The Holistic Librarian – Thing 23

Hi, I’m Patrick Overy and I am the subject librarian for Law and Business.

Task 23 was to document “What is the importance of licensing research data? Where can you find out more about licensing research data?”

What I knew about the topic beforehand:

Licensing research data may mean either:

  1. Getting permission to use data produced by another researcher/research body/commercial enterprise for your own purposes or
  2. Making your research data publicly available but still controlling its use by third parties

As researchers in the Business School in particular make heavy use of data which is commercially produced I am frequently involved in setting up access to services or advising on available datasets.

If data is produced by national or international bodies and available via ESRC (Economic and Social Data Service) any research has to be submitted to the UK Data Archive to complement the original data although copyright may determine whether it can be publicly available.

What I know now

Many public bodies are choosing to follow Creative Commons practices, e.g. TERN  in Australia   If data is created by the researcher it can be licensed via Creative Commons style licences, although this is sometimes not a suitable solution.  JISC has produced a help guide for licensing open access data at

A general guide has been produced by the DCC:  Ball, A. (2012). ‘How to License Research Data’. DCC How-to Guides. Edinburgh: Digital Curation Centre. Available online:

How did I obtain this knowledge?

Try online sources of advice in the UK and beyond – the Digital Curation Centre to start with, especially

Posted under Holistic Librarian, Training

This post was written by Hannah Lloyd-Jones on November 30, 2012

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