Data | Software | Copyrightable Works

Licenses tell users up front about any restrictions or expectations for reuse and resharing of your published materials, and increase the likelihood that other researchers will consider your data for reuse.

Assuming the data can be openly shared*, consider the following as you decide which license to choose:

  • what license(s) does the repository support or provide?
  • what are your preferences regarding reuse, attribution, derivatives, and commercialization?
  • what are the requirements of the research funder, institution, and publisher?


Data, in and of itself, is not copyrightable. For open access data, we suggest using Open Data Commons (ODC) licenses for publishing data. There are three types of ODC licenses:


Software/code/scripts are increasingly shared in parallel with data. These guides can help you select an appropriate license.


For sharing copyrightable works (e.g., works of art, articles and other publications, instructional videos), we suggest using a Creative Commons license. The license chooser can help you select an appropriate license:

For more information:

Terms related to licensing:



Intellectual property (IP) 


Non-commercial license 

Non-derivative license

Open Data Commons 

Open-source license

Public domain

*Note: for human subject and other sensitive or restricted access data, research funding agencies may require the use of specific repositories (see NIH, for example). In other cases, a data use agreement may be required in order to share data with someone external to the UI.