Plenary 3 - Open Licensing for scientific content

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1100-1230 on Friday 28 March
The session on open licensing is different from most other BoFs and takes the form of a panel. The panel will be facilitated by Mark Parsons.


“The Research Data Alliance (RDA) builds the social and technical bridges that enable open sharing of data.
The RDA vision is researchers and innovators openly sharing data across technologies, disciplines, and countries to address the grand challenges of society.” — About

The one sure way to stop open sharing of data across technologies, disciplines, and countries is to attach closed, uncertain, or burdensome licensing to the data. But it doesn’t have to be that way. We have proven, globally recognized, well-used choices of open licenses. In this session, the panelists and the moderator will discuss the implications of using restrictive licensing, and introduce the options available to maximize the potential of the work of RDA and its constituency, allowing it to to build strong and lasting social and technical bridges unobstructed by legal hurdles.

What does a license do?

Explain the basics of copyright and licensing.

Why a license that is universally recognized?

The importance of easily recognizing what one can do with any given work.

Why a liberal license?

Perhaps best explained by examining some of the problems that may arise from restrictive licensing.

Introduction to CC0 and CC4

Legal instruments are universally accepted, recognized, and are permissive to allow full benefit from reuse.

Application of open licenses

  • To RDA internal policies

    These are the internal working policy documents of RDA

  • To products of RDA working and interest groups

    These may be working papers, code (RDF, OWL or JSON) or documentation. They are like implementation manuals.

  • To everything on RDA website

    Everything other than the products of the working and interest groups.

  • To outside implementation of specific RDA products

    These are beyond the reach of RDA as they are actual implementations of RDA products by other agencies, however, RDA’s stance on licensing would send a very strong signal to its constituency and to those who use RDA’s products.


Juan BicaregguiJuan Bicarreggui, Science and Technology Facilities Council, UK

Catherine DoldirinaCatherine Doldirina, Joint Research Centre, European Commission

Pawel KamockiPawel Kamocki, IDS Mannheim

Puneet KishorPuneet Kishor, Creative Commons

Devika MadalliDevika Madalli, Indian Statistical Institute




Mark ParsonsMark Parsons, Research Data Alliance