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What is the most appropriate licence for my data?

Privately stored research: for research outputs uploaded to your account and stored privately or in draft a license is not mandatory, as only you can access it at this stage.

Publicly stored research: all publicly stored research outputs are stored under Creative Commons Licenses. By making your data publicly available, you retain ownership of your research objects (as is often not the case with traditional publishing). All objects are licensed under CC-BY licence, except for datasets, for which the CC0 licence is more appropriate.  

Please see our Copyright and Licensing Policy for more information.

If you are an institutional user, you may have additional licences available to you:

Creative Commons v 4.0

CC BY-SA (Attribution-ShareAlike)

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.

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CC BY-ND (Attribution-NoDerivatives)

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

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CC BY-NC (Attribution-NonCommercial)

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.

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CC BY-NC-SA (Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike)

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.

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CC BY-NC-ND (Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives)

This license is the most restrictive of the six 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.

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Please review http://creativecommons.org/licenses/ for more information and there is also the Creative Commons tool to help you decide.

The Restrictive Licence Template

The Restrictive Licence Template  has been developed specifically to license material that contains personal or other confidential information that has a high security risk associated with its release. It may also be used for material that is to be licensed under some form of limiting or restrictive condition (such as a time limit on use, or payment arrangements other than an initial once-only fee).

The BSD 3-Clause Software Licence

The BSD 3-Clause Software Licence can be applied to software that has been wholely created by your organisation, where the code does not include code licensed under the GNU GPL Licence. Software/code licensed under the BSD 3-Clause Licence can be incorporated into software that is licensed under the GNU GPL Licence. However, the reverse (incorporating GNU GPL Licensed software/code into software licensed under the BSD 3 Clause Licence) is not permitted. The BSD 3-Clause Licence is also compatible with the Apache Software Licence.

This information has been provided by AUSGoal - Australian Governments Open Access and Licensing Framework

Open Data Commons Attribution Licence (ODC-By) v1.0

With the ODC-BY 1.0 licence you are free:

  • To Share: To copy, distribute and use the database.

  • To Create: To produce works from the database.

  • To Adapt: To modify, transform and build upon the database.


(Note: “Database” is a collection of material (the Contents) arranged in a systematic or methodical way and individually accessible by electronic or other means.)

As long as you attribute any public use of the database, or works produced from the database, in the manner specified in the license. For any use or redistribution of the database, or works produced from it, you must make clear to others the license of the database and keep intact any notices on the original database.

This information has been provided by Open Data Commons.

Here is another handy guide that provides further detail: "The Legal Side of Open Source".

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