Considerations: Copyright, Ethical or IRB
The Hong Kong Cap 528 Copyright Ordinance doesn't specifically say "research data". However Section 4 on Literary, dramatic and music works explains that "literary work", "means any work, other than a dramatic or musical work, which is written, spoken or sung, and accordingly includes-
- (a) a compilation of data or other material, in any form, which by reason of the selection or arrangement of its contents constitutes an intellectual creation, including but not limiting to a table;
- (b) a computer program; and
- (c) preparatory design material for a computer program . . ."
The University of Minnesota Libraries webpage reports that, "Most data is not copyrightable in the U.S. and copyrights usually do not apply and are not enforceable." The UK Data Archive describes when data is copyrightable and how to do so. The Australian National Data Service (ANDS) describes similar.
Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)
Intellectual property rights (IPR) include copyright, patents, trademarks and design rights. IPR grant creators or owners of a work certain controls over its use. Some rights such as patents require registration, while others, such as copyright, accrue automatically upon the work's creation. IPR affect the way both you and others can use your research outputs. Failure to clarify rights at the start of the research process can lead to unexpected limitations to:
- Your research
- Its dissemination
- Future related research projects, and
- Associated profit or credit
Research funders often expect you to clarify IPR at the grant proposal stage in your data management plan.
The HKU Intellectual Property Rights Policy sets out ownership of intellectual property rights of staff and students. Clause 5.1.3 (c) reads, "If research data included in a thesis are obtained by a collaborative effort (including collaboration between the Student and a supervisor or other researcher at the University), such data may be the joint property of the Student and the collaborating party. It is strongly advised that Students and supervisors/researchers make clear agreements in advance concerning the ownership and use of Intellectual Property Rights created in connection with a Student thesis."
The HKU Policy on Research Integrity describes proper data handling in section 2.4. It explains how data should be collected and stored in an ethical manner. It states that collection and storage must comply with, and in some cases receive the approval of various Hong Kong ordinances, ethics committees, and institutional review boards (IRB). These pages give further detail.
Acknowledgement: Univeristy College Dublin, Libguide on RDM: Rights & Licensing