Data Ownership


Data ownership is a complicated subject and, although researchers may think otherwise, researchers usually do not own the data that they create. Depending on where the researcher works, how they are funded, and where they publish, the data they produce could be owned by their institution, their funder, or the journal or repository where they publish the data or accompanying literature. In the eyes of the law, most research data is considered public domain because it is synonymous with fact and therefore non-copyrightable.

Further Resources

Briney K, Goben A, & Zilinski L. (2015). Do You Have an Institutional Data Policy? A Review of the Current Landscape of Library Data Services and Institutional Data Policies(link is external). Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication, 3(2), eP1232.

Briney K, Goben A, & Zilinski L. (2017). Institutional, Funder, and Journal Data Policies(link is external). In Lisa R. Johnston (Ed.), Curating Research Data, Volume One: Practical Strategies for Your Digital Repository. ACRL.

Stvilia B, Hinnant CC, Wu S, Worrall A, Lee DJ, Burnett K, … Marty PF. (2017). Toward collaborator selection and determination of data ownership and publication authorship in research collaborations(link is external). Library and Information Science Research, 39, 85–97. .

Wallis JC, Borgman CL. (2011). Who is responsible for data? An exploratory study of data authorship, ownership, and responsibility(link is external). Proceedings of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 48(1), 1–10.

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