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Research Data Management: Rights & Licensing

Purpose of Licensing

As the owner of research data, in order to clarify the terms and conditions governing how potential users are allowed to use, reuse or share your research data, you may consider choosing a license that facilitates this process.

Sources of Licenses

Creative Commons

There are six CC license options. You can use this License Chooser to explore Creative Commons licenses and determine which license to choose from. Or you might want to consider these guiding questions and refer to the diagram in choosing an appropriate license :

  • Would you allow your work to be used for commercial purposes?
  • Would you allow your work to be modified or adapted?
  • Would you allow others who used your work to apply a different CC license from the one you originally specified?

Foter Creative Commons license diagram (cropped)

Adapted from: foter / CC BY-SA

Attribution (CC BY)

This license lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation. This is the most accommodating of licenses offered. Recommended for maximum dissemination  and use of licensed materials.

 

Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA)

This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work even for commercial purposes, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms. This license is often compared to “copyleft” free and open source software licenses. All new works based on yours will carry the same license, so any derivatives will also allow commercial use. This is the license used by Wikipedia, and is recommended for materials that would benefit from incorporating content from Wikipedia and similarly licensed projects.

Attribution-NoDerivatives (CC BY-ND )

This license allows for redistribution, commercial and non-commercial, as long as it is passed along unchanged and in whole, with credit to you.

Attribution NonCommercial (CC BY-NC)

This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, and although their new works must also acknowledge you and be non-commercial, they don’t have to license their derivative works on the same terms.

Attribution Non-Commercial ShareAlike (CC BY-NC-SA)

This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms.

Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives (CC BY-NC-ND)

This license is the most restrictive of our six main licenses, only allowing others to download your works and share them with others as long as they credit you, but they can’t change them in any way or use them commercially.

Open Data Commons

There are three ODC license options:

ODC Public Domain and Dedication License (PDDL)

Specifically designed for database at Public Domain. You are allowed to copy, distribute and use the database, to produce works from the database, to modify, transform and build upon the database.

ODC Attribution License (ODC-BY)

You are allowed to copy, distribute and use the databsae, to produce works from the database, to modify, transform and build upon the database but you must attribute any public use of the database or works produced from the database.

ODC Database License (ODbL)

The same as ODC-BY on top of offering unrestricted version of access to adapted or new database and technological restrictions such as Digital Rights Management mechanisms can be applied to the new database derived from it if an alternative copy without the restrictions is made equally available.

Useful Resources

Ball, A. (2012). ‘How to License Research Data’. DCC How-to Guides. Edinburgh: Digital Curation Centre: Available online: http://www.dcc.ac.uk/resources/how-guides/license-research-data

Korn, N., Oppenheim, C. (2011). Licensing Open Data: A Practical Guide. Available online: http://discovery.ac.uk/files/pdf/Licensing_Open_Data_A_Practical_Guide.pdf

Australian National Data Service: Webinar Research Data Licensing: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLG25fMbdLRa7QH8_yyNSgzkQOTBVsTK2r

AusGOAL (Australia Governments Open Access and Licensing Framework): http://ands.org.au/publishing/licensing.html

License Wizard: http://ufal.github.io/lindat-license-selector/