Licensing Research Data

Defining conditions for reuse

A licence clarifies the terms of use for your data – as the default legal position can sometimes be complex.

Research data can have rights associated with it such as copyright and database rights. Further information on these here.

 A licence is a formal statement issued by the holder of the rights to a particular work, giving permission to use the work in certain specified ways. For example, you may want to specify that if data is reused you must be cited as the data creator or that the data cannot be used for commercial purposes.

There are two broad categories of licence for data:

  • Traditional data sharing or collaboration agreements, which grant rights only to specific individuals or entities
  • ‘Open’ licences which grant rights to anyone, often subject to certain minimal conditions.

Commonly used open licences for data include Creative Commons licence. There are specific licences for software and code. Details of licences available within the Royal Holloway Research Data Archive can be found here

All metadata submitted into the Royal Holloway Research Data Archive is shared under a CC0 licence, that is a publication domain dedication and waiver.

(Based on information provided by the University of Oxford)

Further Guidance

DCC's How to Licence Research Data Guide