As part of the Open Exeter project we are evaluating the use of DMPonline to aid Exeter’s researchers complete Data Management Plans. We asked our PGR students to look at the tool and give their feedback to us. What follows is a brief summary of their findings.

Interestingly, our PGRs stated that they believed they completed the tool differently being part way through their research project than they would have done at the start of the project. A number of our students stated that it would have been helpful to have had an Exeter template providing links to specific guidance of relevance to researchers here. This is something we are interested in exploring further and have had some initial contact with the DMPonline team.

Specific feedback from our PGRs included:

  • Asking them to complete a DMP without having the project plan felt a little removed and artificial (this is of course a problem with our methodology but it does imply that future tests need to be with “live” plans and projects where at all possible).
  • One of our PGRs thought that there was too much jargon and a “beginners guide” would have been helpful.
  • One of our PGRs asked whether examples could be provided for each section to show what was required.
  • One of the students commented that unless they were sure of the site they would struggle to trust that DMPonline did actually fit the needs of their funding body.
  • One commented that they would not have known how to fill out the form without the pop ups in each section.
  • Although the links from the various sections were seen as useful, a couple of our students commented that there were too many of them and they didn’t have the time to read all the links and complete the form.

Although not specific feedback on DMPonline, a couple of our students thought that there would have been more questions on what software they were going to use. This was useful feedback for us and will aid us in helping academics complete their Data Management Plans.

This feedback has been particularly helpful for us at Exeter in developing what is required for an Exeter branded DMPonline and hopefully adds to the corpus of material that is developing around what is a very useful tool.

Posted under Data management tools, Follow the Data, PGR students

This post was written by Gareth Cole on October 10, 2012

Comments are closed.

More Blog Post