Licence of use

Open licenses to protect and share your data

When sharing your data, it is advisable to grant them an appropriate license. This guarantees you a number of rights, including the right to be cited for the authorship of your data. In addition, the potential user will then clearly know what use is allowed or not with your data.

In principle, data repositories allow you to choose the right license for you. It should be kept in mind that the more "open" a license is, the more it gives visibility to your data and therefore to your research work.

The most popular sources for open licenses are Creative Commons and Open Data Commons. can help you choose the most appropriate license for your situation.

Further explanations can be found on the website of the Digital Curation Center.

The best way to promote the sharing and unlimited use of your data is to choose a reuse license. The most open Creative Commons license is the CC0 license. When you choose this license, you remove all barriers and place your work in the public domain. In any case, and in accordance with the principles of scientific integrity, you will be cited as the creator of the data.


For the visibility, sharing and possible reuse of your data, we recommend avoiding legal restrictions (e.g. all rights reserved, copyright) that do not respect the principle of openness. In application of the FAIR principles, and according to the Open Definition of the Open Knowledge Foundation, we recommend that data and metadata be published with a clear, legible and as open as possible licence to use, in order to avoid legal ambiguities that could limit their reuse. This is why we recommend using the CC0 license for data, and CC BY for articles.

Not all data can be openly shared. There may be privacy concerns, issues of commercial confidentiality, questions of security, of sensitvie data, etc. which preclude full open data sharing. In order to take account of these possible limitations, Unil therefore advocates the approach of sharing “as open as possible, as closed as necessary”.

For questions related to business issues, intellectual property or patents, you can contact the PACTT (Powering Academia-industry Collaborations and Technology Transfer).

What are Cratives Commons licenses ?

Presentation on CC licenses by Tania Germond & Janelise Favre, as part of video vignettes on the disclosure of copyrighted works. Produced by CSE (Unil).

Licence Creative Commons in 180 seconds

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Creative Commons licences


Choose a CC licence

How to Licence Research Data ?

To answer this question, the Digital Curation Center's How to Licence Research Data practical guide can help you.


Open Data Commons Licenses

Open Data Commons – Legal tools for Open Data (en particulier pour les bases de données) :

Plus d'infos : Open Definition Conformant Licenses