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Thing 9: Licensing data for reuse

Understand the importance of data licensing and learn about Creative Commons.

  • Getting started: don’t let CC pass you BY!
  • Learn more: Licensing - a keystone for innovation and business
  • Challenge me: How does Licensing work in tricky or complex situations?

Getting StartedLearn MoreChallenge me

Getting started

Thing 9: Licensing data for reuse

Consider this scenario: You’ve found a dataset you (or your client) is interested in.  You’ve downloaded it. Excellent!  But do you know what you (or your client) can and cannot do with the data?  The answer lies in data licensing.  Licensing is critical to enabling data to be reused and cited.

  1. Start by reading this brief introduction to licensing research data.
    For our colleagues in New Zealand, find out about data licensing in NZ at NZGOAL
  2. Now have a closer look at the poster from creativecommons.org.  Click on the descriptions for more information.  Notice they have used CC BY as the licensing information at the bottom of the poster so you know what you can do with the poster itself.

Consider: If you were considering licensing a dataset on something which may have commercial value to others - what license would you apply?

Do you have a question?  Want to share a resource?


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learn more

Thing 9: Licensing data for reuse

Enabling reuse of data can speed up research and innovation.  Licensing is critical to enabling data reuse.

  1. Start by watching this 4.30mins video in which Dr Kevin Cullen from the University of New South Wales explains their approach to licensing which aims to strengthen the University’s relationship with business and industry.
    For our NZ colleagues: choose a video or two from NZGOAL training video playlist - you might be particularly interested in Training Video 11 NZGOAL, Creative Commons and Data.
  2. Now read the Australian Government Public Data Policy Statement (2 pages) that was released by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in December 2015.  Note in particular, the last dot point.

    Consider: possible implications for data managers, researchers, librarians and others as we move forward with the National Science and Innovation Agenda?

    Does your institution have a policy or guidelines around data licensing?

Do you have a question?  Want to share a resource?


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Challenge me

Thing 9: Licensing data for reuse

Not all research data that is shared is licensed for reuse. It should be!

  1. Start by going to Research Data Australia and search for research data using keywords eg. ‘water quality’ or ‘cancer’.  Note the number of records in your result set.
  2. Now “Refine Results” to limit your search to only those datasets with an ‘open’ licence.  Note the number of records in this result set.
  3. Look closely at the specific Licensing information on a small sample of those records with ‘open’ licences. How easy or difficult it is to work out if the data can or can’t be reused e.g. for commercial purposes? with international collaborators?

Consider: Assigning Open Licenses is not routine. Suggest one tip for encouraging uptake of 'open' licensing.

Do you have a question?  Want to share a resource?


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in 23 (research data) Things