RDIM Terminology Licensing Data

Licensing Data

Applying a licence makes the terms and conditions regarding the reuse of data explicit, and ensures the data is attributed correctly to the owner.

Data may be Open Access (it can be downloaded and reused under an open licence) or it may be available via Conditional Access. The latter case requires negotiation with the data owner or custodian. Researchers may need to negotiate the licence terms and/or assure data owners that they will meet requirements for confidentiality or keeping files secure.

In Australia, having no licence is regarded in the same way as ‘all rights reserved’ under the Copyright Act. This means other people would have to contact the data owner or custodian for permission to do anything with the data. This restricts the future impact of the data by making it difficult (and often impossible) to reuse it or integrate it with other datasets.

If licensing information is not clear (or there is no licence) researchers should contact the data custodian for more information before they invest in using it.

This very short (1:47) video from Ross Wilkinson at ANDS explains the relationship between data licensing and data integration. Ross gives the example of integrating climate change data from a variety of sources to develop a national park regime in North Queensland. Data integration enables powerful research - but without licences in place it could take a legal team years to work this out!

Dr Ross Wilkinson, ANDS

The importance of harmonising licensing of research data under a single licensing framework, AusGOAL