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licensing agreement conflicts impacting software and data citation #22

janemrc opened this Issue Jan 29, 2015 · 0 comments


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janemrc commented Jan 29, 2015

Use Case: Data and software publication licensing agreements and citation goals may not always align

  • Contributors: Jane Greenberg, Erin Clary

Goals and Summary

Data and software publication licensing agreements and citation goals may not always align, and this creates a problem with citation practice and linking. Take for example a Dryad case,which is not frequent, yet not uncommon.

An author (researcher) submits a copyrighted perl script under GNU which was used in the data analysis. The author prefers to retain copyright, and not release the script under our CC0 terms, The Dryad repository policy state, however, that all data, including software, code,etc. is to be published under CC0.

For this reason, the author places the script on a "personal" website - it's a "bioinformatics tools webpage" and requests the Dryad curators us to link to the scrip there. In this case, Dryad's curatorial staff are not in agreement on how to proceed with curation, and the decision can impact the automatic generation of a citation. One curator says we have the obligation to link out to the script on the personal page, and considers the practical end of Dryad's mission to promote data discovery, reuse, etc; whereas the other curator says we should not link out,because in doing so, Dryad is promoting a bad practice that does not align with the repository's policy and can interfere with long term preservation, because of the absence of a Dryad DOI.

Dryad does not give detailed guidance to submitters. In the first preference, the practical approach, the Curator will encourage the submission of the script on GitHub for new works,but in this scenario, the publication was already out, with a DOI. .The goal of the practical approach is to move the submission through, in compliance with our required terms, and grounds to deny it seemed too drastic. The second, more rule bound preference was guided by strict adherence to Dryad policy.

Why is it important and to whom?

  • This situation does not only impact Dryad but other data and software repositories.
  • With sharing of scripts/code,data, this circumstance will only happen more frequently, and could have multiple iterations.
  • The predicament can impact citation practices.

Why hasn’t it been solved yet?

  • It's still new enough, and there are not good examples, best practices.

Actionable Outcomes

The aim would be to develop a best practice in this area that could be shared and eloquently (simply) presented to researchers. Actionable items would identifying necessary steps to handle this challenge in a way that satisfies practical goals and policy. Identifying examples in other similar circumstances could also help.

Additional Information and Links

  • Dellicour S, Flot J (2015) Data from: Delimiting species-poor datasets using single molecular markers: a study of barcode gaps, haplowebs and GMYC. Dryad Digital Repository.
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