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LibraData User Guide

UVa's Local Instance of the Dataverse Software


Dataset terms can be viewed and edited from the Terms tab of the dataset page, or under the Edit dropdown button of a Dataset. There, you can set up how users can use your data once they have downloaded it (via a standard CC license or, if custom terms), how they can access your data if you have files that are restricted (terms of access). These are explained in further detail below:

License Selection and Professional Norms

By default, all new datasets created through Dataverse software web UI are given a Creative Commons CC0 Public Domain Dedication. If you want to apply one of the other available licenses to your dataset, you can change it on the Terms tab of your Dataset page.

When selecting a license, data depositors should recognize that their data will be available internationally and, over the long term, may be used in new forms of research (for example, in machine learning where millions of datasets might be used in training). It is therefore useful to consider licenses that have been developed with awareness of international law and that place minimal restrictions on reuse.

For example, the Creative Commons organization defines a number of licenses that allow copyright holders to release their intellectual property more openly, with fewer legal restrictions than standard copyright enforces. (These licenses may or may not be available in the Dataverse instance you are using, but we expect them to be common in the community.) Each Creative Commons license typically specifies simple terms for how the IP must be used, reused, shared, and attributed and includes language intended to address variations in the laws of different countries.

In addition to these licenses, Creative Commons also provides the CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0) Public Domain Dedication which allows you to unambiguously waive all copyright control over your data in all jurisdictions worldwide. Data released with CC0 can be freely copied, modified, and distributed (even for commercial purposes) without violating copyright. In most parts of the world, factual data is exempt from copyright anyway, but applying CC0 removes all ambiguity and makes the legal copyright status of the data as clear as possible.

When available. CC0 can be a good choice for datasets because it facilitates reuse, extensibility, and long-term preservation of research data by assuring that the data can be safely handled by anyone without fear of potential copyright pitfalls.

Data depositors and data users should also understand that while licenses define legal use, they do not exempt a Dataverse installation’s users from following ethical and professional norms in scholarly communications. For example, though CC0 waives a dataset owner’s legal copyright controls over the data, users, as scholarly researchers, are still expected to cite the data they use, giving credit to the data’s authors following ethical and professional norms in scholarly communications. This is true of other licenses as well - users should cite data as appropriate even if the specified license does not require it. The Dataverse Community Norms* detail additional areas where data users should follow societal norms and scientific best practices.

If a data owner feels that one of the available CC licenses is not suitable for their data, they are able to enter custom Terms of Use, as detailed in the following section.

* Legal Disclaimer: these Community Norms are not a substitute for the CC0 waiver or custom terms and licenses applicable to each dataset. The Community Norms are not a binding contractual agreement, and that downloading datasets from the Dataverse software does not create a legal obligation to follow these policies.

Custom Terms of Use for Datasets

You may specify your own Custom Dataset Terms. To do so, "Edit Terms" and select "Custom Dataset Terms" in the dropdown terms box, for your license, and a panel will appear allowing you to enter custom Terms of Use (required for Custom Dataset Terms). You can also enter information in additional fields including Special Permissions, Restrictions, and Citation Requirements to further clarify how your dataset may be accessed and used.

Here is an example of a Data Usage Agreement for datasets that have de-identified human subject data.

Restricted Files + Terms of Access

If you restrict any files in your dataset, you will be prompted by a pop-up to enter Terms of Access for the data. This can also be edited in the Terms tab or selecting Terms in the “Edit Dataset” dropdown button in the dataset. You may also allow users to request access for your restricted files by enabling “Request Access”. To add more information about the Terms of Access, click on “Additional Information [+]”. The University of Virginia does not recommend restricting files as the purpose of LibraData is to share “Openly” your scholarship. If you do restrict files, please note that only UVa affiliated users will be able to login and request access.