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        Data sharing is beneficial. However, it can be challenging to understand what licenses are available and suitable for sharing datasets. Custom licenses are also used in some cases but they require knowledge and legal expertise. Therefore, for the first 2019 Data Nudge, we focus on three Creative Commons (CC) options that are most commonly used when sharing through data repositories.


CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication

  Derivative works are allowed

  • Allows others to use, distribute, and build upon the work without asking permission.
  • Attribution is not required but creators can ask for it by including citation request or other attribution information in the documentation.
  • Most open license with no restriction.

Attribution 4.0 International 

  Attribution is a legal requirement

  • Allows others to share and adapt the work but must attribute the creators.
  • May cause reuse difficulties, known as "attribution stacking", which is an unwieldy accumulation of citations and authors.
  • Partially open license with restriction.

Other CC Licenses

  Gain exclusive rights over the creators' works

  • More restrictions are applied depending on which license is chosen. 
  • May cause incompatibilities and difficulties for data reuse due to restictions.


Having trouble choosing a license? This flowchart can help.
(Credit goes to the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation in partnership with Creative Commons Australia.)


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