Measuring Impact in Makerspaces: Getting Started with Data Management Plans and DMPTool

Hello All! :wave:t4:

I am looking forward to seeing everyone again during out checkin on June 8th, during which Thomas Hervé Mboa Nkoudou and I will be discussing research methods and social inquiry with you all.

As a part of increasing research capacity in your organizations to show positive impact and advocate for policy and financial support, one of the key elements will be for you all to have the capacity to develop Data Management Plans (DMPs), which are increasingly being required by funding agencies.

I would be interested to know from you all: Who has previous experience in creating a DMP:

  • YES I have worked on developing a DMP, either as a part of a team or on my own.
  • NO I have not worked on developing a DMP, either as a part of a team or on my own.
  • MAYBE? I believe I have developed a DMP before in the conceptual sense, but it was called something else like “research plan” or went by a specific form/file name by the funder that was requesting it.

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More on the DMP - What it is and why it is becoming increasingly important

A data management plan (DMP) is a formal statement describing how research data will be
managed and documented throughout a research project. This includes terms regarding the
subsequent deposit of the data for long-term management, preservation, and sharing of the

Data Management Plans are designed to be working documents and should be updated
as the project proceeds or if there are any significant changes to the initial project plan.

Some funders specify a particular template for their data management plans, however, if one is
not provided, there are general templates available to get started. We will be reviewing a general template that is being created for this program with you during our call on June 8th.

I have also been working on creating a handbook for you all on how to create a DMP, specifically to map your research with the shared impacts being created for this program. I have asked Thomas Hervé Mboa Nkoudou to review the handbook before I share it with you all, in the case there are additional resources that are essential to include that I may not have covered.

To get started in your thinking about Data Management Plans, below is a resource list I have started curating, bringing together information and recommendations from research institutions (predominantly African universities) that offer guidance on creating a DMP, providing a mapping to local research initiatives such as DRISA, for example.

Take some time in the coming week to browse through some of these resources, to get a better sense of DMPs generally, and start thinking about what resources you may have available to create a DMP of your own using DMPTool.

I would be interested to know how many of you have heard of or have used DMPTool before:

  • I have used DMPTool to create a Data Management Plan
  • I have heard of DMPTool, but have never used it
  • I am not familiar with DMPTool

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Getting Started with DMPs: Resource List:

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Also, please do feel free to reach out to me at any time if you have specific questions or want to talk about your own research interests - I am delighted to help. :grin: I have spent many years in academia, as a faculty member, research librarian, and doctoral-level educational policy researcher. I understand scholarly research in great depth - including how overwhelmingly complex and difficult to navigate it can be.

Thinking about how to navigate a series of forms and tools to meet research compliance regulations, when you are already busy doing the thing that you are trying to measure is a huge challenge. As someone who has personally taught workshops in makerspaces on topics from learning the basics of simple circuits to backward engineering an air quality sensor for deployment in local townships, I have a deep appreciation for the limited amount of time and bandwidth there is to dedicate to research!

So really, at any point, feel free to reach out to me with questions or concerns - I am happy to help.

I can be reached here by direct message, or at :v:t4:


Hello Sarah
This is very interesting and informative! Thanks for sharing. I’m delving into the links shared already.

I can relate so much with “busy doing the thing that you are trying to measure” :sweat_smile:.

This IMA project is really highlighting standards. Thanks again!