Linking DMPOnline API development with DMAOnline
On the 2nd of July 2015, I attended the first meeting held for development of a DMPOnline API by DCC and Jisc. There was representation from DCC, Jisc, and a few universities who use DMPOnline as the key tool for Data Management Plans (DMPs). Lancaster University heavily promotes the use of DMPOnline for Data Management Planning. We also have a key interest in the API development for DMPOnline so that we can harvest some of the information from them programmatically to show in our dashboard for DMAOnline.
The day focussed on various aspects of DMPOnline API development, primarily the key points at which integration would be needed, as well as more technical details on the design of the API. It was fairly clear that the Universities would like a standards based RESTful API which can return JSON/XML/CSV outputs and have the right set of data. There was further discussion that the API should be able to return estimated storage, intended target repository, expected data license as concrete values rather than it being part of a narrative so that actions can be taken on the basis of this information accordingly.
From DMAOnline point of view, we were very keen to see whether the life cycle of DMPs is being incorporated into DMPOnline. We were very pleased to hear that this is currently being developed. We were also keen to get some additional information in DMPOnline, e.g. project code so that a DMP can be easily linked to a project in your internal systems. However, very soon after this point was raised, we realised that this is very institution specific and there is no consensus on how to link DMPs to projects. Watch this space as things evolve in this area.
We will be working closely with DCC to develop the first phase of DMPOnline API as we are also the first use case for DMPOnline API. In addition, I had the chance to show the DMAOnline dashboard to the audience and received really positive feedback with strong support for further development of DMAOnline. This is great news for us and we will make sure that this feedback is incorporated in the feasibility report that we will be publishing shortly for our request for second phase of funding.