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Research Data Management Toolkit: Intellectual Property

Best practices in Research Data Management promote research integrity and collaborative opportunities. A Data Management Plan ensures data security, accessibility and validation of results.

What is Intellectual Property?

IP Australia states that intellectual property: 

"... is the property of your mind or proprietary knowledge. Basically, the productive new ideas you create. It can be an invention, trade mark, design, band, or the application of your idea."

Ownership and Intellectual Property

It is imperative that the ownership of research data is clarified prior to the commencement of a project. Future storage and reuse are directly affected by the intellectual property rights of research data.

Data ownership should be documented via a Research Data Management Plan.

Ownership is affected by:

  • the commercial potential of the research data;
  • whether the research data is acquired through organisational collaborations;
  • project funding agreements;
  • researcher status (Intellectual property regulations apply to all UWA researchers with notable differences between research staff and research students); and
  • whether UWA-owned or third-party data has been utilised during the conduct of research.

The Australian Research Data Commons (formerly ANDS, Australian National Data Service) Licensing and copyright for data reuse page is a great place to start. For more in-depth information on licencing and permission, see the ARDC Research Data Rights Management Guide, which addresses copyright an IP rights in data, data rights management for data you own or create, and considerations for data you use. 

Creative Commons

Creative Commons licences are often used to specify how your data can be reused. See Copyright at UWA for more information on the licences. ANDS – Licensing and copyright for data reuse describes how these licences may be applied to research data.

Policies and Guidelines

There are several policies and guidelines of relevance to research data management:

Please contact the Senior Librarian, Copyright for further information.



 Unless otherwise stated, content in this guide is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International Licence