DMPs: Current thinking, future directions

Kathryn Unsworth1, Natasha Simons2

1Australian National Data Service (ANDS), Melbourne, Australia,

2Australian National Data Service (ANDS), Brisbane, Australia,



  • This is a half-day workshop
  • The workshop will be presented by Kathryn Unsworth, Natasha Simons, members of the Australian/New Zealand DMP Interest Group
  • The workshop will include a number of group-based activities and small group discussions (no requirement for laptops)
  • The number of attendees will be constrained only by the venue’s capacity



Data Management Plans (DMPs) are a “hot topic” of discussion internationally and in Australasia. This is because significant technical and human efforts have been, and are continuing to be, directed towards the development and use of DMPs for research. But do they help or hinder the research process? What are alternative approaches? If DMPs continue to be used, how can they be developed to be more useful to researchers and their institutions? This workshop will put a spotlight on these questions, enabling a discussion forum and a showcase for new DMP tools and approaches. It will feature a guest speaker from the international Research Data Alliance Active DMPs Interest Group and speakers from institutions across Australia and New Zealand. The work of the Australasian DMP Interest Group, which formed in early 2017, will be highlighted.


Funder mandated Data Management Plans (DMPs) have been a recognised part of the research data management landscape in the UK and USA for almost a decade, with less formal and more research-centric examples evident since the 1960s and 1970s. Contemporary DMPs have evolved slowly in contrast to the rapid increases in complexity of research as experienced through high data volumes, new data types, innovative research methodologies and high throughput compute, in addition to the issues associated with research reproducibility. Consequently, government imperatives around improving investment returns from research through better managed and shared data has recently shone a spotlight on current DMPs and their efficacy.

In Australia and New Zealand, there are different drivers. DMP tools are widely used in Australian research institutions and a growing number in New Zealand, despite the absence of a compliance stick. This provides institutional administrators, research communities, and researchers themselves the space to assess the value (or not) of DMPs as experienced by local and international communities.

Discussions are now underway, focusing energies on developing DMPs that are more interactive, updatable, interoperable and accessible – actionable by both humans and machines. Common standards for DMPs are being explored, along with funder expectations, domain specificity and much more. Australian and New Zealand research and research support communities have a real opportunity to contribute to and help shape these discussions by providing our own perspectives, approaches and challenges. To facilitate local discussions and connections with those happening internationally, ANDS has formed a DMP Interest Group (DMP IG) that has attracted widespread interest from representatives from institutions in Australia and New Zealand.

To better explore the issues, we propose a workshop format that includes group-based activities, discussions, speakers drawn locally from Australia and New Zealand, and with the potential for international representatives from the Active DMP IG (Research Data Alliance) to contribute to the workshop agenda as well as present on international perspectives and approaches.


At this workshop, participants will:

  • Explore the concept of DMPs and discuss whether they are helping or hindering research
  • Learn about international approaches to DMPs, in particular the “white paper” on machine actionable DMPs and the dynamic work of the Research Data Alliance Active DMPs Interest Group
  • Engage with a range of new DMP tools and approaches being implemented by institutions in Australia and New Zealand
  • Participate in a discussion about the work of the Australasian DMP Interest Group and how this group is contributing case studies and ideas to the international DMP discussions


  1. Are DMPs a help or hindrance to researchers?

Can DMPs help researchers move from “What is data management?” and “Why should I care?” to “How can I better manage and share my data?”
45 minutes

  1. International approaches
    Guest speaker from the Research Data Alliance Active DMPs Interest Group (TBC)
    30 minutes
  2. DMP solutions – tools and approaches
  • UQ Data Management Record project
  • RedBox DMP lite tool
  • University of Auckland’s DMP solution
  • University of Melbourne’s DMP Online

45 minutes

  1. Australasian DMP IG discussions
    Role of the Aust/NZ DMP IG and sub-groups
  • Machine actionable DMPs (maDMPs)
  • Exposing/publishing DMPs
  • Researcher-centric data management planning
  • How you can get involved

45 minutes

  1. Wrap up.

15 minutes


The workshop is open to anybody interested in DMPs, DMP tools and their effectiveness. It will be of most interest to librarians and technical staff who manage or implement DMPs within the eResearch Australasia community.


Participants may wish to bring laptops, but they are not a requirement for the workshop.


Kathryn Unsworth is a Data Librarian with the Australian National Data Service (ANDS) based in Melbourne.

Kathryn engages with a number of Australian universities, providing research data management related advice, support and training. Additionally, Kathryn works in partnership with institutions to deliver ANDS-funded projects. She has many RDM-related interests including, DMP implementations and their value in changing researcher behaviours and practices, IP and licensing issues for data, ethics and informed consent, and up-skilling data librarians for transition into data-intensive roles.

Natasha Simons is a Research Data Management Specialist with the Australian National Data Service (ANDS)

Working with a variety of people and groups to improve data management platforms, policies and practices. With a background in libraries, IT and eResearch, she has a history of developing policy, technical infrastructure and staff 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-chair of the Australasian Repository Working Group. Natasha is a member of the Australian ORCID Advisory Group and is an ORCID Ambassador. A writer and reviewer of papers related to libraries, persistent identifiers, repositories and research data, Natasha is located at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia.

How to effectively create and execute a content marketing strategy with limited resources

Lauren Attana1, Sarah Nisbet1

1eRSA, Adelaide, Australia, 



Academic libraries & ITS Services frequently need to adapt the changing demands of learning, teaching and research. They often undergo comprehensive and wide-reaching transformation in how they create, use and support useful data discovery and management tools. however, they’re often restricted by limited budgets and lack marketing capability or resources to promote them. Content Marketing is a marketing engagement tool that can be easily added to the anyone’s outreach, promotion and communications tool kit – and overcome this issue.

There’s an opportunity within the eResearch space for Librarians and ITS staff to differentiate themselves by acting as managers/organizers of information and become recognized as a central learning space – all by putting a content marketing strategy in place. However, many operate without any strategy and tend to suffer from poorly written content, lack of interest/no perceived value from their audience as a result!

This workshop aims to demonstrate practical solutions on how to implement a simple, low cost, effective marketing strategy, with emphasis on the value of using content marketing.  Attendees of this workshop will come away with a strong understanding in the value of content marketing, immediately actionable content, and a marketing plan that will help shape their marketing activities for the future.

I will also delve how we successfully achieved our communications goals (increased open rates, hike in email subscribers, improved reputation) by moving away from ‘traditional marketing’ and building ‘relevant and personal’ content.

  1. Introduction

This session introduce what Content Marketing is, frame the workshop’s programme, touch on why you need to align your communications goals with your content development activities and why answering the “what’s in it for me” question in your content (i.e. articles, case studies, blogs etc) is the key to expanding the reach and awareness of your organization, service or tool.

        15 minutes

  1. Build it right and… it’s highly likely they will read it

“80 percent of decision-makers prefer to get information in a series of articles, versus an advertisement [aka traditional marketing].”

You are the expert in your organisation – or at least you know a great deal more about it than those who you want to see and use your services and tool. This means all your content you can create, and the only cost is your time. Given that that time is precious, in this practical session you will learn how to and actually create useable content for your institution, and how to reuse and recycle it!

        45 minutes

  1. Create a simple Content Marketing Plan

During this practical session, we will build a simple content marketing plan tailored to your institution/facility. It does not have to be elaborate, just clear and concise. It will outline your goals and target audience plus a detailed plan for how you will use the content you create to address them.

        55 minutes

  1. Closing Session Opportunity to ask additional questions.

        10 minutes


This workshop is targeted towards Librarians and ITS staff who want to actively market and promote their tools and services and raise their profile however are often restricted by limited budgets, resources and lack marketing capability or resources.


BYO Laptop & Charger and 2 or 3 “Communications Goals” you’d like to achieve.

For example:

  • increasing potential users or students,
  • retention of existing ones,
  • making more people aware of your research publications, data discovery services, or IT tools



Lauren Attana is the Marketing and Communications Officer at eRSA. She regularly works with researchers and commercial users as well as with a national network of cross functional institutions, departments and organisations.

Lauren has a Bachelor of Public Relations from the University of South Australia where she majored in Marketing. Previously from a financial planning background, she has extensive experience in implementing and overseeing internal and external marketing and communications programs.

At eRSA, she is heavily involved in projects relating to digital marketing, social media and internal communications.

Working within the Marketing team, she regularly assists with the delivery of creative and innovative marketing and communication solutions for local and national projects for eRSA, Nectar and various other institutions.


Making sense of sensor networks: Speed dating for IoT platforms

Mr Nick Cross1

1Aarnet, North Ryde, Australia,



Sensor networks and Internet of Things platforms are now mainstream and underpin new approaches to a large section of research disciplines – environmental monitoring, land and water management, precision agriculture, building intelligence to name a few.

The IoT market place is alive with an expanding range of platforms and technologies, each with their associated merits, constraints, characteristics, maturity and likelihood of survival. Some are cellular carrier based, others are founded on the exciting new area of low power WAN’s (LPWAN) and others based on innovative approaches to satellite technology.

This session will offer a concise snapshot of IoT platforms and technologies, summarise the attributes of each, provide pointers to examples of related research activity, and touch on different methods to expose data to research workflows.

Was Satoshi Nakamoto onto something?

Dr Nick Tate1

1The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia,



The legendary, and possibly mythical, inventor of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto, actually came up with something far bigger than Bitcoin. It is called the blockchain and is a distributed ledger of transactions which is tamper proof and effectively immutable. Essentially it provides a trust mechanism between people who don’t know each other and it does it without any centralised guarantor of trust. Bad news for banks in the currency business.

Excellent for cryptocurrencies you might say and you would be right, but many others have also recognised its potential. From exploiting its value for Fintech to guaranteeing the provenance of diamonds or organic food, there are numerous projects under way to develop the potential of the blockchain. As a result, there are substantial amounts of money being spent on development of the blockchain.

But what about eResearch, could the blockchain be used, for example, in managing the provenance of data or in disrupting academic publishing? How could eResearch take advantage of the significant commercial investment in the blockchain?

This talk will explore the possibility of exploiting the characteristics of the blockchain to support the eResearch endeavour and will pose the questions; “where should we start?”, “who could do this?” and “how can we leverage the investment already made by others?”



This is the first conference at which blockchain development has been mature enough for this topic to be reasonably discussed. Many groups are now working on the blockchain not only to develop it further but to consider how to develop standards for it. For example, the Australian Computer Society (ACS) recently established a technical working group on blockchain. If this is not discussed now, others will continue to develop the blockchain without input from the research sector.


Dr Nick Tate is an Author, CEO, Managing Director of Haroldton Associates and Adjunct Professor at the University of Queensland (UQ). He spent over 4 years as Director of the RDSI project, forerunner of the current RDS project and is co-founder of the eResearch Australasia conference, which he chaired or co-chaired for a decade. Nick has over 40 years’ experience in IT including 16 years at CIO level in UQ and 2 London banks, as well as 17 years’ experience as a Company Director in 11 Australian and 2 US companies. He is a former Chair of CAUDIT, Director of AusCERT and President of the Australian Computer Society (ACS). He has a PhD in Cybersecurity and is co-author of “A Director’s Guide to Governing Information Technology and Cybersecurity”, a book published by the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD). Nick is currently President of the South-East Asia Regional Computer Confederation (SEARCC) and Director of SEARCC’s project for developing a Common Skills Framework for the Asia-Pacific Region.

It takes two to tango: A successful research support collaboration between USQ’s Library and Office of Research

Mrs Leonie Sherwin1

1Univerisity Of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, Australia,


Since October 2016, staff from the University of Southern Queensland’s Library Research team and the Office of Research have embarked on a collaboration that has resulted in the development and provision of a holistic range of services that support research and facilitate research impact. The intent was to establish a service framework responsive to the needs of researchers and higher degree research students in line with the University’s research objectives, whilst also being responsive to the institution’s external reporting obligations around research performance and impact. This strategic approach to providing specialist research support aligns with the Service Charter of the Office of Research to support, facilitate and enhance the research process and contribute to high impact outcomes. The success of this collaboration is attributed to strong and consistent communication, a mutual awareness of staff professional obligations, a respect for the unique skills of each team, and a shared willingness to engage. The teams meet regularly to ensure clarity of objectives and roles, with meeting outcomes shared across functional areas, as well as with the Directors of the Library and Office of Research, who are both strong advocates for this collaborative approach. Operational convergence has developed a shared awareness and vision to enable a cohesive and streamlined approach to new projects. These include the development of our SciVal training strategy, ORCiD implementation project and an enhanced Excellence in Research in Australia reporting process. A further initiative is a co-facilitated education program on data management planning to uphold institutional policy and external regulatory requirements. The lessons learnt from this example of best practice collaboration are applicable to other Australian universities and research institutions looking to build on the strengths of similar research support teams with the overarching goal of enhancing strategic research outcomes.


Leonie is the Manager for Research Support in the University of Southern Queensland’s library.  She has over 25 years work experience in the library sector in public, school, university and special libraries. Prior to her current appointment, Leonie was employed by the University of New England for over seven years as the health-medical librarian. The role was specifically established to support the joint medical program with the University of Newcastle.

eResearch Australasia BoF on Transnational Collaborative Research on Smart and Connected Communities

Dr. José Fortes1, Dr. Weicheng Huang2, Dr. Hiroaki Yamanaka3

1University of Florida, Gainesville, United States,

2National Center for High-performance Computing, Hsinchu, Taiwan,

3National Institute for Information and Communications Technology, Tokyo, Japan


Extensive research on smart and connected communities (SCC) is taking place throughout the world, including in particular East Asia, Europe and USA. The scope and challenges of this scientific area are broad and include many issues that are shared by either the research questions or the methods and resources being used to address them. The purpose of this BoF is to bring together international researchers involved or interested in research on SCC to develop and disseminate opportunities and frameworks to learn, share and leverage each other’s research activities and tools. In particular, information will be exchanged on existing mechanisms for scientists to engage in transnational research, which might require travel, exchange visits and telework, seed or enable preliminary work towards funded projects and might benefit from sharing of testbeds. As an example, the CENTRA framework [1] will be briefly described as a possible basis on which transnational collaborations can be built. Expected outcomes include:

  1. Information and engagement of attendees on new or ongoing collaboration efforts on SCC.
  2. Identification of SCC subtopics and problems where transnational collaboration is necessary and beneficial for scientific advances.
  3. Increased awareness of SCC resources (e.g. datasets, testbeds and funding mechanisms) that can be leveraged for transnational collaborations.
  4. Seeding of possible institutional or individual engagements in existing frameworks for transnational collaboration on SCC.

This 60-minute BoF session will include three 10-minute talks on SCC transnational research efforts and the associated enabling mechanisms. These talks will set the stage for a 30-minute open discussion of existing activities, new opportunities to be explored and follow-up action items that could build on ideas and consensus generated by BoF attendees with regard to the above-listed four outcomes.


  1. CENTRA: Collaborations to Enable Transnational Cyberinfrastructure Applications,



José Fortes is Professor and AT&T Eminent Scholar at the University of Florida where he teaches and conducts research on advanced distributed computing and data systems, cloud and grid computing software development for e-Science and digital government. He also overseas the development and operation of cyberinfrastructure for several scientific domains. He is a PI or co-PI of the CENTRA (Collaborations to ENable cyberinfrastructure Research and Applications,, iDigBio (Integrated Digitized Biocollections,, FutureGrid, PRAGMA (Pacific Rim Assembly of Grid Middleware and Applications) projects and international networks.

Weicheng Huang is a Senior Researcher at the National Center for High-performance Computing, also a member of the founding CENTRA member institution: Center of Excellence for Cyber Enablement of Applications (CECEA). Dr. Huang’s specialities include parallel processing, grid, cloud and big data.

Hiroaki Yamanaka received M.E. and Ph.D from Osaka University in 2008 and 2011, respectively. Since 2011, he has been a researcher at Network Testbed R&D Laboratory of National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT), Japan. His current research work is focusing on edge computing and SDN.

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    About the conference

    eResearch Australasia provides opportunities for delegates to engage, connect, and share their ideas and exemplars concerning new information centric research capabilities, and how information and communication technologies help researchers to collaborate, collect, manage, share, process, analyse, store, find, understand and re-use information.

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