Library Carpentry Curriculum Committee Approves Data Management Plan Lesson

Explore the newly approved Data Management Plan Course for Librarians--empowering information professionals to support research data management effectively.


We are excited to announce that the Library Carpentry Curriculum Advisory Committee (LC-CAC) has approved a new lesson Data Management Plan Course for Librarians for inclusion in the Library Carpentry curriculum. This course was developed as part of an Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) grant to UCLA to develop open science lessons for Library Carpentry.

This course provides an introduction to conducting data management plan (DMP) services for librarians. By the end of this course, librarians should be equipped to offer basic DMP review services to researchers.

What does this lesson cover?

This lesson is divided into five episodes:

  1. Data Management Plan Overview. This episode lays out the components of an ideal DMP and covers important background information.

  2. DMP Resources. This episode includes resources for librarians to use when assisting DMPs, including how to find funder requirements, repositories, data standards, and example DMPs.

  3. Supporting Researchers. This episode focuses on how to conduct an effective data interview.

  4. DMPTool and Common DMP Issues. This episode includes a demo of the DMPTool application and provides solutions for working with researchers on common DMP issues.

  5. Data Management Plan Services. This episode provides strategies for starting a DMP service in the library.

Why a DMP course for librarians?

Why was this course developed now? It was built to support the needs of the growing data librarianship community. In 2023, the National Institutes of Health, a top federal funder of research in the United States, rolled out a new data management and sharing policy. The policy expanded the requirement for grantees to write data management and sharing plans (DMP), meaning many researchers were submitting a DMP for the first time. While this was a major change in US policy and a positive step in the shift towards open science, much of the work of educating researchers and reviewing plans fell on the shoulders of data librarians.

Marla, Daria, and Lena, the authors of the course, met while working together on a cross-institutional project that created resources for researchers and librarians implementing the policy at their institutions. As part of this work, the authors noticed a spike in the number of hired data librarians. In addition, librarians without a background in data librarianship were being moved into supporting data management and reviewing plans, especially at small and under-resourced institutions that may not have the need or capacity to support a dedicated data librarian. It became clear that there was a gap in practical training on providing DMP review services for librarians. The authors conceptualized this course to address this need in response to the UCLA call for proposals.

Course author biographies

Lena Bohman is the senior data management and research impact librarian at the Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra University and Northwell Health. Northwell is a large health system in the New York City area with 80,000 employees across 24 hospitals. Lena has a bachelor’s in American Studies and a master’s in Library Science. Her role crosses over between academic librarianship and hospital librarianship, and Lena works with researchers who are very experienced as well as novices. She has been in this role for almost two years.

Marla Hertz is an Associate Professor and the Research Data Management Librarian (RDM) at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). UAB is a public research-intensive university with roughly 21K students and over $700 million dollars of extramural research awards last year. Marla has a PhD in microbiology and 15+ years of research experience. Marla transitioned into RDM librarianship 2 years ago to support the data management and sharing needs of UAB researchers.

Daria Orlowska is a data librarian and assistant professor at Western Michigan University, a public doctorate-granting university with ~17,000 students with high research activity by the Great Lakes in the United States. Daria has a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in library and information science and experience coordinating federally-funded health psychology research full-time for several years. Daria has been in her role for 4.5 years. As part of her role, Daria provides data education and services to students, faculty, and staff within the university community.

Why did the curriculum advisors adopt this lesson?

The DMP course is an excellent fit for the Library Carpentry target audience, and pairs well with existing lessons in the Library Carpentry extended curriculum, such as Tidy Data and Introduction to Data for Archivists. Given the growing international demands for research data management support, the LC-CAC hopes to develop workshop pathways that will help address foundational data management skills training. The DMP lesson provides an accessible introduction to a core element of data management support for library and information professionals. With the continued development of new IMLS Open Science lessons, LC-CAC is excited to expand our open curriculum and build support for new data librarians and others interested in Open Science topics.

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