guidance in ‘customise template’ preview
  • table-styling fixes
  • plans by template statistics

You can see these on the test site now and in live deployment soon.

All feedback welcome!
Magdalena, Diana, Sam & Sarah