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Acceptable Use of OIT Research Software

The University of Tennessee provides access to many types of centrally funded research software. Centrally funded software is available only for educational and non-commercial academic research purposes and should not be used for commercial research. When students, faculty, and staff download centrally funded research software, each user agrees to the terms of service and acceptable use outlined in the master license agreement. License summaries are located in the installation documentation and the online software descriptions.

Academic Use

Academic research generally means that the research is conducted by enrolled degree-seeking students, faculty, and staff, where the results of such research are performed in support of academic publications, theses, and dissertations. The results of non-commercial academic research are not intended primarily for the benefit of a third party. 

Commercial Use

Commercial research generally refers to research commissioned as part of a consultancy for which any fee is received that uses proprietary data from a commercial entity or is conducted as part of a service for which a fee is charged. Typically, the commercial research sponsor owns any results. The only exceptions to this rule are federal agencies whose sole purpose is to fund scientific research for publication, such as NSF or NIH.

If you are conducting commercial research, you have a couple of options. One is to use open-source software packages, such as R, Python, and BlueSky. Another option is for the researcher to purchase a commercial license directly from the software vendor. Software licenses can vary from $500 to $15,000.

Additional Resources

For more information on how specific research software can be used, please visit the Research Computing Support: Research Software webpage.

For questions on whether your research falls within acceptable use, contact the OIT HelpDesk online or by phone at 865-974-9900.