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Research data management

Research data management (RDM) refers to the administration of data throughout a research project, including requirements on preservation and sharing after the project ends.

Selecting a data licence

Cranfield University’s recommendation for a data licence, and the default licence on CORD, is CC-BY.

The ‘CC’ means it is a Creative Commons licence, and the ‘BY’ means that reuse requires attribution – i.e., anyone can use, modify, and build on your data, for any purpose including commercial, but they must give you credit. CC licences are very flexible, as you can add any combination of BY, NC (non-commercial use only), and ND (no derivative works allowed); however, unless unavoidable, NC and ND should not be used for research data as they reduce its value. You can download the full licences from the Creative Commons licences webpage.

If you created software rather than data in your research project, you should similarly share it with a specified licence. It is best practice again to use an open licence, and an easy way to do this is to choose a licence approved by the OSI (Open Source Initiative). Using a popular licence is ideal, such as the GNU General Public Licence (GPL), as it is well-known and documented, and the GPL licence is an existing option in CORD.

However, we  can add licence choices on CORD (such as a non-commercial CC licence, or the Lesser GPL software licence), or if necessary, we can write a bespoke licence to specify our exact terms, to ensure that our outputs are used legally and responsibly according to all partners’ needs.

To learn more about licences, look at the library’s guidance: Licences

For advice on selecting an open source licence, including one for coding: Choose an open source license