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Research Data Management at CSHL: Data Sharing, FAIRness and Copyright

Data Sharing

Data Sharing and FAIRness

In order for data sharing to be purposeful and valuable, it must align with the concept of Data FAIRness, a set of principles that increase data Findability, Accessibility, Interoperability, and Reuse. These principles were originally developed by academia, industry, funding agencies, and publisher stakeholders ( with the goal of enhancing the stewardship, use, and longevity of research data. However, the ultimate goal of these principles is to enhance data reusability. When you consider the time and effort involved in collecting data, it is easy to recognize the value and importance of making data more reusable, and leveraging its existence for additional, perhaps unanticipated purposes. 

Data in this sense refers broadly to the actual research data collected, as well as the contextual information (e.g., code, tools, methods) that led to the data. Data sharing benefitsfunder and publisher mandates, copyright licenses, and aspects of data planning, organization and storage covered elsewhere in this guide are all important toward improving the FAIRness of your research data. 

Benefits of Data Sharing
  • Enhances open scientific advancement
  • Supports the verification and replication of original results
  • Boosts productivity and creates opportunities for research and collaboration
  • Reduces cost by avoiding data duplication
  • Helps maintain data integrity and protect against faulty or fraudulent data
  • Enhances visibility and impact of researchers and their projects
  • Preserves data for future use
Funder and Publisher Data Sharing Requirements

Funder Requirements

NIH Data Management and Sharing Policy (Effective 2023)

  • Data are defined as “recorded factual material commonly accepted in the scientific community as of sufficient quality to validate and replicate research findings, regardless of whether the data are used to support scholarly publications”
  • Timing: shared data should be made accessible ASAP, no later than at publication, or the end of the award period, whichever comes first
  • NIH-supported data are considered important regardless of whether they are published or not
  • Encourages storing/sharing with established repositories, not to be kept only by the researcher or institution

NSF Data Management Plan Requirements 

  • Each directorate has its own requirements
  • Scientific communities develop the standards
  • Investigators are expected to share data within “a reasonable time”

Publisher/Journal Data Sharing Requirements


Copyright Licenses and DOIs

With the push from funders and mandates to make research more open, authors are encouraged to license and release their data to protect themselves and their work.

Three conditions that vary among types of licenses:

  • Attribution requirement - credit must be given to licensor
  • Copyleft requirement - derivative works from the licensed one, must be released under the same license
  • Non-commerciality - prevent commercial exploitation of work

If you need more complex license requests/answers, please contact the office of technology transfer.

Email: Phone: 516-367-8301

Public Copyright Licenses:

Creative Commons License - author-enabled license allowing for use and distribution of the work (not applicable to software). There are six permutations of creative commons license that an author can choose from that vary in:

  • Attribution
  • Allowing for sharing
  • Allowing for non-commercial use
  • Allowing for alterations (derivatives, remixes) in the work
  • Or use a CC0 so that the author waives all rights and allows for release of data completely in the public domain

This site from provides more information to help you choose which license is appropriate for your research output.

Software Licenses:

Proprietary Licensing - Copyright holders license that is more restrictive and does now allow for modification or distribution, where the source code is usually undisclosed.

Open Source Licensing - License that goes through the Open Source Initiative that allows for software and source code to be freely available to be used, modified, and shared.

  • Permissive Licenses - use at your own risk as long as you acknowledge the author/contributor.
  • Copyleft Licenses - add a few more requirements to permissive licenses.
  • This article from and guidelines from GitHub provides a summary for open source licensing.

Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) consist of an assigned alphanumeric string that allows for identification as well as a persistent link to the DOI material. The DOI is specific to the source material and allows for the user to easily locate the specific item.

The CSHL library can assist in assigning DOIs for any of your material. For further assistance please contact Tom Adams or


Additional Resources