If you are depositing your data in 4TU.ResearchData you are required to select a licence for your data as part of the deposit process. A licence will define what others may or may not do with your data and is an important aspect in making sure your data meet the R (Reusable) in FAIR data management.
To maximise reuse of the data we advise you to choose a licence which:
- makes data available to the widest audience possible;
- makes the widest range of uses possible.
Licences for data
Public Domain Dedication (CC0)
CC0 (Creative Commons Zero) enables scientists and other creators and owners of copyright- or database-protected content to waive those interests in their works. This means that they place their work as completely as possible in the public domain, so that others may freely build upon, enhance and reuse the works for any purposes without restriction under copyright or database law.
4TU.ResearchData has adopted CC0 as the default means for researchers to share their datasets. In many cases, it can be difficult to ascertain whether a dataset is subject to copyright law, as many types of data aren’t copyrightable in many jurisdictions. Putting a dataset in the public domain under CC0 is a way to remove any legal doubt about whether researchers can use the data in their projects. This leads to the enrichment of open datasets and further dissemination of knowledge.
Attribution: Although CC0 doesn’t legally require users of the data to cite the source, it's best practice and good science to give proper credit to the original creator(s). Be aware that not citing the research data you’re using, could be considered plagiarism, which would compromise your reputation and the credibility of your work.
Attribution (CC BY)
This licence lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation. Recommended for maximum dissemination and use of licensed materials. The most common licence for Open Access scientific publications. For datasets, CC0 is recommended.
Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA)
This licence 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.
Attribution-NoDerivatives (CC BY-ND)
This licence 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-NonCommercial-ShareAlike (CC BY-NC-SA)
This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, provided you are acknowledged and licence their derivative works on the same terms.
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives (CC BY-NC-ND)
This licence is the most restrictive of all CC licences, 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 Database License (ODbL)
This licence is to allow users to freely share, modify, and use a database while maintaining this same freedom for others.
Only to be used if the dataset contains personal or other confidential information and restrictive conditions for re-use apply.
There may be reasons to publish your data with restricted access, e.g. in case the data contains personal information, involves health and safety risks or it is part of data agreements with commercial parties.
While the metadata is publicly accessible, the files remain confidential and are only shared on request.
When publishing data with restricted access, you need to select the "Restrictive licence" option. Users interested in the dataset are then directed to a web page which explains how they can request access and that they may be asked to agree to an End-User Licence Agreement (EULA) before the data is made available to them.
Licences for software and code
Public Domain Dedication (CC0)
Being in the public domain is not a license; rather, it means the material is not copyrighted and no license is needed. If you're working on a project that doesn't have formal contribution policies, CC0 is a good tool that anyone can use. It formally dedicates your work to the public domain, and provides a fallback license for cases where that is not legally possible.
Attribution: Although CC0 doesn’t legally require users of the software code to cite the source, it's best practice and good science to give proper credit to the original creator(s). Be aware that not citing the software code you’re using, could be considered plagiarism, which would compromise your reputation and the credibility of your work.
A short and simple permissive software licence. As a permissive licence, it puts only very limited restriction on reuse. The only real condition of using MIT licensed software is that the original copyright notice must remain intact.
A permissive free software license, similar to the MIT license, with a small but important difference: while it includes the same copyright and disclaimer notices, it also provides an extra non-attribution clause that protects the original creator of the software. This clause is informally known as the “non-endorsement clause”. It requires developers to obtain express permission before using the original name of the creator to promote derivative products.
Apache Licence 2
A licence that allows you much freedom with the software, including an explicit right to a patent. Redistribution of the software is allowed, provided that you include a notice in each file you modified.
European Union Public License, version 1.2 (EUPL-1.2)
The EUPL is the European Free/Open Source Software (F/OSS) licence created on the initiative of the European Commission. It is delivered in 23 European languages and can be used by anyone for software distribution.
GNU General Public Licence version 2 (GPL-2.0)
Only recommended to use if software is derived from a GPL 2.0 licenced software. For any new project is recommended to use GPL 3.0+ which is the latest version of the GNU Public Licences.
GNU General Public Licence version 3 (GPL 3.0+)
You can distribute your application using a GPL library commercially, but you must also provide the source code.
GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL-3.0)
The license allows developers and companies to use and integrate a software component released under the LGPL into their own (even proprietary) software without being required by the terms of a strong copyleft license to release the source code of their own components.
GNU Affero General Public License (AGPL-3.0)
Its terms effectively consist of the terms of GPL 3.0, with an additional paragraph in section 13 to allow users who interact with the licensed software over a network to receive the source for that program. It’s recommended that developers consider using the GNU AGPL for any software which will commonly be run over a network.