4TU.Centre for Research Data has just released a new feature in the data archive by which depositors are able to choose a licence from a predefined list during the deposit process. This will increase the flexibility for depositors in choosing the appropriate licence for their data and is for end users easier to understand. A licence will define what others may or may not do with the data and is an important aspect in making sure the dataset meet the Reusability demands (R) in FAIR data management.

Data licences

4TU.ResearchData now offers the full range of Creative Commons licences. CC licences are the standard way to share open content with permission and under certain conditions, and are already commonly used for Open Access publications.

Guidance on all licence types offered can be found here.

4TU.ResearchData has adopted CC0 (Creative Commons Zero) as the default means for researchers to share their datasets to make its reuse as easy as possible without any legal barrier.

There are several reasons for choosing CCO:

  • We are promoting Open Science and FAIR data management, and in that respect we want to make the reuse of data as likely as possible. However, if there are reasons or circumstances when data can’t be shared with a CC0 licence, depositors can choose another, more appropriate licence for their data.
  • In many cases, it can be difficult to ascertain whether a dataset is subject to copyright law, as many types of data aren’t copyrightable in many jurisdictions. Putting a database or dataset in the public domain under CC0 is a way to remove any legal doubt about whether researchers can use the data in their projects. This leads to the enrichment of open datasets and further dissemination of knowledge.
  • Some journal publishers already require that authors make their dataset available under a CC0 licence. (see: https://www.nature.com/articles/sdata201758)
  • CC0 is a single mechanism that is both global and universal, covering all data and all countries. It is also widely recognized.

Software licences

CC licences are not recommended for licensing software or code. They do not contain specific terms about the source code distribution and do not address patent rights. To ensure the free reuse and modifiability of software, 4TU.ResearchData offers three open source licences: MIT license, Apache License 2 and the GNU GPLv3 license.

Data citation and attribution

Anyone using data from the 4TU.ResearchData archive, is expected to cite or reference this work as they would any other scientific research (even if the licence does not explicitly requires to do so). Citing data is considered good scientific practice and helps to avoid charges of plagiarism.

Visit this page for more information on our licences or contact us at researchdata@4tu.nl when you have any questions. Please note that when you publish data online via 4TU.ResearchData, the chosen licence is permanent and cannot be adjusted afterwards