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Research Data Management: Intellectual Property

Bringing together University resources and services to facilitate researchers in the production of high quality data.

At a Glance

In the broadest sense, intellectual property (IP) refers to different types of intangible expressions (such as artistic and literary work, discoveries and inventions, words, symbols and designs) for which specific monopoly rights are recognised under specific laws.

In the context of academic institutions, the most common types of intellectual property rights (IPR) are:

  • Patents
  • Copyright
  • Trade secrets


Third party research data is any data that has been created by other researchers or by external organisations, for example data created by the Central Statistics Office (CSO), data from commercial companies or research data from data archives or repositories.

HELP@UCD: Relevant Policies

Help@UCD: NovaUCD

The Technology Transfer team in UCD Innovation (NovaUCD) can provide advice on protecting your Intellectual Property (IP).

For more information on this area, licensing and also commercialisation aspects, contact Caroline Gill, Innovation Education Manager; email: 

Help@UCD: UCD IP Policy, Forms and Template Agreements

Help@UCD: UCD Research and Innovation Signing contracts and agreements

4 Legal and ethical requirements, codes of conduct

4b How will other legal issues, such as intellectual property rights and ownership, be managed? What legislation is applicable?

Points to consider: 
  • Explain who will be the owner of the data, meaning who will have the rights to control access:
  • Explain what access conditions will apply to the data? Will the data be openly accessible, or will there be access restrictions? In the latter case, which? Consider the use of data access and re-use licenses.
  • Make sure to cover these matters of rights to control access to data for multi-partner projects and multiple data owners, in the consortium agreement.
  • Indicate whether intellectual property rights are affected.
  • Indicate whether there are any restrictions on the re-use of third-party data.

Help@UCD: UCD Intellectual Property Policy

For personal data the owner is the data subject. Organisations processing those data, by doing so take upon them legal responsibilities for the compliant use of these data, but they still don't own them. They might control access, but only within what was agreed with and consented to by data subjects.

According to UCD's Intellectual Property Policy UCD owns all copyright in works created by the UCD Community. However, in accordance with long-standing academic tradition, UCD does not assert ownership of copyright in pedagogical works, scholarly publications, books or artistic works, unless there is a written agreement to the contrary.

This exception to UCD ownership of IP does not extend to copyright in software, apps, data, databases, database rights or to any online teaching materials (including courses captured in video, or in other digital forms) existing or new and UCD shall own all copyright in such works and publications created by the UCD Community in the course of their activities at UCD.

It is UCD’s policy to encourage the UCD Community to place the results of their research in the public domain either through publication in journals or presentation at conferences. It also encourages Open Access and Open Data where appropriate. However [...] where IP that has potential commercial applications is identified, then members of the UCD Community must ensure that the IP remains confidential and is not published for a limited period to enable NovaUCD to obtain appropriate protection so that it can be commercialised later.