Data Management Plans (DMPs)

The Ontario Agri-Food Innovation Alliance is committed to fostering sound data management practices to facilitate new agri-food and rural research. It supports the University of Guelph's commitment to research excellence, which includes managing data to the highest standards throughout the research data life cycle. 

Why DMPs?

Researchers awarded funding through the Alliance research program must complete a data management plan (DMP) for their awarded project(s).

A DMP summarizes how data generated over the course of a research project will be stored, shared and maintained. It can help improve the effectiveness, efficiency and organization of a research project as well as help ensure data is ready for preservation or sharing at the end of a project. (Note: the Alliance requires all data, metadata and code generated using Alliance funds or resources to be preserved and available to OMAFRA upon request.)

Developing a DMP ensures that you have thought through every aspect of best practices in data management and that your project complies with the data management policies of the Alliance. See sections below on data preservation and OMAFRA access to project data for more information. 

To learn more about data management planning, visit the University of Guelph Library's DMP page.

To learn more about the University of Guelph’s Research Data Management Strategy, visit the University of Guelph Office of Research web page.

Data preservation 

All research data, metadata and code that are generated using Alliance funds or resources must be preserved in a non-proprietary file format and available to provide to OMAFRA upon request. The best way to preserve your data, metadata and code is to deposit it in a recognized repository, such as the Agri-Environmental Research Data Repository at the University of Guelph.

Please note that depositing your data in a repository does not require you to share your data; data may be deposited in a repository but not shared. See 'data deposit and data sharing', below, for more information. 

Data deposit and data sharing  

The Alliance strongly encourages researchers to deposit all research data, metadata and code into a recognized repository. The selected data repository/repositories should be described in the DMP.  The location of the deposited data (e.g., URL or the digital object identifier (DOI)) must be provided in the Final Report. 

Researchers are encouraged to provide public access to the data deposited where ethical, legal, and commercial requirements allow. Sharing research data supports research transparency, replication, and reuse of data. A University of Guelph research and scholarship librarian can help researchers identify an appropriate repository as part of their DMP and discuss options for making project data FAIR (findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable).

OMAFRA access to project data 

For all recipients of funding and resources through the Ontario Agri-Food Innovation Alliance, OMAFRA is entitled to request and be granted access to all data generated using Alliance funds. You must contact Alliance research program administration before entering into any agreement that may limit the Ministry's right to access data generated as part of an Alliance-supported project, including non-disclosure agreements or third-party data agreements.  Please contact Stacy Favrin, Senior Manager, OMAFRA/UofG Research Programs (favrinst[at] for guidance before entering into any  access-limiting agreements.  

Completing your DMP

For Alliance-funded research projects, DMPs are a condition of award. Please refer to your award agreement for details. 

All DMPs must be reviewed and endorsed by the University of Guelph Library. The Library will submit your DMP to the Office of Research, Agri-Food Partnership on your behalf. 


  1. Use the Portage DMP Assistant online tool to create your DMP with the University of Guelph Ontario Agri-Food Innovation Alliance Funding Template. Instructions for using the DMP Assistant tool are available in the 2023 DMP Manual
  2. Send the PDF of your draft DMP (including the project details coversheet) to the University of Guelph Library ( for feedback.  A research and scholarship librarian will provide feedback within a week of receiving your plan. We recommend submitting your DMP promptly to allow yourself time to address any recommendations arising from the library’s review.
  3. Address any recommended changes and resubmit your DMP to the Library for review. You can update your DMP using the Portage DMP Assistant.
  4. Once the Library endorses your DMP, they will email your Library-endorsed DMP to the Alliance ( and will copy you.  

Getting support to complete your DMP

To assist researchers with developing a DMP, the University of Guelph Library offers Alliance-specific supports and resources. See below for details.  

A video providing step-by-step tips and instructions for completing your DMP will be available for you to watch here.
The University of Guelph Library also provides one-on-one consultations for researchers to complete their DMPs. For assistance, questions or to book a one-on-one consultation with a research and scholarship librarian at the University of Guelph Library contact

Information and resources

Complete your DMP using the Portage Network's DMP Assistant online tool. The Portage Network is an initiative of the Canadian Association of Research Libraries. The Portage DMP Assistant will provide guidance and resources to address questions in the following categories: Data Collection, Data Storage, Data Archiving and Preservation, Sharing and Reuse, Restrictions/Limitations. 

*Note: these questions do not constitute a complete DMP template and are provided for general guidance only. Use the Portage DMP Assistant to develop a complete plan.

  1. Data Collection
    1. Provide an overview of the data that will be generated, collected or acquired to support this project. If data will be acquired from a third party, specify the source.
    2. What method(s) of data collection will be employed?
    3. What types of data will be included?
    4. What software or digital formats will be used to collect, manage and analyze the data?
    5. Provide an indication of the scope of the data.
  2. Data Storage
    1. Estimate the size of data storage that will be required.
    2. Where will your data be stored during the collection, collation and analysis phases of the project?
    3. What backup strategy will be employed?
    4. How will your data files be organized? What file naming conventions will you use? A brief overview or example would be adequate.
    5. What metadata will be developed for your data? Will there be supplemental documentation prepared to assist with the interpretation and analysis of your data?
  3. Data Archiving and Preservation
    1. Will you deposit your data in the UG data repository or an external data repository?
    2. Discuss any data transformations that will be needed so your data is preserved in appropriate, non-proprietary formats.
    3. If some of your data will not be preserved, how long will you retain it? Will the non-preserved data be destroyed?
  4. Sharing and Reuse
    1. Will the data that you archive in a data repository be made available for sharing and reuse by other researchers?
    2. Explain which version of your data or subset of your data will be shared.
    3. When will your data be available for discovery by other researchers? Will you impose an embargo on publication of your data? If so, please provide details on the duration of the embargo.
    4. Will you limit who can access your data? If so, who will that be and why are you limiting the data's reuse?
    5. Are there specific license terms you will assign to users of your data?
  5. Restrictions/Limitations
    1. Are there limitations or constraints on how you manage your data resulting from legal, ethical or intellectual property concerns?
    2. Would your data need to be anonymized or de-identified before being shared with others?
The Alliance and the University of Guelph Library have compiled a list of tools and supports to assist with the completion of your DMP:

File attachments

PDF icon Example DMP 2116.39 KB
PDF icon DMP_2023 Manual_AODA.pdf457.08 KB