Meaning & purpose
A licence is a legal statement giving official permission to do something with a collection or service. Use this element to describe the type of licence that applies to the data or service.
The Licence element is contained within the Rights element wrapper.
A Licence Type is optional. If used, preferably specify a type from the Licence Type vocabulary:
AusGoal Restrictive Licence. Note: AusGoal no longer exists, however this licence template can be found in the Internet Archive.
Partners who wish to use Licence Types not currently in the vocabulary can contact firstname.lastname@example.org to register a new type value.
Rights URI attribute
Optionally, include a Rights URI attribute to access rights and constraints information relating to the registry object.
Use in Research Data Australia
Licence information is displayed prominently in Research Data Australia to support researchers in reuse of research collections:
- faceted search option provided based on Licence Type information (mapping shown in the table below)
- licence logos displayed where available, for records that use the Licence Type vocabulary (where a URI is provided to a version of a Creative Commons licence, the appropriate logo for the version will display)
- visual indicator displayed where the licence applied is considered ‘open’ as per the table below
Display label for searches filtered
Reuse is freely permitted with only a requirement
for attribution or that similar licensing is retained.
Reuse is limited to non-commercial use only
No derivatives from the data may be distributed
Some form of limiting or restrictive condition applies.
May apply to personal or confidential information.
All rights reserved. No reuse permitted.
<no value> or
A licence is recommended to provide clarity on the conditions under which the data or service is made available for reuse.
- Use the Licence element to describe the type of licence that applies to the data or service.
- Choose a type from the Licence Type vocabulary above.
- A free text statement may also be provided.
- Optionally, provide a URI pointing to the licence relating to the collection or service.
This element may be populated from other metadata sources including:
- Data.gov.au License (URI)
- ANZLIC MD_Metadata.identificationInfo>.resourceConstraints>MD_LegalConstraints.accessConstraints>MD_RestrictionCode='license'
Nested collections and aggregations
Nested (parent/child) collections and collection records that describe aggregations of data or metadata (such as repositories and registries) require careful consideration when encoding rights information - especially licence information. For nested collections, the parent record and all child records should be encoded with licence information.
The following approach is recommended to ensure that those records encoded with open attributes are retrieved when a search in Research Data Australia is limited to, or faceted by, the "open" filter:
- Where records within a nested collection (or items within an aggregation) share the same Licence Type, encode the parent record (or the aggregation collection record) with that Licence Type.
- Where records within a nested collection (or items within an aggregation) do not share the same Licence Type, encode the parent record (or the aggregation collection record) with the most permissive or most common Licence Type in the nested collection (or aggregation), and provide a free text statement to clarify.
- where some child records within a nested collection are freely available for reuse and some are not, encode the parent record with the appropriate open Licence Type (e.g. licence@type="CC-BY") and provide a free text statement as a licence value, e.g. " Licences for datasets within this collection vary. See individual datasets for the licences that apply to them."
- where some items within an aggregation being described are freely available for reuse and some are not, encode the collection record with the appropriate open Licence Type (e.g. licence@type="CC-BY") and provide a free text statement as a licence value, e.g: "Licences for individual resources within this repository vary. Refer to advice provided by the data custodian."
Refer to further detailed guidance on the appropriate licence to apply to collections that include Creative Commons licensed works.
XML encoding example
Example showing the use of a controlled vocabulary for licence type with the licence element
<rights> <licence type="CC-BY" rightsUri="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/au/">When reusing this data, please cite it using the recommended citation format.</licence> </rights>
21 Nov 2011
First web publication. Element introduced as part of RIF-CS v1.3.0 with effect from 7 Dec 2011
19 Jun 2012
Licence vocabulary information and XML examples added
6 Jul 2012
Table showing licences mapped to Research Data Australia display facets added
27 Nov 2015
Updated all information. Added guidance for nested collections
14 Dec 2016
Created separate page for Licence from Rights content. Page reviewed and updated.
|5 Dec 2017||Removed link to AusGoal website and added note that AusGoal no longer exists|
|27 Jul 2018||Table updated to reflect mapping of collections without licence types to 'Other' rather than 'Unknown' in Research Data Australia.|
|15 Jun 2022||Add CC0|