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Research Data Management (RDM): Data Licenses

UCT Libraries Research Data Services provide guidance and support for all aspects of the data lifecycle, from planning your data management strategy during the proposal phase through preserving your data at the conclusion of your project.

Rights and Permissions

As a data creator, you have certain rights over the work and an opportunity to license your data appropriately to facilitate sharing and re-use. The application of copyright and licensing depends on several factors - whether your data set contains quantitative data, qualitative data, or sensitive information. Copyright and licensing options vary depending on the type of data and its sensitivity. 
 
Best practices include:
  • Understanding the nature of your dataset and whether your data are subject to copyright.
  • Making your data as open and reusable as possible, ideally by dedicating it to the Public Domain.
  • Identifying any restrictions of sharing data, e.g. from Terms of Use.
  • Asserting your rights under the Doctrine of Fair Use if necessary.
  • Considering carefully any ethical questions involved in sharing your openly and choosing licensing and access options to match. 
The information presented here is a brief overview of a very complicated topic. Please get in touch with the Research Data Management team for help with any of the rights and permissions considerations below. 

ZivaHub Licensing

ZivaHub Licenses

ZivaHub offers a range of Licensing option

Anonymizing Data

Before data collected during research with human subjects is published, researchers should ensure the removal of any personally identifiable information (or PII). A documented plan for anonymizing the data will serve to mitigate the risk to participants, encourage consistency in practices among the research team throughout the project, and help future users to understand what decisions were made during the anonymization.

Some approaches for anonymization include:

  • Avoid the collection of identifying information that is unnecessary for the study
  • Remove direct identifiers (i.e. participant names, addresses, phone numbers) from the data and, when appropriate replace this information with a code (i.e. participant number or pseudonym in place of name)
  • Aggregate variables or reduce the precision of reporting when possible to lower the potential for identification. For example, rather than recording full birth dates or precise ages of participants, the research team may decide to record year of birth or age range.

Licensing Options

Creative Commons

There are six CC license options. You can use this License Chooser to explore Creative Commons licenses and determine which license to choose from.

Attribution (CC BY)

This license lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation. This is the most accommodating of licenses offered. Recommended for maximum dissemination  and use of licensed materials.

 

Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA)

This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work even for commercial purposes, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms. This license is often compared to “copyleft” free and open source software licenses. All new works based on yours will carry the same license, so any derivatives will also allow commercial use. This is the license used by Wikipedia, and is recommended for materials that would benefit from incorporating content from Wikipedia and similarly licensed projects.

Attribution-NoDerivatives (CC BY-ND )

This license allows for redistribution, commercial and non-commercial, as long as it is passed along unchanged and in whole, with credit to you.

Attribution NonCommercial (CC BY-NC)

This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, and although their new works must also acknowledge you and be non-commercial, they don’t have to license their derivative works on the same terms.

Attribution Non-Commercial ShareAlike (CC BY-NC-SA)

This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms.

Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives (CC BY-NC-ND)

This license is the most restrictive of our six main licenses, only allowing others to download your works and share them with others as long as they credit you, but they can’t change them in any way or use them commercially.

Open Data Commons

There are three ODC license options:

ODC Public Domain and Dedication License (PDDL)

Specifically designed for database at Public Domain. You are allowed to copy, distribute and use the database, to produce works from the database, to modify, transform and build upon the database.

ODC Attribution License (ODC-BY)

You are allowed to copy, distribute and use the databsae, to produce works from the database, to modify, transform and build upon the database but you must attribute any public use of the database or works produced from the database.

ODC Database License (ODbL)

The same as ODC-BY on top of offering unrestricted version of access to adapted or new database and technological restrictions such as Digital Rights Management mechanisms can be applied to the new database derived from it if an alternative copy without the restrictions is made equally available.