First release of Dataset License Clearance Tool

Newly produced datasets, but mostly the creation of derivative data works, i.e. for purposes like content creation, service delivery or process automation, is often accompanied by legal uncertainty about usage rights and high costs in the clearance of licensing issues. NI4OS-Europe has released the Dataset License Clearance Tool (DLCT), a certification tool for supporting trustworthiness of data repositories and for ensuring their FAIRness in a standardized and interoperable fashion, with the objective to support the onboarding of repositories to EOSC.

The Dataset License Clearance Tool will facilitate and automate the clearance of rights (copyright) for datasets that are to be cleared before they are publicly released under an open license and/or stored at a publicly trusted FAIR repository. It is the output of NI4OS-Europe Task 4.4 that aims to mainstream concrete certification standards, tools and mechanisms for open research data management and certification schemes for data repositories, aligning with activities and results of INFRAEOSC-5c. It targets both data-intensive RDM (through cloud compute) and the curation and handling of the long tail of science with the aim of establishing consolidated models of RDM activities in the target countries.

The main features of the tool include:

  • Data clearance not bound to the user that initiated the procedure, so it can be started and finished by different users.
  • Potentially, crowdsourced clearance.
  • Clearance metadata will be an open-source resource.
  • Provision of equivalence, similarity and compatibility between licenses if used in combination, particularly for derivative works.

The intended use of the tool is to provide a guided approach for establishing the proper open-source license required for the creation of a new (or synthetic) dataset, or for the re-use of an existing unlicensed one. The procedure considers many potential data managers (users initiating or completing a data clearance procedure). Potential users may be researchers and research organizations.