It’s best to presume that research data is protected by copyright, however this is not always the case. For example, machine created data without human creative input may not attract copyright protection.
HDR candidates own the copyright in the datasets they create (except when copyright is transferred to the University or another body by agreement). Griffith University owns the copyright in datasets staff create and permits their publication. Where two or more researchers significantly contribute to a dataset when working on a project, there is joint copyright ownership. Often researchers will sign an agreement assigning the copyright in the data to the project at the beginning.
When publishing your dataset, it’s best to attach a licence to let others know how they can use it. A good principle is to use the least restrictive licence that is applicable to your data so it is published as openly as possible.
If you want your data to be used as widely as possible, attach the Creative Commons CC BY 4.0 International licence. This permits others to use your data for whatever purpose (including mixing it with other data and republishing) as long as they reference your data, link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. Funding agreements often recommend this licence. Alternatively the CC BY NC 4.0 International licence is identical, except it does not permit commercial use.
You may wish to publish software with your dataset to help others use and manipulate your data. The BSD 3-Clause license is the software equivalent of a CC BY licence, permitting others to use your software as widely as possible. However before publishing your software or attaching this licence, make sure any underlying open or proprietary software you may have included within your software permits publication and is compatible with this licence.
Sensitive data can often be deidentified and then published with a Creative Commons licence. Where the data may not be deidentified, often an abstract describing the data can be published, and sometimes on request the data may be shared with other projects after Ethics approval.