Guidelines for policy for Open Science

This page contains guidelines for the Policy for Open Science at NTNU.

See also: Policy for Open Science at NTNU | Pages labelled with Open Science

Norsk versjon - Retningslinjer for politikk for åpen vitenskap

Approved by Recor 19 January 2021.

Purpose of the document

This document provides more detailed guidelines on how the principles laid down in the Policy for Open Science at NTNU are to be followed in practice. It is easier to revise and update the practical guidelines later as circumstances require. 

Applies to

This document applies to the University’s Policy for Open Science.


3.1  Licensing

A transition to open licensing entails great empowerment of employees – from a system in which one gives up all rights related to the further life of the work they have completed to one in which the individual must decide on the conditions for further dissemination and reuse. There are many options for management of open research results. The licence that is most appropriate will vary depending on the type of research result and the subject area in which the results are made available.

The following principles should apply to licensing:

1. For scientific publications,  the licence portfolio from the Creative Commons organization (CC licences) has become the standard for publications with open access. Here, the licensing policy of the publishing channel will be the criterion for choosing the licence, but the general recommendation is for licences that do not require explicit consent from the author for further dissemination and adaptation.

 2. For research data, the choice of licence will depend on the type of data. Although facts about the world cannot normally be protected by copyright, processed compilations of data will often be subject to such provisions. Still, a licence that is as permissive as possible is generally recommended (for example, the CC-0 licence) unless there are special considerations related to privacy or data sets originating from databases that are already subject to copyright restrictions. In such cases, discipline-specific standards and licences may be relevant. 

3.In certain cases, for example for artistic work or some works based on interpretation within the social sciences or humanities, much of the value of the research efforts will lie in the actual design and development of the work. It may be relevant to protect the entire research result from further transformation using a clause that restricts the right to derivative use, such as CC-BY-ND. 

4. For software production, it is desirable to provide access through a licence that permits reuse and further modification, has broad legal recognition and is certified by the Open Source Initiative (OSI). Where no overriding guidelines exist, NTNU-produced software must be licensed under the  European Union Public Licence. For software projects in disciplines with special requirements or licensing practices specific to a field of use, it may be possible to use other licences that satisfy the OSI requirements for open source code (for example the MIT licence, the Apache licence, or GNU GPLv3) . 

5. Where an agreement on funding on specific licence terms applies, the required licence must be specified. This applies, for example, to the use of CC-BY or CC-BY-SA as a general rule when publishing research results funded by the Research Council of Norway or Horizon Europe, or CC-0 for publishing datasets. NTNU does not want to impose restrictions on commercialization opportunities related to our research activities (see our IPR policy, as well as Kielland 2019, Rettighets- og lisensspørsmål ved åpen publisering. Unit report. ). The use of provisions restricting commercial use (such as CC-BY-NC and CC-BY-NC-ND) is discouraged. 

Licensing of research results and learning resources can be complex. Through the IT service and the University Library, NTNU will offer support to researchers who need help in choosing the right licence.

3.2  Data management

Research projects led by NTNU researchers must set up a data management plan (DMP) that meets the funder’s requirements. The data management plan must be set up early in the research project and no later than six (6) months after start-up. In projects in which several researchers participate and common research data are generated, the project manager is responsible for ensuring that a DMP is drawn up and the data from the project are archived and made available in accordance with the University’s principles and the guidelines in force. For a more detailed description of relevant guidelines, see guidelines for data management plans at NTNU.

3.3  Learning resources

NTNU’s teaching content is intended to benefit the public. Even those who do not achieve any kind of degree or educational accreditation can benefit from access to learning resources of high quality. Teaching is largely exempt from the restrictions in the Copyright Act, but they will often apply when learning resources are made publicly available. These guidelines therefore largely apply to self-produced material. Here, too, privacy considerations may limit access – for example, when lectures or similar activities are filmed.

However, it is desirable for learning resources to be stored in the University’s learning object repository, where no copyright or other ethical or legal restrictions apply.

Employees are encouraged to use open-licensed material in their teaching content and in their production of learning resources.

3.4  Guidelines for choosing a storage solution

The choice of a storage solution for research data will largely depend on discipline-specific standards, but a classification of data (specified in the data management plan mentioned above) and an assessment of the level of information security must always be carried out. NTNU must always have an up-to-date list ofsolutions for temporary data storage.

3.5  Guidelines for choosing a repository

When a research project has been completed, the research results must be archived in a suitable repository, depending on the type of result. Publications are registered and uploaded in CRIStin (Current Research Information System In Norway) for archival in NTNU’s institutional repository NTNU Open, while artistic research is stored in suitable repositories, such as the Research Catalogue published by the Society for Artistic Research. Data sets are filed in repositories relevant for research data.