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A Guide To...Digital and Emerging Scholarship

This guide is dedicated to the advancement of digital and emerging scholarship at the College of the Holy Cross.


Copyright and licensing depends on several factors and, with the introduction of data, there are a lot to consider. Options vary depending on the type of data you are working with, as well as any potential sensitive data.

Best practices include:

  • Being aware of the copyright and licensing restrictions on your data from the start. This will influence decisions regarding security, data re-use, storage, etc.
  • Always opt for the highest level of open access possible. Ideally, all research will be in the public domain.
  • Consider all ethical questions regarding your data. Make sharing decisions based off of these concerns.

Holy Cross resources regarding human subjects

For guidance regarding research being conducted on the Holy Cross campus with human subject, consult the Office of Sponsored Research's proposal development tool. This will provide guidance on all aspects of your research process, including finding a funding source, the proposal routing process through the College's administration, and the protection of data regarding human subjects.

Additionally, make sure to consult the Office of Sponsored Research's Research Responsibility and Compliance page for a full understanding of research expectations and responsibilities for studies conducted on the Holy Cross campus.

Quantitative Data

Quantitative data is data that are measurements or numerical values of facts about the universe surrounding us. Since facts are not copyrightable, neither is quantitative data! However, certain arrangements, selections, or presentations of quantitative data may be copyrightable in the United States. You can learn more about this distinction through the Library of Congress's Copyright Basics and Report on Legal Protection for Databases.

Please note that many researchers are dedicated to the open access and reuse of data. Many publications will require for your data to be openly accessible by the public. For more information on public domain licenses, which allow the public to access your data, visit the Open Knowledge Foundation's website and our own Open Access LibGuide.