Data Licences

A data licence is a legal instrument that specifies a standard set of terms and conditions regarding sharing and re-use of your research data.

If you want to publish your research data in a data repository, you have to choose a licence to accompany your data. Each data repository has its own licensing options. Some repositories require you to use a certain licence if you want to deposit your data with them.

The following are common licences:

  • Creative Commons licences for research data
    Creative Commons licences offer a simple, standard way to share open content with permission and under certain conditions. The WUR Data Sharing guidelines recommends the use of the creative common licences for ‘open data’. For data with ‘restricted access’, additionally, specific data sharing agreements need to be made.

    The CC0 Public Domain Dedication Licence was specifically created to avoid any legal and technological obstacles to reusing research data. This licence is not recommended for WUR data, because the data sharing guidelines state that WUR researchers should at least be attributed for their scientific effort (i.e. CC BY).

    The latest version of CC-licences also includes database rights. A database holder can use a CC 4.0 licence to allow uses that could cause issues under database rights.
  • Open Source Software Licences CC-licences are not recommended for licensing your source code. They do not contain specific terms about the source code distribution. Moreover CC-licences do not address patent rights while patent rights are important for many software. To ensure the free reuse and modifiability of software, you may wish to choose one of the Open Source Software licences like the MIT licence, Apache Licence or one of the GPL Licences.

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