Domain Specific Extensions for Machine-actionable Data Management Plans

Half-day workshop: 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm, Wednesday, September 12th, 2018


  • João Cardoso, INESC-ID, Lisboa Portugal,
  • Tomasz Miksa, SBA Research, Wien, Austria,
  • Paul Walk, Antleaf Ltd, United Kingdom,

Workshop website:


The current manifestation of a DMP—a static document often created before a project begins—only contributes to the perception that DMPs are an annoying administrative exercise. What they really are—or at least should be—is an integral part of research practice, since today most research across all disciplines involves data, code, and other digital components.

We still need a human-readable narrative, but there is now widespread recognition that, underneath, the DMP could have more thematic, machine-actionable richness with added value for all stakeholders: researchers, funders, repository managers, ICT providers, librarians, etc.

Research Data Alliance working group on DMP Common Standards works to implement machine-actionable DMPs. The larger goal is to improve the experience for all involved by exchanging information across research tools and systems and embedding DMPs in existing workflows. As a result, parts of the DMPs can be automatically generated and shared with other collaborators or funders. To achieve this goal we need:

  1. good understanding of research data workflows,
  2. research data management infrastructure,
  3. common data model for machine-actionable DMPs.

Workshop objectives

In this half day workshop we will focus on the common data model for machine-actionable DMPs and will seek to identify which domain specific extensions must be implemented to fulfil requirements of stakeholders, such as digital libraries and repositories. We will discuss which information they can provide and which information they can expect, and how existing and future systems and services can support and potentially automate this information flow.

Figure 1. Typical process for creating a DMP in the initial phase of a project. It shows various stakeholders that are involved/ affected by decisions taken at different steps.

We will use results of open consultations and prototypes developed by the Research Data Alliance (RDA) DMP Common Standards working group to facilitate the discussion. The results of the workshop will also contribute to the work of the RDA DMP Common Standards.

The workshop will be run in an interactive mode, with minimal amount of presentations and with focus on free exchange of ideas during moderated sessions.

The workshop report will be published in an open access journal giving credit to all workshop participants. The workshop is a great chance for everyone to become involved in the activities of the Research Data Alliance.

Target audience

Everyone who is considered a stakeholder within the research data lifecycle is welcomed. For example, you should come, if you are…

  • a researcher – to let us know about things that are wrong with DMPs and could be fixed when they are machine-actionable,
  • a repository operator – to discuss how to improve ingest and foster automatic sourcing of information from DMPs,
  • a service provider – to identify which services must be rolled out to automate DMP specific tasks and support researchers in proper data management,
  • a policy maker – to present your view of how machine-actionable DMPs can support better adoption of policies,
  • a research facilitator – to indicate which common tasks can be automated and what will always require human interaction and support.

Provisional agenda

Part 1 – Introduction

  • Goals and objectives of the workshop
  • Presentation of the RDA DMP Common Standard group
  • Getting to know participants

Part 2 – Group exercise – use cases for machine-actionable DMPs

  • Participants will review sample use cases and tools that can be used when implementing machine-actionable DMPs ecosystem
  • Moderated discussion will focus on validating use cases, identifying information systems that can be included in the ecosystem supporting maDMPs.

Part 3 – Group exercise – common data model for machine-actionable DMPs

  • Participants will evaluate the common data model for the maDMPs. They will form groups and review the model taking into account discussed use cases and their own needs.

Part 4 – Moderated discussion

  • We will discuss all important topics identified during the workshop and will aim to establish a consensus on standards to be used as default extensions to the maDMP model.

Useful links

Made with in Porto @ FEUP InfoLab / INESC TEC