Data is not inherently covered by copyright. In fact, under modern copyright law, raw facts and information (as is typical for research data) it not given copyright protection. However, the creative elements associated with research data, such as how the data are organized in spreadsheets and databases, are described in articles, and are visualized in charts and graphs, can be copyrighted.
What does this mean?
It means that while you may not be able to fully use or copy entire spreadsheets or charts, the underlying facts that comprise the data can almost always be extracted and used.
To make this less complicated, most data repositories place their datasets under Creative Commons licenses, allowing the data to be shared and reused with little or no restrictions.
Depending on who is funding or supporting your research, you may not be the owner of your data. Always check relevant institutional and/or funder policies to determine if you are the owner of the data. In many cases, research funders will allow you to retain the ownership of the data, but require you to share the data in an open (or semi-open) repository. In cases where funders do not own your research data, ATSU owns the research data but allows researchers to share their data as needed to comply with funder policies.
Most datasets shared on public repositories are shared under Creative Commons licences. CC licenses are a type of standard copyright license that enable open data sharing and reuse, usually with little to no restrictions.
The most commons license are described below. If you have questions about whether or not you can use a dataset you found, or want to know what kind of license to apply to your own data, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
CCO: Places the dataset in the public domain, allowing use without any restrictions
CC-BY: Allows use by anyone for any purpose, provided the original creator is attributed/cited
PDDL: Places the dataset in the public domain, allowing use without any restrictions
ODC-BY: Allow use by anyone for any purpose, provided the original creator is attributed/cited