Copyright & Privacy

Copyright and Intellectual Property Rights

Sharing data that you produced/collected yourself:

  • Data is not copyrightable (yet a particular expression of data can be, such as a chart or table in a book)
  • Data can be licensed; some data providers apply licenses that limit how the data can be used, such as to protect the privacy of participants in a study or guide downstream uses of the data (e.g., requiring attribution or forbidding for-profit use)
  • If you want to promote sharing and unlimited use of your data, a CC0 Declaration might be an appropriate choice.  Each decision must be considered against a number of criteria to determine the best way to protect the interests of both you and UVA.

UVa has tried to clarify the ownership rights and intellectual property rights of data in this memo: Data_Rights_and_Responsibilities_Guidance.

Confidentiality (Ethical Concerns)

It is vital to maintain the confidentiality of research subjects for reasons of ethics and to ensure the continuing participation in research. Researchers need to understand and manage potential tensions between ethical requirements and other requirements for long-term and permanent retention and for the deposit of data in a repository or archive for the purposes of validating the research and furthering knowledge.

Researchers who wish to ethically share sensitive and confidential data can consider strategies like:

  • gaining informed consent that includes consent for data sharing (e.g. deposit in a repository or archive)
  • protecting privacy through anonymizing data
  • considering controlling access to the data (e.g. through embargoes or access/licensing terms and conditions)

Note:  Many data ownership and ethical issues require case-by-case consideration  Please contact us at if you have any questions or concerns.

UVa Guidance and Policies