Rights & Licensing

IP Rights and Sharing

  • The University generally asserts ownership of intellectual property devised, made, or created by staff of the University in the course of their employment.  Although there are certain exemptions, this will generally include ownership of intellectual property rights in data generated in the course of University research, including research funded by external sponsors such as the Research Councils.
  • As a researcher, you should clarify ownership of and rights relating to research data before a project starts.  Data which include multiple copyright layers or rights owners cannot be shared unless permission for data sharing has been given by all copyright/rights holders.
  • In some cases academic or commercial collaborators may have intellectual property rights in research outputs.  Normally there are consortium agreements or legal contracts associated with such collaborations. You should always contact RIES before entering into any IPR agreement.
  • There may be copyright restrictions in making an article and the underlying data freely available. The University of Nottingham’s Sherpa RoMEO service lists publishers and their associated copyright agreements. Use the RoMEO service to search for a publisher, or a particular journal, to see what rights are assigned to publishers and which are retained by the author.
  • If you are sharing your data, clear guidance from you the researcher (eg. a license) on what re-users can do with your data helps disentangle some of the complexities and ambiguities surrounding the rights associated with that data.  One way of clarifying the terms of use of your data is to license your data.  See the next tab.

Licencing your Data

Licensing your data clarifies the terms of use of your data – disentangling what could otherwise be quite a complicated default legal position.

  • The DCC’s guide ‘How to License Research Data’ is a useful overview.
  • RIES can draw up licencing agreements for data sharing and data access agreements which address all the main issues and can to be tailored to your own project needs. RIES also offer to check drafts as they are prepared before producing a final signature-ready copy.
  • Alternatively, consider licensing under a Creative Commons Open Data CC Zero public domain dedication and waiver, if your research data are not covered by copyright.
  • Consider licensing using a Creative Commons Attribution License, if your image data are covered by copyright.
  • See: Open Data Commons legal solutions for Open Data

Creative Commons Graphic
Adapted from the University of Oxford under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported licence (CC BY 3.0).  Original content at: http://researchdata.ox.ac.uk/