Tue, 30 March 2021 10:00

Is research data protected by the Swiss Copyright Act? When is my research data truly anonymized? What is the difference between anonymization and pseudonymisation? How am I supposed to deal with personal data collected during an interview? Am I allowed to re-use my colleague’s data in my own research? How can I publish my research data as Open Access? 

These and other legal questions related to research data management will be discussed during the launch of the DMLawTool . 

In the last years the discussions regarding Copyright and Data Protection in the academic environment have become more frequent and articulated. For instance, the Swiss National Science Foundation asks researchers to provide a Data Management Plan (DMP) to qualify for funds, and, one of the aspects that must be addressed in a DMP is actually related to data protection. In recent years, several research data archiving platforms have emerged, allowing researchers to store data in a technically safe and secure way. However, there is still much uncertainty with regard to legal aspects related to data collection, processing and archiving practices.

In order to help researchers to disentangle themselves from these new and growing demands, USI – Università della Svizzera italiana and UNINE – the University of Neuchatel have developed a web-based tool (within the framework of the swissuniversities P-5 programme “Scientific information”) that guides researchers through the most relevant legal aspects of research data management . As the legal liability of archived data lies generally with the researchers, the goal of DMLawTool (Data Management Law Tool) is to help researchers find possible solutions to legal issues ranging from copyright (is my data protected by copyright and if yes, do I own the rights?), to data protection (what is personal data? what is anonymized data?) and licensing (which license should I choose for my data?). The suggested solutions try to favor (wherever possible) open access and re-use of data practices. 

Join us on March 30, 2021 for the launch event of the DMLawTool!


  • 10.00 – 10.10, Welcome & Introduction to Project – Anna Picco Schwendener (USI)
  • 10.10 – 10.20, The questions behind research data management and open access – Aude Bax de Keating (swissuniversities)
  • 10.20 – 11:00, The importance of legal aspects for research data management – in conversation with two legal experts – Nathalie Tissot (UNINE) and Bertil Cottier (UNIL), moderated by Anna Picco-Schwendener (USI) 
  • 11:00 – 11:10 Questions from the public and discussion with the legal experts 
  • 11:10 – 11:20 Presentation of the DMLawTool and its functionalities 
  • 11:20 – 11:40 Working through two real cases with the DMLawTool 
  • 11:40 – 11:50 Questions and Discussion 
  • 11:50 – 12:00 Closing remarks

The participation in the event is free and open to everyone. Please register (no later than March 29, 2021) by using the form below. 

The event will take place online on Zoom and will be held in English. The link to attend the online event will be sent to registered participants a few days before the event.

The event is going to be recorded and the recording will be stored for internal purposes. The recording of the conversation between the legal experts and the demonstration of the tool will be published on the CCdigitallaw.ch website. By default, participants’ contributions/interactions will not be published.