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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.

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. 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 the context of Dataverse software, their CC0 Public Domain Dedication 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. The Dataverse software applies CC0 to datasets by default 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.

Though CC0 waives a dataset owner’s legal copyright controls over the data, it does not exempt Dataverse repository users from following ethical and professional norms in scholarly communications. The Dataverse Community Norms * as well as scientific best practices assert that proper credit should be given via citation. Regardless of whether CC0 has been applied or not, Dataverse repository users are expected to cite the data they use, giving credit to the data’s authors. This expectation applies to both the Dataverse Community and the entire wider scholarly community.

Additionally, users are still expected to respect access restrictions and other terms applied to CC0 files in a Dataverse installation. Additional restrictions, conditions, and terms can still be compatible with CC0, as CC0 only operates in the realm of copyright, which is rather limited when it comes to data.

If a data owner feels that CC0 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.