Haplo Repository breaks new ground with Machine Actionable Data Management Plans

By Tom Renner

22 May 2020

Haplo Repository is the world’s first repository provider to implement the RDA common standard for maDMPs. This new repository module is open source under the MPLv2 license.

The challenge

Since research institutions first started using Data Management Plans, the value of considered data management planning has become widely recognised, along with the limitations of a data management plan which remains unchanged during the project. In, "Ten principles for machine-actionable data management plans” Miksa et al. laid out a challenge to turn data management plans from "a static document ... [which] only contributes to the perception that DMPs are an annoying administrative exercise” to an "integral part of research practice” through the use of machine actionable Data Management Plans. [1]

"The research community is moving toward a shared goal of making DMPs machine-actionable to improve the experience for all involved by exchanging information across research tools and systems and embedding DMPs in existing workflows. This will enable parts of the DMP to be automatically generated and shared, thus reducing administrative burdens and improving the quality of information within a DMP.” Tomasz Miksa et al., 2019. [1]

Haplo took up this challenge, becoming the world's first repository provider to implement the RDA common standard for maDMPs[2]. We presented our prototype version to the research community at RDA Helsinki[3] and IDCC20 (Dublin)[4]. Working closely with RDA and the Haplo Repository User Group to incorporate their feedback into the design, we released the Haplo maDMP module to London South Bank University in April 2020. 

Why machine actionable?

Researchers need to plan how they will manage the data gathered and produced during their research being mindful of ethical, legal, and contractual requirements. The research project may be several years long and the management of the data impacts multiple departments within the institution. Current data management plans are difficult to implement and track, and require next generation machine actionable Data Management Plans to be able to automatically coordinate the actions planned in the DMP. 

By creating machine actionable Data Management Plans, researchers and research institutions can tie together data collected as part of their existing research processes, minimising the administrative burden of producing a DMP. And by storing information in this structured format, based on the RDA common standard for maDMPs, Haplo is able to intelligently understand the information entered and use it to inform research processes in turn.

When Haplo Repository is used standalone, support for the common data interchange format allows the plan to be shared with other institutional systems. And as part of the wider Haplo Current Research Information System, the maDMP can inform actions and processes throughout the entire research lifecycle in a single integrated system.

Key features of Haplo’s DMP module

Some of the key features of the Haplo DMP module include:

  • An extensible DMP form, based on the RDA common standard, to enable institution-specific fields while retaining the benefits of using an open community standard
  • DMP information pre-filled from Haplo’s Ethics, Funding, and Repository modules (if in use at the institution)
  • Full version control and change tracking of the DMP form
  • Automatic notifications to repository staff if large amounts of data will be produced for provisioning planning
  • Dataset access levels are verified against the DMP during deposit to the repository
  • Comprehensive reporting on the coverage and contents of DMPs at the institution

Warnings in ingest process prompted by DMP

Editing a DMP

Reporting on DMPs

Into the future

We are very excited about the future of this functionality. In collaboration with our User Group and the wider RDM community we are continuing to develop the module, incorporating user feedback and adapting to the changing research and technological landscape. Our current plans include adding more in-system notifications to automate research management tasks, extending the available reporting, and integrating with external systems to maximise the value of the DMP across the whole research ecosystem. 

If you’d like to hear more about Haplo’s DMP module and research management technology, or would like to work together to ensure your system interoperates with Haplo Repository, please get in touch to arrange an online demo!

[1] https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pcbi.1006750

[2] https://www.rd-alliance.org/group/dmp-common-standards-wg/outcomes/rda-dmp-common-standard-machine-actionable-data-management

[3] https://www.rd-alliance.org/machine-actionable-dmps-take-them-and-use-them

[4] https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3673058