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Sharing data


Cropped image of the Earth overlaid with binary numbers

Having an explicit license is critical. It allows users to know exactly how they can use your data.

Licensing options*:


Data can be freely used, re-used and redistributed by anyone - subject only, at most, to the requirement to attribute and sharealike.


Data may be permitted for use by others to copy, distribute, display and perform the work for noncommercial purposes only.

No licence

Data is not available for reuse.

*Table adapted from Australia National Data Service (ANDS)


Data needs to be both openly licensed and accessible online.  However there may be occasions when a data provider does not have the mechanism to make the data available online.  In this instance, although the dataset is Openly licensed it requires mediated access.

Access options:

Open Data is easily discoverable, fully accessible and immediately downloadable.

Data is discoverable but access is facilitated (mediated) through a custodian.

Restricted Data is not discoverable or accessible to others.

Open data

Open data:

  • is freely available to download, and re-use
  • has minimal licensing conditions which are clearly outlined
  • is available in convenient formats for easy re-use and modification

The NHMRC and ARC do not mandate open data but strongly encourage that you make data available for re-use. You also need to specify clearly how you plan to manage data when apply for grants. For more help see Create a plan.

Some journals now require that you make supporting data available if you publish with them. Examples include:

Further reading:

Many repositories, where you can expose your data, also include information about data downloads and citation metrics of data.

De-identification and sensitive data

De-identification aims to allow data to be used by others without the possibility of individuals being identified. Data de-identification may be used to:

  • protect the privacy of individuals and organisations, such as businesses;
  • ensure that the spatial location of mineral or archaeological findings or endangered species is not publicly available.

Data that is still identifiable (i.e. contains personal information) needs to be managed carefully, through access control and data security measures.

For more information review the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner De-identification decision-making framework

Sensitive data are data that can be used to identify individuals, places of importance, objects or species that could cause discrimination or harm. Sensitive data can still be published!

For more information see the ARDC page on Sensitive data, including health and medical data and Indigenous data.

Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs)

Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) provide you with a persistent point of access for information or data. Unlike URLs, which can change, or disappear, a DOI stays with information or data at all times.

Example DOI -

DOIs are the internationally accepted standard for data citation. It is important that any data you want to be discoverable and re-usable has a DOI attached to it.

This video (4:51) by Research Data Netherlands explains the importance of data citations and Digital Object Identifies (DOIs) for data.

DOIs can only be minted for datasets already added to UniSA’s Data Access Portal. If the dataset is already in the Data Access Portal, email the Library’s Discovery Services team with the dataset title, publication year, and the names, affiliations and ORCID identifers of all authors/creators.

If the dataset is not in the Data Access Portal, please contact Ask the Library to discuss depositing your dataset.