Reaching out to the DataONE Community

Week 2

June 24, 2012: Reaching Out, Contacting Organizations, Users, and Brainstorming for the DMPTool “kit”

Everyday thus far, when I first sit down to work on the DMPtool project, I naturally start out by thinking in broad and more general terms.  And then little by little I begin to focus in.  Ultimately, I allow myself to take this potentially circuitous route towards concentrating on the task at hand, because even though my internship is specifically focused, I think it is still important to consider the ‘big picture’ as I work towards the smaller goals.

Today my first broad thought about how to improve visibility of the tool was to create a Twitter feed.  I can include links to this blog, and the official DMPtool blog posts, as well as quick posts about my progress.  Though this idea doesn’t focus in on the DataONE community specifically–it would definitely include the DataONE community.  I can tweet news about DataONE as well.  Overall, it might be a good step towards getting the DMPtool and its partner organizations more visibility and discovery.

Now for the specifics:

1) LTER: Long Term Ecological Research Network ( A collaborative network of scientists, data managers, and students working within ecology at different sites and promotes comparative research, data practices and data management.  Large and prominent organizations like LTER would be great partners to recruit in the promotion of the DMPtool, additionally those who are a part of this community might greatly benefit from the DMPtool, as they are prime candidates for applying for funding with agencies that require a data management plan such as the NSF.  I identified 3 groups within the LTER community that might be interested in learning more about the DMPtool and helping to advance its visibility.  These groups are: the information management committee, the network itself, and the science council.  I sent out an email to a contact I have at LTER and am hoping to follow up on this avenue sometime later this week.

2) OBFS: Organization of Biological Field Stations ( Is an organization of research stations.  The idea is that by providing scientists, students and volunteers with the opportunity to work in real-world laboratories, people can gain first hand experience in working in environmental science.  Though the website includes extensive information about the related field research stations, there is little to no information about data management.  Perhaps this is because this organization appeals to people beyond the academic environmental science community and therefore, this particular organization is not as heavily steeped in academic research and therefore the community would not be as well versed with the necessity of data management.  However, the OBFS does have a Data Registry–similar the one that I have been working on for UCLA (mentioned in my last post  Thus, I think that there will be an interest in the DMPtool.  Though I do not have a contact within this particular organization, I emailed the outreach coordinator as well as the person in charge of organizational development.

3) NEON: National Ecological Observatory Network  (  A super large organization, funded by the NSF and dedicated to detect ecological change and enable forecasting of its impacts.  Though NEON makes a point to discuss its organizational commitment to making data open and searchable, they do not dedicate space on the website to data management related issues.  I am detecting a pattern.  I think that in addition to enhancing the visibility of the DMPtoo, by promoting data management these organizations might be able to achieve their goals.  Data collection, storage, sharing, etc all rely on data management.  And funding for research now also requires considerations of data management in many cases.  It was also hard to determine who to email about the DMPtool. I chose the science educator… since its about obtaining a resource for data management.

I am slightly concerned about getting responses back from people whom I have no intermediary contact with.

4) DMPtool KIT Brainstorm: My last order of business for today was to brainstorm about the different components that might be included in the “DMPtool Kit”.  I would be interested in sending this tool kit out to these different organizations that I contacted today as well as more organizations like these.  So far I have come up with the following components that must be included in the kit, which will help researchers more easily and effectively construct data management plans and use the data management planning tool to do so:

a. Metadata standards- Metadata standards strike me as among the most difficult aspects for researchers to fill out a DMP, and so the ‘kit’ should absolutely involve suggestions about metadata standards.  Since the focus is on the DataONE community, the standards that are typically used for the environmental/earth/biological science researchers are: Darwin core, FGDC (, EML(

b. Storage and Repositories- I think that in the kit some of the repositories and storage options should be included.  I should try to include some that are related to the major partner institutions , such as Dryad.

c. What else should be included in the kit?  How to guides a la the DMPonline tool?

Lastly, In terms of my personal organization I have also started a Zotero folder capturing all of the websites and documents that I have been using to conduct this project.

I guess that’s about it for now.  Week 3 officially starts tomorrow.



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