Legal and ethical compliance

Funding bodies often require that data be made openly accessible whenever legally, ethically and technically possible.

It is highly advisable to implement this guiding principle from the very beginning of your research project, as it can be difficult and complicated to obtain publication rights afterwards.

Have you ever wondered how to license or protect your research data? What about reusing the research data of others? Perhaps certain rights are already protected. There are cases in which data itself is not protected unless it is part of a data set. Laws protecting confidential information or personal data may also help protect research data.

It is essential to know and understand these rights before considering licensing or using the research data of others.

More information

If you want to publish data or make data openly available, it is important to ensure that you have the rights to do so. Possible publication or reuse of your data should be coordinated with all research partners as soon as possible. You should also consider the possibility of embargo periods.


It may not be entirely clear who owns the data, but it is of great importance. Only the owner is entitled to distribute licenses, even free licenses, for the use of data.

As a rule, the TU Wien holds the usage and exploitation rights of all research results and research data which are generated by TU Wien employees. Therefore, only the TU Wien, or an official representative thereof, may grant a license for the use of research data, even to those researchers who collected the data in the first place. It may be necessary to clarify licensing with the Head of the Institute or Head of the Research Unit. It is always possible to obtain the right to be named as the author.

In contract research, the clients are usually the owners. Further details may be included in contracts with funding bodies, clients or employers. For more information on this subject, please contact the experts from Contract Services at the TU Wien, opens an external URL in a new window.

Personal data

The processing of personal data is carried out in strict compliance with the principles and requirements laid down in the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), the DSG (Data Protection Act) and the FOG (Research Organisation Act). An examination of the lawfulness of the processing must always be carried out on a case-by-case basis.

Further information on this topic can be found on the TU Wien Data Protection, opens an external URL in a new window website. Contact persons:


Please heed these policies and codes of conduct of the TU Wien, as well as the experts from the websites of the TU Wien Data Protection Office and Research and Transfer Support Office:

The research ethics team at the TU Wien provides researchers with advice on the ethical requirements of funding bodies, ethical approvals, research integrity and other aspects of research ethics, such as:

  • identifying possible ethical questions in your research,
  • integrating research ethics into your research design,
  • considering the ethical requirements of funding bodies and
  • formulating statements on research ethics in research applications.

Contact: Research Ethics, opens an external URL in a new window, Dr. Marjo Rauhala,, Phone +43-1-58801-406630

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Please note:

The Center for Research Data Management does not provide legally binding information.

The Research and Transfer Support Office, opens an external URL in a new window supports researchers and research groups at the TU Wien in various research and exploitation activities, e.g. patent and licence management and the design and negotiation of R&D contracts.

If you have any questions regarding data protection or the processing of personal data, please refer to the TU Wien Data Protection, opens an external URL in a new window website.