TAIAO Open Licensing Guidelines

The TAIAO Project aims to share a repository of open Datasets and Notebooks to improve reproducibility in environmental data science, and build capability in fundamental and applied data science, accessible to all New Zealanders. There are a number of options for open licenses for datasets and notebooks. These guidelines also include ways to support partners in sharing their Datasets and Notebooks under open licenses and information about Traditional Knowledge Notices and Labels.

WARNING: Once a Dataset or Notebook is licensed under a Creative Commons License or most Open Source Licenses (e.g. MIT, + GPL, Apache, etc.), the use of this Dataset or Notebook cannot be controlled and this license may not be able to be revoked unless the terms of the license are breached.

Dataset Licenses

The TAIAO Project recommends licensing Datasets under a Creative Commons License. The licensor of the Dataset is able to choose:

  • To allow adaptations of your work to be shared (e.g. in a Notebook), or only share with the same license.
  • To allow commercial use of the dataset

For more information see: https://wiki.creativecommons.org/wiki/data

If the licensor wants to determine who can use the dataset and for what purpose, they can use the Kaitiakitanga License or a derivative of it.

Notebooks Licenses

The TAIAO Project recommends licensing Notebooks with either of the following licenses:

GNU GPLv3 If the author wants to make sure that all modifications or derivatives of this code remains open source.

MIT If the author wants to make sure that re-use of their code is permissive as possible.

Kaitiakitanga License or a derivative of it. If the author wants to be able to determine who can use the notebook and for what purpose

In cases where Notebooks contain data, it may also be necessary to include the license for the datasets. This will definitely be the cause where that dataset requires attribution (e.g. Creative Commons and Kaitiakitanga Licenses).

Supporting Partners

The TAIAO Project may receive data from partners, only with permission to use it in our own research. This may not give us permission to share derivatives of the data (e.g. Notebooks) or for the data to be used by others in the TAIAO Community. To support the creation of a repository of open Datasets and Notebooks to improve reproducibility in environmental data science, we would like to have as many Datasets available under an open license and findable on the TAIAO Community Platform.

Partners may be apprehensive about sharing data with an open license for a number of reasons, including:

  • Data Quality: They are worried about the quality of the data
  • Authority: They may not have the authority to put a license on it
  • Capacity: They may be worried about not having the capacity to manage public requests for their data (either personally or on their servers)
  • Risk: They may be worried about other risks from sharing their data (e.g. security, privacy, commercial sensitivity)

The following email template may be useful to share with project partners to support them in making their Datasets open


Thank you for your interest in sharing your <NAME OF DATASET> data with my research project. Here is some information for your consideration about sharing your data with an open license, so that other researchers and practitioners might make use of it, to further support environmental and data science research in Aotearoa New Zealand.

We recommend choosing one of the Creative Commons licenses, which will allow you to decide if people can use your data commercially if they can share analysis based on your data and how you would like them to attribute you. Here’s a link to pick a license that’s right for you: https://creativecommons.org/choose/

Your data does not have to be publicly available online to have an open license. I can list it in the TAIAO Community Platform and people who are interested in the dataset can get in touch with you (or me if you would prefer) to get access to it.

I would be happy to put you in touch with one of my colleagues if you would like to learn more about open data licenses.

Ngā Mihi


Traditional Knowledge Notices and Labels

In addition to identifying licenses for Datasets and Notebook, a Traditional Knowledge Notice may be applied by anyone in the TAIAO Community to recognise that there could be accompanying cultural rights, protocols and responsibilities that need further attention for future sharing and use of this material. The Traditional Knowledge Notice provides an opportunity for iwi to apply Traditional Knowledge Labels to the Datasets and Notebook to identify and clarify community-specific rules and responsibilities regarding access and future use of traditional knowledge. Source: https://localcontexts.org/notice/tk-notice/