Rights Management

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Rights Management at ADA

As an overall approach to rights management of deposited files, data, and metadata, the Australian Data Archive (ADA) aims to balance the needs of both data custodians and data users. The ADA works with data custodians to establish a license agreement that includes explicit conditions under which the ADA can disseminate data and other materials to secondary users. The ADA confirms that the depositor holds intellectual property rights over the data, and the agreement with ADA includes that the depositor retains those rights.

The ADA encourages minimal access conditions that still meet requirements for data protection and ensures all prospective users have met those conditions before providing access.

At ADA, rights are primarily managed through the License Agreement and the associated Terms of Use. Using the License Agreement, the data custodians or their representatives provide ADA the right to disseminate their data and other materials under specified conditions. Data users agree to abide by these conditions when they indicate their agreement with the Terms of Use upon requesting access to the data.

The rights of ADA to store or preserve the data are implied by the requirements for dissemination of that data.

License Document Suite

When the dataset(s) have been populated with the prepared data files and all of the associated supporting documentation, the next most important activity is the completion by the Data Owner or their authorized representative of the License Document Suite. This consists of three parts:

The License Agreement Form The License Terms and Conditions of Use The License Access Guestbook Each part plays an important role in ensuring that the data deposited with the ADA is managed correctly and that access is granted only to those persons who are deemed to have valid and genuine reasons for accessing the material. The License Document Suite not only helps to establish the access conditions for your data but also records these, and as such, this set of documents will be saved as part of the Submission Information Pack (SIP) in the ADA’s archive.

License Agreement Form

This form, when signed by the copyright holder/Data Owner or their authorized representative, provides the ADA with the authority to both archive the data (as the Submission Information Package) and to redistribute the data on behalf of the Data Owner based upon the satisfaction of certain access criteria. Without a License Agreement Form, a deposit will not be published.

There are a number of specific access types that can be selected for the redistribution of the data; however, where these do not meet the data owner’s requirements for access, Non-Standard Access conditions can be agreed with the ADA Director.

The License Agreement Form should name the project covered by the agreement and list all files that are to be deposited. Where data from multiple projects are to be deposited, a separate License Agreement Form should be completed and signed for each. A separate License Agreement Form may also be required when data files from the same project are to have different access conditions.

The License Agreement Form allows you to assign an Embargo period to your data or a subset of your data. Embargo periods should be for a specific and reasonable amount of time to meet expectations of ADA’s users.


It is essential that the depositor of the data is either the data rights owner or their authorized representative and that they hold the copyright or are authorized by the copyright holder to release the material to the ADA for archiving and publication. In most cases, individual researchers have created their own dataset(s) and therefore they, their institution, or the project funder (depending upon arrangements) own the copyright to this information.

The License Agreement Form should be signed by the depositor as an authorized representative of the data rights holder. This signature authorizes the ADA to archive and publish the data. It also confirms the information provided by the depositor is accurate and that the necessary copyright consent and ethics considerations have been met.

Licensing Statement

As the owner of the copyright in the material described in the Schedule of Materials Deposited hereto or duly authorized by the owner of the copyright in the material, I grant to the Australian National University (ANU) a non-exclusive license to publish the data and information contained in the material for the purpose of further analysis and the publication of the results of such analysis subject to the following conditions:

1. Undertakings by Users as set out in the Access Guestbook and Terms and Conditions of Use

Any person or institution applying for copies of the data in machine-readable form, codebooks, and/or other documents of assistance to the analysis of the data (with the exception of those described in Section 2 below and Open Access materials described in Section 3.b below) or for analysis of the data to be carried out by the Australian Data Archive (ADA) shall be required by the ADA Director to give undertakings as set out in the Data Owner defined Access Guestbook and Terms and Conditions of Use. The ADA and The ANU accept no responsibility for the consequences of any breach of these undertakings. The undertakings are deemed to be given through the selection of the Request File Access window ‘Request Access’ button and the Download File window ‘Accept’ button within Dataverse. The ADA Director shall act at all times to fully preserve the individual confidentiality of survey respondents and their replies.

2. Publication of Information about Material

In order that information about the material deposited in the ADA may be circulated among interested persons or institutions, the ADA Director may (subject to the constraint in Section 1 above) publish questionnaire forms, the text of particular questions, and statistical summaries of answers to particular questions, codebooks, and outline descriptions of the deposited material.

3. Access to Data for Analysis

There are two main types of data handled by the ADA: Sensitive and Non-Sensitive. Access to this data is then managed under four standard access categories that Data Owners can select from in this License Agreement. Non-Standard Access conditions can be negotiated with the ADA Director on an ad-hoc basis if required, but these should deviate as little as possible from the standard ADA options offered. It is also possible for some Sensitive datasets to have Non-Sensitive releasable sub-sets or versions. Where required, these can be managed using different access strategies if the Data Owner so chooses. For example, a Data Owner may wish to grant access permissions to the Sensitive data whilst the Non-Sensitive data access could be managed by the ADA with the agreement of the Data Owner.

Terms and Conditions of Use

The Terms and Conditions of Use is the agreement between you, the Data Owner, and End-Users of your data. Users must agree to the terms upon request and before they are granted access to your data.

The Terms and Conditions of Use stipulate compliance failures, including inappropriate use of your data or the failure to keep your data secure once access has been provided. Penalties for non-compliance vary depending upon the nature of the breach and the findings of any investigation. Penalties for non-compliance may include temporary suspensions of access or permanent withdrawal of access to ADA’s holdings for users and possibly their organization. Legal action may be undertaken in serious cases of non-compliance.

To assist in the selection of the correct License Terms and Conditions of Use, the ADA provides the ADA License Terms and Conditions of Use document. This document details the standard Terms and Conditions recommended by ADA for most projects.

If required, a tailored set of Terms can be developed through consultation with the ADA. The Terms and Conditions of Use document includes a section where you can draft Non-Standard terms for review by ADA. Additional fields are available to augment the Terms that you have chosen, and these may be used to set additional conditions without the need to modify the ADA standard terms. Template wording for each additional field is provided.

For Open Access categories of data, the ADA also allows you to select Creative Commons (CC) Terms of Use.

The agreed Terms and Conditions of Use for your data are to be formally confirmed on your License Agreement Form.

Dataverse Guestbooks

As part of your License Agreement with the Australian Data Archive (ADA), you, the Data Owner, require the ADA to store and provide access to your datasets in a responsible manner. Similarly, all users of your dataset are required to accept and adhere to the Terms and Conditions of Use for the material supplied to them. The Terms and Conditions of Use will already have been selected by you, but you may have identified the need for a supplementary request for information about the intended secondary use of the data through the completion of a License Access Guestbook. The License Access Guestbook is a series of questions that will be asked of the user that must be completed prior to the dataset being made available to download or a request for access being submitted.

The ADA Standard Guestbook includes a set of questions that capture basic user demographic information (name, contact email, institution, position) and information about the intended use of the data. This information is mandatory, and access will not be granted without sufficient details being provided by the user. A custom question set can be developed in consultation with the ADA.

Unless specified in the License Agreement Form and identified in this form, a License Access Guestbook will not be applied to your data. When specified, the relevant ADA Standard Access Guestbook question set will be used to collate all user and use information (where required) prior to access being granted to the dataset or prior to the access request being submitted.

In general, approval to download data from ADA Facilitated and Non-Standard Access datasets will only be provided for staff members of research organizations, students conducting higher degrees by research, and for some other authorized research purposes. Therefore, applications to access these datasets will also include a check by ADA staff that the email address provided is an institutional email address. Students will also be required to provide their supervisor’s contact details in order to be approved for download access.

Business Rules

Developed by ADA in consultation with the data custodian, usually via video conference to discuss the license agreement and access conditions.

Rules govern:

Appropriate responses to guestbook questions Procedures for granting access The ADA access management team will adhere to the relevant business rules when processing every access request.

Compliance Details

Through consultations, ADA ensures that we are able to meet requirements for managing access and that data owners understand the implications of sharing their data. The access team monitors compliance by ensuring requests meet business rules.