Research data policies

Selecting a license for sharing your research data

This guide will help you to select the right license for your data submission to Springer Nature Research Data Support. This page provides information about each type of license we offer for your data but it is not a comprehensive overview of each license type and so please make sure to familiarise yourself with full license documentation before selecting a license.

CC0: Public Domain Dedication

CC0 is is the most open way that you can share content uploaded to Springer Nature Research Data Support. You may wish to select CC0 if you want to allow others to use your data or code without restriction. An end user can copy, modify and distribute CC0 content, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission. It is best practice to cite the source of CC0 data or code, although CC0 does not require it.

CC0 may also suitable for certain data types that cannot be protected by copyright law. See below for further detail.

  1. In no way are the patent or trademark rights of any person affected by CC0, nor are the rights that other persons may have in the work or in how the work is used, such as publicity or privacy rights.
  2. Unless expressly stated otherwise, the person who associated a work with this deed makes no warranties about the work, and disclaims liability for all uses of the work, to the fullest extent permitted by applicable law.
  3. When using or citing the work, an end user should not imply endorsement by the author or the affirmer.

The person who associated a work with this deed has dedicated the work to the public domain by waiving all of his or her rights to the work worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.

Please familiarise yourself with the full license documentation before selecting CC0: https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/

CC BY 4.0: Attribution

CC BY is an open license that permits wide reuse, including commercial use, but requires that the end user credits you if they use your code or data. Recommended for maximum dissemination and use of licensed materials. See below for further detail.

Under the CC BY license end users are free to:

  • Share — copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format
  • Adapt — remix, transform, and build upon the material for any purpose, even commercially, as long as the creator is credited.

This license is acceptable for Free Cultural Works. The licensor cannot revoke these freedoms as long as the licensee follows the license terms.

Under the following terms:

  • Attribution — The end user must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. The end user may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses the licensee or their use.
  • No additional restrictions — The end user may not apply legal terms or technological measures that legally restrict others from doing anything the license permits.

Notices:

The end user does not have to comply with the license for elements of the material in the public domain or where their use is permitted by an applicable exception or limitation.

No warranties are given. The license may not give the end user all of the permissions necessary for your intended use. For example, other rights such as publicity, privacy, or moral rights may limit how an end user can use the material.

Please familiarise yourself with the full license documentation before selecting this license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

CC BY + CC0: Mixed content

This is a mixed license type applicable only to Springer Nature content for specific journals. Do not use this license unless you have been directed to do so.

Apache 2.0: Software license

The Apache license is a permissive license, allowing end users to freely use software for any purpose, to distribute, modify and distribute modified version in source and/or binary forms. End users are free to download and use Apache software, in whole or in part, for personal, company internal, or commercial purposes, which contains copyright and patent grants.

Code under GPL version 3 and Apache License 2.0 can be combined, as long as the resulting software is licensed under the GPL version 3 (http://www.apache.org/licenses/GPL-compatibility.html)

Please familiarise yourself with the full license documentation before selecting this license: https://www.apache.org/licenses/LICENSE-2.0 

For a summary of this license, see: http://www.apache.org/foundation/license-faq.html#WhatDoesItMEAN

MIT: Software license

The MIT license is a permissive license, usually applied to software, that puts few restrictions on end users of software. It also offers strong compatibility with other software license.

See below for further detail and please familiarise yourself with the full license documentation before selecting this license: https://opensource.org/licenses/MIT

Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the "Software"), to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:

The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.

THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE.

Please familiarise yourself with the full license documentation before selecting this license: https://opensource.org/licenses/MIT

GPL

The GNU General Public License is a ‘copyleft’ software license: one that allows an end user to copy, modify and distribute both the original code and modified ‘derivative’ version as long as they distribute under the same license. In this way GPL differs to the MIT or Apache licenses, which are more permissive in terms of redistribution. For this reason software shared under MIT or Apache licenses can be combined with software shared under GPL v3 if the resulting work is shared under GPL but GPL software could not be combined and shared under Apache or MIT licenses.

GPL 3.0+

GPL version 3 has introduced compatibility with Apache License 2.0; code licensed under these licenses can be combined, given that the resulting software is licensed under the GPL version 3.

Software incorporating GPL-licensed code must also be made available under the GPLv3 along with build & install instructions.

Please familiarise yourself with the full license documentation before selecting this license: https://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-3.0.en.html

GPL 2.0+

Most of the principles of copyleft licenses are applicable to both GPL v3.0 and v2.0, but the terms of v2.0 make it less compatible with other licenses. Unlike GPL v2.0, v3.0 also contains explicit patent protection clauses, among other differences.

Please familiarise yourself with the full license documentation before selecting this license: https://www.gnu.org/licenses/old-licenses/gpl-2.0.en.html

Mozilla Public License 2.0: Software license

The Mozilla Public License (MPL) 2.0 is a ‘weak’ copyleft license: it sits between more permissive MIT and APache licenses and more restrictive GPL licenses. MPL allows an end user to copy and modify code and distribute the modified ‘derivative’ version under any license, however in the derivative work, any elements of the original code must still be accessible in source form under MPL 2.0.

Please familiarise yourself with the full license documentation before selecting this license: https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/MPL/2.0/