Portage is working with regional library consortia, individual institutions, and other infrastructure partners to assemble the various infrastructure and service components needed for data management planning, access, preservation, and discovery.
In October 2015, Portage launched the DMP Assistant, a national, open, bilingual data management planning tool to assist researchers in identifying key strategies and services for managing their data throughout the lifespan of their projects.
Data management plans (DMPs) are increasingly recognized in the international research community as a best practice. DMP Assistant takes users step-by-step through a series of questions based on a general template for research data stewardship (the Portage General Data Stewardship Template). This service is freely available to all researchers in Canada and provides specialized guidance to help researchers utilize the tool. It also offers the option of fulfilling DMP requirements of specific funders or using data stewardship templates from other organizations.
DMP Assistant was adapted from the (UK) Digital Curation Centre’s DMP Online tool and is hosted at the University of Alberta. The French user interface was produced with support from the Université de Montréal Library. A Portage DMP Experts Group, composed of data specialists from a number of Canadian university libraries, developed the Portage General Data Stewardship Template and conducted usability tests with researchers and other stakeholders. DMP Assistant will receive ongoing support from Portage to ensure that it remains current and useful.
The Portage Network and its partners aim to provide a comprehensive research data management infrastructure, consisting of platforms that support the entire research data lifecycle (planning, ingest, preservation, discovery, access, repurposing) and specialized digital preservation services for research data, including replicated archival storage. This infrastructure will be distributed among local, regional, and central nodes and will be interoperable through standards and shared protocols.
A complementary set of services will support the discovery of research data located in repositories across Canada. A federated search technology will be employed to aggregate metadata from data repositories..
Close collaboration with other partners and stakeholders is essential for developing and supporting the ongoing maintenance of this infrastructure. Both cash and in-kind resources will be needed to support one-time developments and implementations, as well as ongoing operations.