Legal and ethical issues

! On this page you will find information and contact points on relevant legal and ethical topics. Please note that the information in the following is not legally binding, it should serve as an overview and provide you with guidance.

Legal issues can arise in every phase of a research project. The data protection and intellectual property rights regulations are of particular relevance here. Sensitive data projects, especially those involving humans, may also be subject to an assessment by an ethics committee. This applies commonly to projects in medical or psychological research, but also in research projects in the humanities and social sciences.

Taking into account the legal aspects in the planning phase, appropriate clarifications and measures can be taken at an early stage and any additional costs incurred can be budgeted in the project application.


The DMLawTool guides researchers with a decision tree through the most relevant legal aspects concerning research data management. It proposes possible solution approaches to copyright and data protection issues. The tool was developed by the Università della Svizzera italiana in collaboration with the University of Neuchâtel within the P-5 program “Scientific Information” of swissuniversities.