Research Data Archive - Depositor Agreement

This agreement between Research Data Archive and the depositor covers the deposit of digital datasets in the Research Data Archive. The licence describes the responsibilities of the depositor and of the Research Data Archive.

This agreement is non-exclusive which ensures the copyright remains with the Rights Holder and does not transfer to the archive.


The following terms are used in this agreement:

Approved User – a person or organisation that has permission to access a dataset.

Authorised User – a person or organisation that is registered to use the Research Data Archive.

Bit-level Preservation – the act of ensuring the stream of bits in the file is readable.

Data Manager – the person or organisation responsible for ensuring the dataset and metadata are understandable and error-free. The data manager may not actually resolve issues, but may pass them on to more capable persons.

Dataset – the collection of data as defined by the depositor or discipline.

Depositor – the person or organisation that has permission to request the dataset to be archived.

Lifetime – the period of time during which the published dataset is accessible in the Research Data Archive.

Malware – any malicious software (such as viruses, spyware etc) that is designed to disrupt the Archive or gain access to unauthorised information.

Metadata – the information that describes the dataset.

Sigma2 – the organisation owning Research Data Archive service.

Preparation Phase – the phase during which the dataset is prepared for publication (the user provides metadata and any other relevant documentation).

Published Dataset – a dataset that has been accepted by the Archive and is made available for approved users.

Rights Holder – the person or organisation that holds rights (copyright, other legal rights) on the dataset.

Stakeholders – persons or organisations that have a controlling interest in the data. This includes the data manager, rights holder, depositor. In addition, there may be other groups such as those that took part in the production of the data.

User – the person or entity accessing the metadata or dataset.


For the lifetime of the dataset the depositor grants royalty-free licence for the dataset to the Research Data Archive without restriction to:

  • Provide access to the dataset to registered and approved users[1].
  • Provide public, unrestricted access to the dataset's metadata.
  • Promote the availability of the dataset to interested users.
  • To ensure the dataset remains readable during its lifetime.

Dual licensing (combining multiple licenses which are compatible) may be offered.

Sigma2 recommends the use of standardised licenses as far as this is practical and possible.

Depositor Responsibilities

  1. Ensure the dataset is complete and was created according to approved responsible research practices (see for example [1- 4]), abides by copyright and publication restrictions and does not contain illegal content[2].
  2. Ensure the data collection does not breach any privacy or data protection laws
  3. Ensure the right to archive the dataset has been received from all stakeholders.
  4. Ensure entities (persons or organisations) have agreed to act as Data Manager and Rights Holder for the dataset.
  5. Ensure metadata describing the dataset is in English, complete and correct to the best of knowledge and has been completed within the time period allotted for describing datasets (3 months).
  6. Ensure the dataset is free from corruption and malware before depositing it to the Archive.
  7. Ensure the correct license for access is assigned to the dataset.

Rights Holder Responsibilities

  1. Deal with questions covering the rights of the dataset.
  2. Inform the Research Data Archive in the case of a change in the rights over the dataset or of a change in the owner of the rights.
  3. Inform the Research Data Archive of a wish to be replaced and nominate a replacement (with their approval).

Data Manager Responsibilities

  1. Deal with questions and actions covering the dataset and metadata.
  2. Inform the Research Data Archive in the case of any issues regarding the dataset or metadata that may impact their use.
  3. Inform the Research Data Archive of a wish to be replaced and nominate a replacement (with their approval).

Research Data Archive Responsibilities

  1. Ensure the bit-level preservation of the dataset.
  2. Ensure the dataset is accessed only by approved and authorised users.
  3. Ensure approved and authorised users are aware of the terms of use described in the access license.
  4. To notify the depositor and/or data manager and/or rights holder of problems with the dataset.

Dataset End-of-life

The Research Data Archive will ensure all published datasets are accessible for at least 10 years from the date of publication in the archive. Beyond that period, only in the case of compelling technical reasons might datasets be deleted.

In case of deletion of the dataset after the retention time, the impending deletion will first be announced on the Research Data Archive front page and the Dataset’s landing page. This announcement will be visible for a period of one year. During this grace period, anyone who has an interest in maintaining access to the dataset can renew the retention period by contacting the Archive Manage If a dataset is deleted the DOI will resolve to a tombstone record containing all the public metadata for the dataset.

Termination of Agreement

Failure to provide all the mandatory metadata describing the dataset during the preparation phase (3 months) may result in the termination of the agreement resulting in the dataset being eligible for deletion from the archive.

[1] The Research Data Archive reserves the right to modify the Terms and Conditions for datasets that place restrictions on users of the datasets.

[2] As defined by Norwegian Law.