Most data is not copyrightable in the U.S. and copyrights usually do not apply and are not enforceable. However, certain intellectual property licenses may help ensure proper attribution and protect your data in countries where copyright applies. As with other forms of publishing, authors should understand their rights before publishing their data.
On this page:
Data as Intellectual Property
The University Copyright Librarian, Nancy Sims, describes the Intellectual Property Rights associated with data you generate as part of university research.
Nancy Sims, Copyright Librarian
Making Decisions About Your Research Data
September 7th, 2012
Video: 6 min 37 sec.
Data License for Attribution
Some options for data intellectual property and proper attribution:
- CCZero (CC0) from Creative Commons: Waiver granting "unconditional, irrevocable, non exclusive, royalty free license to use the work for any purpose"
- Open Data Commons Public Domain Dedication & License (ODC-PDDL)
- The library has created a Fair Use guide that may help you toward what you can and cannot do with data.
- The UMN Office of Technology Commercialization offers some Guidelines on Maintaining Lab Notebooks that may facilitate potentially patentable discoveries.
Ethical Use Issues
The office of Records and Information Management offers assistance and guidelines on ethical uses of data. These services include:
- Privacy and Data Security
- Confidential Reporting Service for University of Minnesota
- Minnesota Government Data Practices Act
- and Guides to Records Retention Schedules, Destruction of University Records, Record Storage, and Guidelines for Charging for Copies of Public Data.
University Research Data Policies
More information can be found on the University’s office of Records and Information Management.