DMLawTool is a web-based tool that guides researchers working in the fields of humanities and social sciences through the most relevant legal issues related to data management and proposes different solution approaches to archive research data in a repository.
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 incertitude with regards to legal aspects. Generally, legal liability of archived data lies with the researchers. DMLawTool thus wants to act as a light bulb that turns on whenever researchers feel lost within the misty legal jungle and are unsure about the best approach to adopt in order to handle and archive research data in a legally compliant way. It addresses questions ranging from copyright (e.g. do I own the image rights?) to data protection (e.g. has my data been anonymized correctly?), intellectual property and licensing, trying to favor open access and re-use of data wherever possible. DMLawTool uses a decision tree structure to guide researchers from general to more specific questions and leads them eventually to clear and straightforward solutions. It pays particular attention to language, so that it is easily understandable also to legal laymen.
DMLawTool is currently being developed by the Università della Svizzera italiana and the University of Neuchatel within the P-5 program of swissuniversities (https://www.swissuniversities.ch/en/topics/digitalisation/p-5-scientific-information). The final version will be available openly and free of charge on the CCdigitallaw.ch platform by the end of 2020.