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Data Services

Data Management Services assists Brandon researchers with the organization, management, and curation of research data to enhance its preservation and access now and into the future

DMPs, Ethics and Compliance 

DMPs ask researchers to spell out how existing research ethics guidelines, legal compliance issues and recommendations for sharing will apply to the data used in a research project.  Questions include:

How will you manage any ethical issues?

  • Have you gained consent for data preservation and sharing?
  • How will you protect the identity of participants if required?
    • e.g. Describe the use of data identification coding systems; how and where data will be stored.  
    • Describe any potential use of the data by others
      and who will have access to identifiable data. 
    • Any de-identification, security software, etc.
    • What will happen to the identifiable data after the
      study is finished?
  • How will sensitive data be handled to ensure it is stored and transferred securely?
  • Have you gained consent for data preservation and sharing?


Ethical issues affect how you store data, who can see /  use  it and how long it is kept.  

Managing ethical concerns may include: anonymisation
of data; referral to departmental or institutional ethics
committees; and formal consent agreements. You
should show that you are aware of any issues and
have planned accordingly.

If you are carrying out research involving human 
participants, you must also ensure that consent is
requested to allow data to be shared and reused.

If doing research with Indigenous Peoples consult relevant Tri-Agency, C.A.R.E. and OCAP documents.

How will you manage copyright and Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) issues?

  • Who owns the data?
  • How will the data be licensed for reuse?
  • Are there any restrictions on the reuse of third-party data?
  • Will data sharing be postponed / restricted e.g. to publish or seek patents?


State who will own the copyright and IPR of any data
that you will collect or create, along with the
licence(s) for its use and reuse.

For multi-partner projects, IPR ownership may be worth
coveringin a consortium agreement.

Consider any relevant funder, institutional, departmental
or group policies on copyright or IPR.

Also consider permissions to reuse third-party data and
any restrictions needed on data sharing.

Ethics, Compliance, Policies and Research Data

Addressing the ethics and compliance questions in a DMP begins by ensuring you are familiar with any and all relevant policies, guidelines, contracts and laws such as:

In addition you will need to consider the nature of the research.  

  • Can data be gathered in a way that reduces risks and allows sharing - or is it extremely sensitive?  
  • Can sensitive data be de-identified and remain useful?  

Taken together:

  1. The approach to research, 
  2.  In conjunction with any legal / funder / publishing requirements, and 
  3. Whether there are ways to enable the sharing of sensitive data in a manner that ensures both privacy and data utility,

all contribute to whether you can share data and how.  

In general, you can assume the following:

  1. Share whenever possible, with the recognition that:
  2. Not all data can or should be be shared. (See sensitive data below)
  3. If there are good reasons data cannot be shared, you will need to clearly explain them in your DMP.
  4. If data sharing is desirable and can be done in a manner that conforms to privacy laws (etc), you will need to explain how you will make that happen in your DMP.

Working with Sensitive Data

Not all data can or need to be open. Sometimes data is sensitive or proprietary and cannot be shared. 

Sensitive data / proprietary data include: 

  • Personal data which contain identifiers such as name, age, gender, physical traits, genetic information
  • Confidential data such as trade secrets, financial information, intellectual property rights 
  • Biological data such as location data of endangered species
  • Data derived from Indigenous Knowledges that has not been approved or appropriate for Sharing.

Note: Researchers who undertake research in partnership with, or research about, the First Nations, Inuit or Métis Peoples of Canada should carefully read:

Resources for working with Sensitive Data

Further Reading:

Taken from:

McGill Libraries. Research Data Management.  Ethics and Compliance.  retrieved March 5th, 2021.

Licenses and Terms of Use

If you can share data you will need to license it.  For a general overview on copyright issues related to licensing see the Guide to Licensing Open Data from the Open Knowledge Foundation.

The following are typical Creative Commons license templates that are applied to data:

  • CC 0 (public domain, unambiguously waive all copyright control over your data in all jurisdictions worldwide. Data released with CC0 can be freely copied, modified, and distributed, even for commercial purposes, without violating copyright). This is the default license in Dataverse, as one goal of the project is to promote open science best practices.
  • CC BY (This license lets others distribute, remix, adapt, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation.)
  • CC BY-NC (This license lets others remix, adapt, and build upon your work non-commercially, and although their new works must also acknowledge you and be non-commercial, they don’t have to license their derivative works on the same terms.)
  • CC BY-SA (This license lets others remix, adapt, and build upon your work even for commercial purposes, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms)
  • CC BY-NC-SA (This license lets others remix, adapt, and build upon your work non-commercially, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms.)

If you do not know which license to select, Creative Commons has a good  tool to help.

Also be aware that if you have used data licensed under a Creative Commons License by another researcher, when you release that data as part of your research, you need to abide by the terms of the original license.  As an example, it the original license was a Share-Alike license, you need to reshare that data under the same license.