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DMP4CS – Development of a tool for data management plans in citizen science

schematic illustration of a data management process

Concerns about research data quality are among the most common criticisms of citizen science. Therefore, it is enormously important to counter this accusation with effective and transparent research data management. Data management plans (DMPs) are a simple and effective tool that helps to define and document the procedure for creating, processing, securing and publishing research data. They are an important step towards good research data management in citizen science projects. However, in surveys and workshops it became clear that this tool is hardly used in practice.

In the BMBF-funded project DMP4CS, a needs-oriented and user-friendly tool for the creation of DMPs specifically for citizen science projects is being developed in cooperation with the German Aerospace Center (DLR). 

In order to keep the access barriers for the use of the tool as low as possible, it will be implemented in the form of a web-based software tool and a document-based guideline for the application of the tool. Conception and realisation take place in close cooperation with relevant user groups of the tool in order to implement their requirements in a way that is appropriate to their needs and target groups. An online survey and a stakeholder workshop have already been conducted and focus groups will help to finalise the tool. This should ensure that the DMP tool is adapted to the specific requirements of citizen science projects.

The dissemination of the tool via the platform "Bürger schaffen Wissen" (BsW – citizens create knowledge), the development of the guideline and a BsW training workshop will ensure that the developed DMP tool is widespread in the community and used in the long term.

Already implemented conceptual steps:

  • On 29 March 2023, a stakeholder workshop was held to discuss functions and content issues of a DMP tool for citizen science projects.
  • In December 2022, an anonymous online survey was conducted to best adapt the tool to the needs of the users.