Putting the “R” into FAIR. Licensing research data for reuse and recognition

Dr Adrian Burton2, Mr Baden Appleyard3, Dr Gregory Laughlin2, Ms Gerry Ryder1

1Australian Research Data Commons, Glen Osmond, Australia, 2Australian Research Data Commons, Canberra, Australia, 3Consultant, Brisbane, Australia


The concept of FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable & Reusable) has become ubiquitous across the research sector, yet not all aspects are well understood. Issues around copyright and licensing of data can seem confusing and few people realise that only research data that is licensed may be legally reused.

Copyright and licensing for research data can be complicated.  Apart from legal ownership, other factors such as policy and business requirements, relationships and norms can impact on data licensing decisions. For example, grant funding agreements may require a certain licence to be applied to research data outputs, or, in some cases, expectations or norms in a particular field of study will impact on licensing decisions. Equally, or perhaps more important, is the need to maximise potential for reuse of data to support innovation and new discoveries.

Are you missing out on opportunities for collaboration and attribution by releasing data without a licence? Are you assigning the most appropriate licence to your data outputs?  Do you know when and how you can reuse data created by others? Does your data facility have policy and procedures to support data licensing?

This presentation will be of interest to those wanting a ‘no jargon’ introduction to copyright and licensing for research data.  Learn about the ARDC Research Data Rights Management Guide that describes decision support tools and licensing frameworks that can be applied by data owners, data re-users and those providing access to data through repositories and e-research facilities.


Dr Gregory Laughlin is Principal Policy Advisor with the Australian Research Data Commons


AeRO is the industry association focused on eResearch in Australasia. We play a critical coordination role for our members, who are actively transforming research via Information Technology. Organisations join AeRO to advance their own capabilities and services, to collaborate and to network with peers. AeRO believes researchers and the sector significantly benefit from greater communication, coordination and sharing among the increasingly different and evolving service providers.

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