In supporting researchers managing their research data, the Data Intensive Research Initiative of South Africa (DIRISA) has released an operational version of a research Data Management Planning (DMP) tool – DMP Online. It is becoming standard practice for research funders to require a research data management plan (DMP) as part of the research proposal. A DMP is required by the National Research Foundation (NRF) for all NRF funded research projects. Furthermore, it is an essential building block supporting improved data driven research across all disciplines.
The main purpose of a DMP tool is to support and guide researchers when preparing the necessary research plan. A variety of funder or organisation-specific templates are established and collected within the tool. The template guides the researcher to complete information linked to the type of data he / she expects to gather or generate during the course of their research and how the data will be collected, managed, analysed and stored. It also describes how the data is likely to be shared or published and preserved at the end of the research project. As a collaborative effort by DIRISA and USAf (formerly HESA), DMP Online will be demonstrated to local universities and research institutions to promote its adoption for use nationally.
DIRISA has also, in collaboration with the national Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services (DTPS) and following ministerial approval, established a Multi-Primary Administrator (MPA) in South Africa. This MPA is the sixth one and forms part of a global network of MPAs that manage the allocation of unique and Persistent Identifiers (PIDs) for digital objects. The use of these PIDs greatly improves the management of digital objects – including data and valuable national assets.
The tool is accessible on www.dmp.dirisa.ac.za