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Ownership, intellectual property, and governance considerations for academic research data


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Presented as part of the DataFOUR Professional Development Webinar Series on September 25, 2015.

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Ownership, intellectual property, and governance considerations for academic research data

  1. 1. Ownership, intellectual property, and governance considerations for academic research data Rebekah Cummings Research Data Management Librarian, University of Utah DataFOUR Professional Development Webinar Series September 25, 2015
  2. 2. Summer 2012
  3. 3. Data Management Rollout Survey JISC Data Management Rollout Project Survey Results- 2012-
  4. 4. Does your institution have clear policies on data ownership?
  5. 5. Do you know what those policies are?
  6. 6. Objectives 1. Frame some of the complications around data ownership and intellectual property 2. Tell you about what I have discovered about data ownership at my own institution 3. Share the results of my environmental scan about data ownership at other institutions
  7. 7. Two Caveats 1. I am a librarian, not a lawyer 2. There are very few absolutes Photos: National Archives, Hathi Trust Slide adapted with permission from Amy Rudersdorf and Franky Abbott, DPLA
  8. 8. Intellectual Property “Any product of the human intellect that the law protects from unauthorized use by others.” -Cornell University Law School Legal Information Institute
  9. 9. Intellectual Property • Copyright (Literary and artistic works) • Patents (Inventions) • Trademarks (Symbols, names, and images used in commerce) Patented January 11, 1995 Michael Boehm and Robert Johnson Patent #5606905 Twoallbeefpattiesspecialsaucelettucecheesepickl esonionsonasesameseedbun
  10. 10. Copyright • “Copyright” refers to reproduction or publication restrictions on an item – it’s copyright status according to U.S. law. • A form of protection for authors that applies to original works of authorship that are “fixed in a tangible medium.” • Copyright is automatic.
  11. 11. • The right to reproduce the copyrighted work • The right to create derivative works • The right to distribute copies of the work • The right to perform the copyrighted work publicly • The right to display the copyrighted work publicly Flickr Commons: Copyright = A bundle of rights Portal to Texas History
  12. 12. Academic research data “The recorded factual material commonly accepted in the research community as necessary to validate research findings.” – U.S. OMB, Circular A-110
  13. 13. Data are diverse
  14. 14. Academic Research Data Govn’t Data Academi c Research Data Proprietary Data More Open Less Open
  15. 15. Why do we care about data ownership? Reproducibility Responsibility Data Management Plans
  16. 16. Complication #1- Stakeholders
  17. 17. Researchers
  18. 18. Universities
  19. 19. Funding Agencies
  20. 20. The Public
  21. 21. Ownership of Data – 2012 Survey Table from “Research Data Stewardship at UNC,” 2012
  22. 22. Complication #2 – Data and IP “The discoverer of a scientific fact as to the nature of the physical world, an historical fact, a contemporary news event, or any other ‘fact’ may not claim to be the ‘author’ of that fact. If anyone may claim authorship of facts, it must be the Supreme Author of us all. The discoverer merely finds and records.” Melville Nimmer, 1963
  23. 23. Case Law • Baker v. Seldon (1879) – documents must contain a significant amount of originality to qualify for copyright. • Feist v. Rural (1991) – phone books and other compilations of facts are not eligible for copyright; lack originality. • Miller v. Universal Studios, Inc. (1981) – Aggregated research is not eligible for copyright.
  24. 24. However… • If data are selected, arranged, and coordinated in an original way, they may be eligible for copyright (17 U.S.C. §101. Definitions) • “Data” often includes materials that are highly original • Data laws are not harmonized worldwide (Reichman & Uhlir, 2003)
  25. 25. Complication #3 - Terminology • Data ownership • Data governance • Data stewardship
  26. 26. University Policy “The University of Utah retains ownership and stewardship of the scientific data and records for projects conducted at the University or that use University of Utah personnel or resources.” - Research Handbook, Section 9.9
  27. 27. University Policy (cont.) “Except where precluded by the specific terms of a sponsored agreement, tangible research property, including the scientific data and other records of research conducted by the faculty or staff of the University, belongs to the University.” - Research Handbook, Section 9.9
  28. 28. But what about IP? University IP includes “the tangible and intangible results of research (including for example data, lab notebooks, charts, etc.)” - Employee Intellectual Property Assignment Agreement
  29. 29. Copyright of Faculty Members Faculty members retain copyright over their “traditional scholarly products” but that term is narrowly defined and would have to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. matthew-fleischer/
  30. 30. Intellectual Property - Patents At the U, if you plan on commercializing your data, you must speak with TVC (Technology,Venture, and Commercial).
  31. 31. Data Responsibility “The P.I. is responsible for the collection, management, maintenance, and retention of research data accumulated under a research project.The University must retain research data in sufficient detail and for an adequate period of time to enable appropriate responses to questions about accuracy, authenticity, privacy, and compliance with laws and regulations governing the conduct of research. It is the P.I.s responsibility to determine what records need to be retained to comply with sponsor requirements.” Research Handbook, 9.9.2
  32. 32. Data Responsibility (cont.) “Research data must be archived for a minimum of three years after the final project closeout.” “The P.I. should develop appropriate procedures for proper archiving and tracking of research data.” Research Handbook, 9.9.4
  33. 33. Who owns the data at the U? • The University • The project sponsor if they negotiated data ownership in the contract • Another institution or commercial entity with which you are collaborating • IF you are a faculty member and IF your data can be defined as a “traditional scholarly work,” you would retain copyright of your data
  34. 34. At other institutions? • Columbia University • Cornell University • Duke University • Johns Hopkins University • NYU • UCLA • Northwestern • University of Massachusetts • Stanford • University of Kentucky • University of Minnesota • Virginia Commonwealth University
  35. 35. Johns Hopkins Duke University University of Minnesota
  36. 36.
  37. 37. Data archives Data publishers do not usually expect to have rights over the data collections it distributes or provides access to.
  38. 38. Mechanisms for data sharing • Contracts • Licenses • Waivers Krier and Strasser, 2014
  39. 39. More shades of grey… Can a researcher assign a Creative Commons license to their data? Can a researcher make their data open source without University approval?
  40. 40. What can librarians do? 1. Be familiar with your institution’s policies 2. Educate your researchers about the ownership issues surrounding their data 3. Encourage waivers and unrestrictive licenses to encourage open sharing of data 4. Become part of the conversation on your campus and in the library community around data ownership
  41. 41. Thank you! Questions? Ask now! (801) 581-7701 @RebekahCummings