Copyright, Publishing, and Intellectual Property

Data Management

Making a plan for managing data before beginning a research project and then following that plan throughout the research life cycle is essential to ensure usability, preservation, and access to the data. It may also be a funding requirement; many federal agencies and other funders now require grant applicants to include a data management plan with grant proposals. The UCLA Library can help researchers with data management.  For an overview of best practices and links to data management services, please see the Library's Data Management Guide.

UCLA Library Data Management Guide | Grant Requirements | Data Management Plans | Data Repositories | Privacy and Intellectual Property | Further Information and Assistance

Grant Requirements

The U.S. Office of Management and Budget Circular A-110 contains federal administrative requirements for grants and agreements received by institutions of higher education, hospitals, and other non-profit organizations. It also reflects circumstances under which public access to research data is required through the Freedom of Information Act. A table summarizing various federal agencies’ data management and sharing policies and requirements is available online.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
The NSF strengthened its data sharing policy as of January 18, 2011, when it began requiring all grant proposals to include a two-page data management plan. Guidelines are available online. Specific NSF directorates, offices, divisions, programs, or other units may impose additional data management requirements.

National Institutes of Health (NIH)
The NIH has a policy supporting data sharing, which requires researchers applying for $500,000 or more in direct costs in any one year to include a data-sharing plan or state why data sharing is not possible. Further details are available on the NIH Data Sharing Policy and Implementation Guidance Web site.

Data Management Plans

The California Digital Library (CDL), along with other institutions, has launched an online data management planning tool to help guide researchers through the process of creating a plan. The tool helps researchers:

  • Generate ready-to-use data management plans required by specific funding agencies
  • Get step-by-step instructions and guidance on data management plans
  • Find resources and services that can help meet funders' data management plan requirements

The CDL also has a data management guidelines Web site to assist UC researchers with developing data management plans. It links to detailed information on creating, organizing, and managing data.

UCLA librarians can help researchers with developing a data management plan or using the CDL tool; request a consultation via email.

Data Repositories

Researchers can share data by emailing it to requestors or posting it on a Web site, but this can make it difficult to find. Depositing data in an archive facilitates its discovery and preservation.

UC Repositories and Services

  • Merritt: repository service that enables UC users to manage, archive, and share digital content including data; can be used for long-term preservation, sharing, or meeting a grant’s data sharing and preservation requirements
  • EScholarship: open-access publishing platform containing scholarship, including working papers, peer-reviewed journals, monographic series, paper/seminar series, postprints, and conference proceedings, generated by UC departments, centers, and research units
  • EZID: a service for researchers and others to obtain and manage long-term identifiers for digital content including data, which makes digital objects easier to access and verify, thus increasing re-use and citations; UCLA researchers should email requests for EZIDs

Other Repositories
Princeton University has created a repository for policy-relevant data on U.S. arts and cultural policy. The California Digital Library has compiled a partial list of data repositories in various disciplines. More complete lists of data repositories are available from Purdue University's Databib and Simmons University.

Privacy and Intellectual Property

When publishing data, researchers must consider their rights and responsibilities regarding confidentiality and intellectual property.

It is vital to maintain the confidentiality of research subjects for ethical reasons and to ensure their continuing participation.

Intellectual Property Considerations

  • Data cannot be copyrighted. However, a particular expression of data, such as a chart or table in a publication, can be copyrighted.
  • Data can be licensed; licensing conditions can be imposed to protect participants’ privacy or limit further uses.
  • To promote sharing and unlimited use of data, make it available under a Creative Commons CC0 Declaration.
  • Researchers may or may not have the right to share data collected from other sources, depending upon the sources' license terms.
  • Most licensed databases the UC Libraries subscribe to prohibit redistribution of data outside of UC. For more information on terms of use for databases licensed by the Libraries, contact the subject specialist supporting your discipline.

If you are uncertain about your rights to disseminate data you collected, consult with the UCLA Office of Intellectual Property and Industry Sponsored Research or the UCLA Office of Campus Counsel.

Further Information and Assistance 

UCLA librarians can provide assistance with developing data management plans; email or contact the subject specialist supporting your discipline. The following may also provide information about and assist with other aspects of managing data.

UCLA Resources

Non-UCLA Resources