Skip to Main Content

Research Data Management: Licensing & Citing Research Data

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

At a Glance

  • Licencing your data  is an important aspect of making sure your data reusable.
  • Having a Persistent Identifier (PID) is an important aspect of making sure your data are findable and accessible by other researchers.

Australian Research Data Commons - Research Data Rights Management Guide

Australian Research Data Commons Research Data Rights Management Guide

The colours indicate different steps in this process:

  • Blue for licensing questions
  • Orange indicates some caution is required
  • Red indicates concern or need for legal advice
  • Green indicates you can complete the process

DCC Guide on Licensing Research Data

Persistent Identifiers

A persistent identifier (PID) is a long-lasting reference to a digital resource, which will make your data more findable. Most Data Archives and Repositories will assign a persistent identifier to your data. 

Digital Object Identifiers (DOI)

Digital Object Identifiers (DOI) are probably the most commonly used PIDs for research data. DOIs are digital identifiers for objects (whether digital, physical or abstract) which can be assigned by organisations in membership of one of the DOI Registration Agencies; the two best known ones are CrossRef, for journal articles and some other scholarly publications, and DataCite for a wide range of data objects.


Additional persistent identifier schemes currently in use include:

Licensing your Data

If you publish your data in a data repository of your choice, a licence agreement will be applied to your data. A licence agreement is a legal arrangement between the creator/depositor of the data set and the data repository, signifying what a user is allowed to do with the data, stating clear re-use rights .

To make re-use as likely as possible we advise you to choose a licence which:

  • Makes data available to the widest audience possible;
  • Makes the widest range of uses possible.

In making your data available you will need to use a data licence to help others understand what they are allowed to do with your data.

Citing your Data

Citation a fundamental part of research and academia in general. Just as articles are cited, data which has contributed to research should also be cited.

Data citation:

  • Acknowledges the author’s sources
  • Makes identifying data easier
  • Promotes the reproduction of research results
  • Makes it easier to find data
  • Allows the impact of data to be tracked
  • Provides a structure which recognises and can reward data creators


If you reference data in your publications it is good practice to cite it properly. This should be done in a similar way to citing an article or book, and will include:

  • Creator
  • Publication year
  • Title
  • Resource type
  • Version
  • Publisher
  • Identifier

For example:

TILDA. (2019). The Irish Longitudinal study on Ageing (TILDA) Wave 4, 2016. [dataset]. Version 4.0. Irish Social Science Data Archive. SN:0053-05.