Connecting DMPs to power up research BoF

Natasha Simons1, Kathryn Unsworth2, Andrew Janke3, Peter Neish4, Liz Stokes5

1Australian Research Data Commons, Brisbane, Australia,

2CSIRO, Melbourne, Australia,

3National Imaging Facility, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia,

4The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia,

5University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, Australia,



Data Management Plans (DMPs)1 are of increasing importance in the world of research. They are a requirement of many research funders and recommended by some research institutions. They are claimed to save time and effort for researchers, research institutions and funders, but have increasingly been viewed as a compliance burden with no evidence for efficacy2. International discussions within the community that creates and supports DMP tools, such as the RDA Active Data Management Plans Interest Group3, reflect a dynamic discussion about how DMPs can be made more effective and useful and to which standards can be applied. The Australian DMP community is heavily involved in contributing to and leading these discussions. Our community has also developed new, innovative tools and approaches that connect DMPs to things and people such as library systems, researchers, storage, ethics, persistent identifiers, research infrastructure providers, and so on (see examples from the eResearch Australasia 2017 DMPs workshop4). In some cases it can be shown that connecting services such as storage to minimal DMPs can drive uptake and compliance with Institutional systems and in an environment of shrinking budgets, it is vital that we maximise the benefits of the research systems we use.

This BoF session will bring the Australasian DMP community together to discuss connecting DMPs to power up research. It will build on discussions held at the eResearch Australasia 2017 DMP workshop and at the Australasian DMP Interest Group meetings5. Outcomes include the production of a comparative table of connected DMPs, the things they connect to, and the standards they use.


This BoF will be of interest to those implementing and supporting DMPs and DMP tools and particularly, those interested in discussing new approaches to connect DMPs for increased research efficiency and impact. Participants are asked to come prepared to contribute their ideas and experience to a lively discussion.


We will kick off with lightning talks presented by those who are working at the cutting edge of international developments in DMP tools and approaches. This will include updates from people involved in co-chairing international connected DMP working groups. We will then move to facilitated Q&A and participants will be encouraged to contribute to an open discussion to share experiences, explore ideas and ask questions. Feedback on a comparative table of connected DMPs will be sought throughout the session.


Participants in this BoF will come away with a better understanding of why and how DMPs are being connected to power better research and the things they are connected to. They will have had an opportunity to hear and comment upon international and local DMP tools and approaches with a view to future developments. Outcomes include the production of a comparative table of connected DMPs.


  1. Australian National Data Service. Data Management Plans., accessed 20 June 2018.
  2. Neylon C (2017) Compliance Culture or Culture Change? The role of funders in improving data management and sharing practice amongst researchers. Research Ideas and Outcomes 3: e14673., accessed 22 June 2018.
  3. Research Data Alliance Active DMPs IG., accessed 20 June 2018.
  4. DMPs workshop, eResearch Australasia 2017., accessed 20 June 2018.
  5. Australasian DMPs Interest Group., accessed 20 June 2018.


Natasha Simons is Program Leader, Skills Policy and Resources, with the Australian National Data Service (ANDS). She works with a variety of people and groups to improve data management skills, platforms, policies and practices. With a background in libraries, IT and eResearch, she has a history of developing policy, technical infrastructure and skills to support research and researchers. She is co-chair of the Research Data Alliance Interest Group on Data Policy Standardisation and Implementation and co-convenes an Australasian Data Management Plans Interest Group. Natasha is the Deputy Chair of the Australian ORCID Advisory Group and an Industry Fellow at The University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia.