Journal article Open Access
Machine-actionable or ‘active’ Data Management Plans have gathered a great deal of interest over recent years with many groups worldwide discussing a vision of how DMPs can enable researchers to manage their data and connect them up with service providers for support. Discussions are focused on converting DMPs from a stick to a carrot. Researchers and other stakeholders must come to regard them as a benefit, something useful for doing their research, a manifest of their methods and outputs that can be used for reporting, evaluation and implementation rather than an annoying administrative burden.
This paper reviews the work underway by different groups to gather user requirements and trial solutions. It notes several international fora where discussions are taking place and lists DMP platforms in active development. We offer a summary of where things are going, who needs to be involved and how we can include them. We conclude with next steps for machine-actionable DMPs that focus on continuing efforts to connect interested parties, share ideas, experiment in multiple directions to test these concepts and turn machine-actionable DMPs into reality.