Mixed licences and access types in repository based research outputs – a UX challenge

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27 Jun 2019
Group(s) submitting the application: 
Meeting objectives: 

The RDA/CODATA Legal Interoperability Interest Group proposes to run a specific working session to explore issues relating to licence use in data repositories from a user experience perspective.  A significant issue has emerged around the user experience of licenses in relation to repository workflow.  The issue - and discussion around it - is being driven by the move towards bringing together files in order to create a research package. These packages might be publications, data and code, all of which may have different licences.  The legal implications of what someone can then do with the research package is a significant challenge and was a focus of discussion in the Legal interoperability Interest Group meeting at the 13th Research Data Alliance plenary in Philadelphia. 

To complicate matters further, files might have varying access types (for example, is it open or restricted?) This can make for a dense and complex user experience. A downloader or even a submitter might get confused about what to do.  There is also an important UX perspective relating to repository product development, where are a variety of ways the problem could be addressed, depending on with whom the burden of interpretation sits. Possible support options inluce the application of validation rules and on screen messaging. 

This is an international problem that requires the international perspective to make something work.  A group at the university of Glasgow has been running a series of workshops to explore the issue and the Jisc Open Research Hub has produced a survey to gather as much information about the issue of possible.

The objective of the RDA Plenary Session is to look at survey responses from the community to better understand intelligibility and behaviour repository deposits with more than one licence or access type. The results to the Jisc survey questions will be analysed and presented to participants so everyone can better understand how the problem is being dealt with currently and how it might be improved through better UX.  The session objectives also include to stimulate debate and capture feedback from the international RDA audience about the results, validity and direction of this work.


Meeting agenda: 

Collaborative session noteshttps://docs.google.com/document/d/1hsRlkU5qo95l64i_vXoESpDsIxqrsoZrhQ4QIeKsuGA/edit?usp=sharing 


The meeting will comprise a presentation to the audience detailing the work that has been done by Jisc in formulating, collecting and analysing survey responses. The presentation will start by addressing the problem and why Jisc got involved in looking for a solution from a worldwide audience. There follows a framing of the problem in both a legal and user experience context and mentions work that has been done by University of Glasgow on the legal side and by Jisc designers on the UX side. There are a set of design mock-ups that can be shown as part of the presentation to express this. Next, the methodology of the survey can be addressed before moving onto quantitative and qualitative of the survey results. Tentative conclusions can be offered before turning discussion over to the audience for further feedback. There is an expectation to produce a blog based on this meeting soon after the plenary is finished.


Target Audience: 

Target audience are repository managers and users, software front-end developers, UX specialists, institutional repository legal and policy owners, researchers, research support staff.

Group chair serving as contact person: 
Brief introduction describing the activities and scope of the group: 

The Research Data Alliance – CODATA Interest Group on Legal Interoperability of Research Data (RDA-CODATA WG), proposes to renew its charter. Under a renewed charter, we will serve as a platform to consider and resolve extant issues around the implementation of the Group’s Legal Interoperability Of Research Data: Principles And Implementation Guidelines (Uhlir et al, 2016).

To advance the RDA Mission, we believe that the human and technical bridges necessary to improve data sharing cannot be built without a better understanding and implementation of legal interoperability practices. We will formally document post-2016 case studies where interested stakeholders have surfaced implementation barriers in their communities of practice. We will explore possible solutions to accommodate stakeholders needs. Where appropriate, and spin off one or more Working Groups to address the barriers to implementation and recommend promising solutions.

These Principles and Guidelines explain how open research data should be made available to everyone in order to achieve legal interoperability in the ideal case. The Interest Group’s recommendation to release data with the most open, legally-sound mechanisms available (Uhlir et al, 2016, ‘Principle 1’ and ‘Guideline 1c’, https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.162241 ) derive from extensive engagement with stakeholder groups; analysis and discussion of foundational case studies; and extensive consideration of “open data without barriers” in the legal, policy, and research literatures. Yet since its release in Fall 2016, the Principles and Guidelines have elicited feedback and queries from stakeholders who feel the IG’s recommendations do not accommodate their needs.

The group has identified four areas of future activity:

  1. Control of downstream use (variant degrees of openness)
  2. Need for a licensing scheme that can apply to multipart, heterogeneous objects packaged within a given data release or submission information package (SIP).
  3. Develop standardized human and machine-readable rights statements as part of standard metadata.
  4. Monitor, evaluate, and recommend technical means to communicate information concerning permissions/limitation concerning reuse in a machine actionable manner. What rights information do machines need to help humans determine legal fitness for use?
Short Group Status: 

The RDA/CODATA Legal Interoperability Interest Group is in the process of refocussing its charter.  A draft was presented at the last plenary and we intend that the final version of this will be submitted in good time before the next plenary.

Type of Meeting: 
Working meeting
Remote participation availability: