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TERN’s new Data Licensing Policy and Framework

Prof Tim Clancy, TERN Director, is pleased to announce the release of TERN’s Data Licensing Policy and Framework. This is a significant precursor to the launch of TERN’s Central Data Portal later this year.

In announcing the release of the Data Licensing Policy and Framework, Prof Clancy noted that “TERN works to encourage collaboration, and supports the sharing of data and knowledge for the collective benefit of ecosystem science and management in Australia. Our Data Licensing Policy and Framework critically underpins TERN’s objectives, and I would like to thank the TERN Central Portal licensing team for bringing it to fruition.”

TERN’s Data Licensing Policy enunciates ten principles for enabling the appropriate sharing of data and knowledge. Importantly, the Policy recognises the importance of appropriate attribution of the data source as well as managing pre-existing obligations, legal matters and data sensitivities (such as endangered species protection measures).

The Data Licensing Policy and Framework includes the licences themselves, along with instructions for users. In the coming months TERN Facilities will progress the implementation of the licences, including integration into their data portals. In doing so, the Facilities will test TERN’s data licensing products to ensure that future users of TERN data and contributors to TERN’s data portals can be confident in the associated protocols.

As noted by Prof Stuart Phinn, TERN Associate Science Director, it is vital “that each TERN Facility move forward with implementing the Policy in their data collection, collation and sharing activities – the more data made available under this Policy, the more we can demonstrate the value of TERN and evolve the data sharing culture of ecosystem science.”

The process of developing the Data Licensing Policy and Framework has taken several months to establish through extensive consultation and workshops with TERN Facilities and the ecosystem science communities they represent. TERN has also worked closely with key national data licensing programs, including the Australian Governments Open Access and Licensing Framework (AusGOAL) program that underpins open information licensing by Australian Governments.

TERN’s suite of licences are based on the Creative Commons Australia 3.0 licences and feature TERN variants of “Attribution Only” and more restrictive Creative Commons licences. In each case they ensure the data owner is acknowledged and that the shared data are used appropriately.

“This is a landmark step for TERN”, said Prof Andy Lowe, TERN Associate Science Director, “and is vital for extracting maximum knowledge from the long history of Australian ecosystem research, as well as optimising the return on investment in this research now and into the future.”

You can find out more about TERN’s Data Licensing Policy here, or by contacting the TERN Data Licensing Coordinator.

Published in TERN e-Newsletter June 2012.

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