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. 

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. Developing a DMP ensures that you have thought through every aspect of best practices in data management.

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

Completing your DMP

For Alliance-funded research projects, DMPs are now 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 2022 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 e-mail 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

The Alliance encourages all researchers to deposit all digital research data, metadata and code that directly support the research conclusions in journal publications, pre-prints and other research outputs into a recognized repository. The selected data repository/repositories should be described in the DMP. Researchers are encouraged to provide public access to the data deposited where ethical, legal and commercial requirements allow. Researchers are encouraged to use the Agri-Environmental Research Data Repository to deposit their data.
The choices you make for data storage are meant to meet your needs during the active phases of your research project. Archiving and preservation of your data is best served by deposit in a data repository at the end of your project. Note that archiving in a data repository does not necessarily mean you are making your data available for sharing. 
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 DMP Manual 2022460.4 KB
PDF icon Example DMP 1200 KB
PDF icon Example DMP 2116.39 KB