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Research Data Management in LUT Universities: Licencing and Citing

Research data and copyright

Research data are not automatically protected by copyright. Research data may contain both sections which are protected by copyright and sections which are unprotected. It depends on the data; if it is sufficiently independent and original it will have copyright. It is also possible that part of research data is protected by copyright, for example poems, photographs, drawings, computer programs etc. In addition, it is possible that research data is protected by related rights.

In the beginning of the research, researchers should always come to an agreement amongst themselves on the use and archiving of the data. If the data to be used in a research project include data produced by other than the researchers themselves the rights of use of the data should be agreed on with original data creators.

It is also good practice to agree about licensing the data in the beginning of research projects. More information about licenses can be found at Creative Commons pages. The authorship of research data should always be agreed on.                                                               

In using archived research data, you should always refer to the original researcher according to the same principles as referring to publications. The right to be acknowledged as creator is a significant copyright issue which is also a part of the researcher’s merit. In addition to publishing, researchers can also get credit of their research data.


About Creative Commons licences

Creative Commons licences are suitable for use in publishing all open content and material, excluding computer software, which have their own licences. CC licences have become a practical standard for open publishing.

Publishing with Creative Commons licences does not mean giving up copyrights. It means offering a part of the rights to the user, but only under certain terms and conditions, which the author defines him- or herself.

Choosing Creative Commons licence

You can easily find a Creative Commons licence for your own use by using the licence selector. By combining the licence terms, you can define other users' rights to your work in a way you like.

Using a Creative Commons licence does not require registration or other permission. It is enough to add information about the selected licence to your own work. You can also use the licence selector to define how you will be referred to as the author of the work.

Choosing a CC licence as a process


Creative Commons licence selection process is based on Tarmo Toikkanen's image, 2014, CC0.

Citing datasets

If you are using research data that is owned by someone else citing the data is very similar like citing publications. Data citations are as valuable as the citations in publications.

Principles and benefits

  • Give a credit or accreditation to the owner or collector of the dataset
  • The data is considered as important as the other types of research outputs
  • The data can be used as an evidence of scholarly actions, it connects the publications to the research and increasing transparency
  • Using persistent identifiers and proper metadata supports the FAIR principles
  • Encourages the reuse of the data for new research

Elements included in the data citation

  • Author(s), creator(s) or contributor(s)
  • Publication date
  • Title
  • Publisher: The organisation owning or hosting the data
  • Persistent identifier and location: DOI, Handle, URN etc. or URL of the dataset
  • Version or edition
  • Date accessed, when appropriate

The format of the citation depends the citation style used.

Examples of stored datasets