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Copyright and License Policy

We have adopted a CC0 license as the default tool for researchers to share their datasets.

We understand that it is difficult for researchers to know whether research data is subject to copyright law and so, all datasets (by default) are published under CC0. This therefore removes any legal doubt about whether researchers can use the data in their projects. However, please note that under a CC0 license, researchers are not obliged to cite the source of the dataset.

Figshare realises that publishing under a CC0 license is not always ideal and in order to ensure that you get credit for your research data, we have also enabled the option to publish under a CC-BY law. For more details, please see below.

CC0 (tabular datasets and metadata)

CC0 can be particularly important for the sharing of data and databases, since it otherwise may be unclear whether highly factual data and databases are restricted by copyright or other rights. Databases may contain facts that, in and of themselves, are not protected by copyright law. For more information on why a CC0 is a good choice for your data, check out this Creative Commons wiki page.

CC0 is recommended for tabular data and databases and is used by hundreds of organizations. It is especially recommended for scientific data. Although CC0 doesn’t legally require users of the data to cite the source, it does not take away the moral responsibility to give attribution, as is common in scientific research.

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CC-BY (figures, media, posters, papers, filesets)

By licensing your research outputs under CC-BY, Figshare ensures that your research is openly available whilst still ensuring that others give you credit, in the form of a citation, should they use or refer to the research object. 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. It is recommended for maximum dissemination and use of licensed materials.

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The following licenses are available for Code and Software data: MIT, GNU and Apache.

For more information please visit 'What is the most appropriate license for my data?'

For more information please visit the following:

Please note, as a Figshare for Institutions user you may have other licenses available. However, we would still recommend the above licenses where possible. Please check with your institutional administrator if you are unsure.


All metadata published by are available free of restriction under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication. Client repositories may have overriding terms as set out in the T&Cs link in the footer, but the default is CC0.

While we encourage citing of all reuse of academic information, the CC0 copyright waiver is as follows: The person who associated a work with this deed has dedicated the work to the public domain by waiving all of his or her rights to the work worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.

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