When depositing data files in EASY, a licence agreement (pdf) is agreed upon with DANS. This agreement is based on the most relevant laws and codes of conduct, such as the Copyright Act, Databases Act, Personal Data Protection Act and VSNU Codes of Conduct. The main points in the licence agreement include:
- The licence is ‘non-exclusive’. This means that the owner of the data retains all freedom to also deposit and/or make the data available elsewhere.
- The licence agreement offers the choice between Open access, Open access for registered users and Restricted Access. Open access grants unlimited access to all users, whether they are registered or not (CC Zero Waiver). Open access for registered users means that every registered user has unlimited access to the data. Restricted Access means that access is limited and can only be granted on request. Another possibility consists of a temporary embargo.
- Except for the Open access (CC Zero Waiver) category, no database or copyright rights are waived when depositing: these rights are retained by the researcher. In the Open access (CC Zero Waiver) category, all possible rights relating to the dataset are renounced. The licence entitles DANS to include the dataset in the archive and to make it available under the conditions stipulated by the depositor.
- The data files should not contain parts that include copyrights of other parties.
General DANS Conditions of Use
The rules for using data from EASY, in conjunction with the licence conditions, are stated in the General DANS Conditions of Use (pdf). These conditions also take into account the above mentioned legal framework. The main points from the conditions include:
- The user should, particularly upon distribution or disclosure, respect any copyrights and/or database rights on the dataset. This does not apply to data files deposited under the CC Zero Waiver.
- A bibliographic reference is required whenever datasets from EASY are used in publications.
- Datasets containing personal data, within the meaning of the Personal Data Protection Act, may only be used for scientific, statistical or historical research.
- A separate category includes oral history interviews: data files containing video and audio recordings. The person involved has explicitly agreed to these interviews, either for unrestricted disclosure of the interview or for unrestricted use for scientific research.
- Users agree that when they download a dataset, their personal data (name, organisation and position) will be mentioned on the DANS website part that is accessible for registered users, unless they have objected to this
How long should data be retained?
DANS often receives questions from researchers about the retention period of research data. We have summarised the relevant guidelines below:
- Most research data deserve to be kept available in the long term in order to be accessible for new research. DANS promotes sustained access to digital research data and encourages researchers to archive and reuse data in a sustainable manner.
- In addition to possible reuse, data should also be kept available for replication and verification purposes. The Netherlands Code of Conduct for Scientific Practice (VSNU, 2014, in Dutch) prescribes a minimum retention period of ten years for raw data. The Code does not state, however, when the retention period should start. In accordance with the data contracts used by NWO, DANS proposes a starting date of three months after research completion (at the latest). DANS does not consider ten years to be “the long term”; its oldest available data date back as far as 1964. In other words, after the minimum retention period your data will remain accessible in the sustainable archives.
- Not all data need to be retained in the long term: intermediate versions are not always necessary and some research can be replicated relatively easily. Retention criteria can be found in Selection of Research Data. Guidelines for appraising and selecting research data (webpage) or the condensed Checklist (webpage) on the website of Research Data Netherlands.
- Depending on the degree of anonymity, different criteria apply to health research data. According to the Code of Conduct for Health Research (in Dutch), if such data contain “indirectly identifying” personal information they may “as a rule” be retained no longer than five years after publication of the study. For more information, please consult this Code of Conduct.
DANS is not liable for the content of the datasets made available via EASY. Please read the disclaimer for further information.
Property rights in EASY
Our slogon is: accessible whenever possible, protected if necessary. We advocate placing as few restrictions as possible on the accessibility of research data and publications. Please find more information on this page.