Revised content for:

This page will be updated as shown when public release of the changes is imminent.

Meaning and purpose

The rights element is a wrapper element that contains descriptions of rights, licences and access rights for a collection, in both text and URI formats. 

Rights statements, licence and access rights information is displayed prominently on Research Data Australia to support researchers in reuse of research collections. Access rights and license information also form part of faceted search.

rightsStatement  |  licence  |  accessRights  |  Transitioning from RIF-CS v1.2.0  |  RIF-CS XML examples

Wherever possible, provide rightsStatement, licence and access rights information as separate elements within the Rights wrapper (see example 1). Where this is not possible, rightsStatement may be used for a combined statement describing rights, access and licence details.  This may be necessary where the source of content (eg an institutional repository) is only able to provide a single rights statement and/or URI (see example 2).


Use this element to provide a statement about the rights held in a collection.  These may be intellectual property rights such as copyright or moral rights. More information.  
Example: Copyright, The University of South Australia, 2014.
See example 3.

Populate this element from existing metadata:

URI (optional):

 A URI pointing to a rights statement.


A licence is a legal statement giving official permission to do something with a collection.  Use this element to describe the type of licence that applies to the data. A free text statement may be provided.  Preferably, choose a type from the licence type vocabulary.
A licence is recommended for all data made available for reuse. 
See example 4.

Populate this element from existing metadata:

Licence type vocabulary (optional):

A vocabulary was introduced for the licence element as part of Release 8, and is available from RIF-CS Controlled Vocabularies.  Partners who wish to use licences not currently in the controlled list can contact to register a new type value. 

It is possible to use type="Unknown/Other"; however, this offers less value to users of Research Data Australia as reuse conditions remain unclear.

URI (optional):

 A URI pointing to the licence relating to the collection.  
Where the uri points to a version of a CC licence, the appropriate logo for the version will display in the record.

Use in Research Data Australia

Table 1: Use of licence information in Research Data Australia.  Licences in the ‘Open’ category are included in the “openly licenced” filter in Research Data Australia.


Licence types

Display label for searches filtered by licence type

Brief description





Reuse is freely permitted with only a requirement for  attribution or that similar licensing is retained.




Reuse is limited to non-commercial use only




No derivatives from the data may be distributed



Some form of limiting or restrictive condition applies.  May apply to personal or confidential information.


No licence

All rights reserved.  No reuse permitted.

<no value> or <user defined custom value>




More information:


Use this element to describe access rights and access constraints, including who may access and when access may occur (including any embargo). Restrictions may be based on security, privacy or other policies. A free text statement may be provided.  Preferably, choose a type from the accessRights type vocabulary. 
See example 5. 

Populate this element from existing metadata:

Access rights type vocabulary (optional):

A vocabulary for accessRights was introduced with RIF-CS v1.6.0 (December 2014) with definitions revised with RIF-CS v1.7.0 (November 2015). 

Open: Data is publicly accessible online

Conditional: Data is publicly accessible subject to certain conditions.  For example:

Restricted: Data access is limited.  For example:

URI (optional):

 A URI pointing to access rights and access constraints relating to the collection.

Use in Research Data Australia

Example 1: shows preferred use of rights element with rights statement, licence and access rights provided as separate elements


  <rightsStatement rightsUri="">Copyright 2014, The University of South Australia</rightsStatement>

   <licence type="CC-BY" rightsUri="">

   <accessRights type="Open" rightsUri="">In accordance with the UniSA Open Access policy</accessRights>


Example 2: shows rights statement combining rights, licence and access information in a single statement


     <rightsStatement> The owner of this data collection may provide access by negotiation.  You may be required to indicate your intended use of the data and to meet any costs associated with providing you the data.  Other terms and conditions may also apply.  Use of the data may be subject to legal, ethical or commercial restrictions requiring permission from other individuals or groups, including ethics committees and research participants.   </rightsStatement>



Example 3:where rightsStatement describes intellectual property rights only


  <rightsStatement rightsUri="">Copyright 2014, The University of South Australia</rightsStatement>


Example 4: where licence is chosen from the controlled vocabulary


      <licence type="CC-BY" rightsUri="">When reusing this data, please cite it using the recommended citation format. </licence>


Example 5: where access rights type is chosen from the controlled vocabulary


       <accessRights Type=”Restricted” rightsUri=> Access may be granted following approval of a written application. </accessRights>