Data Policy

Guidelines on the sharing and use of data in OBIS

Adopted at SG-OBIS-IV (Feb 2015) and IODE-XXIII (March 2015).

The OBIS data policy is based on the principles of timely, free and unrestricted access to biodiversity data for the benefit of science and society, as defined in the:

Unless data are collected through activities funded by IOC/IODE, neither UNESCO, IOC, IODE, the OBIS Secretariat, nor its employees or contractors, own the data in OBIS and they take no responsibility for the quality of data or products based on OBIS, or the use or misuse that people may make of them nor can it control or limit the use of any data or products accessible through its website, other than through the use of a published Data Sharing and Use Terms and Conditions.

Data sharing agreement

The data providers retain all rights and responsibilities associated with the data they make available to OBIS via the OBIS nodes. The OBIS nodes warrant that they have made the necessary agreements with the original data providers that it can make the data available to OBIS data under the following Creative Commons licenses:

CC-0 is the preferred one and CC-BY-NC the least preferred.

The data providers are responsible for the completeness of the data and metadata profiles. When data is made available to OBIS, OBIS is granted permission to:

In pursuance of copyright compliance, OBIS endeavours to secure permission from rights holders to ingest their datasets. In the event that the inclusion of a dataset in OBIS is challenged on the basis of copyright infringement, OBIS will follow a take-down policy until there is resolution.

Data use agreement

The data in OBIS are freely available to everyone, following the principles of equitable access and benefit sharing and supporting capacity development and participation of all IOC Member States in global programmes. However, data users are expected to give attribution to the data providers (see Citations) and the use of data from OBIS should happen in the light of fair use, i.e.:

Citations

General OBIS citation:

OBIS (YEAR) Ocean Biogeographic Information System. Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO. www.iobis.org.

Use the following format to cite data retrieved from OBIS (dataset citations are available in the zip downloads as html file):

[Dataset citation available from metadata] [Data provider details] [Dataset] (Available: Ocean Biogeographic Information System. Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO. www.iobis.org. Accessed: YYYY-MM-DD.

For example:

Sousa Pinto, I., Viera, R. (Year: if not provided use year from dataset publication date) Monitoring of the intertidal biodiversity of rocky beaches with schools in Portugal 2005-2010. CIIMAR - Interdisciplinary Centre of Marine and Environmental Research, Porto. [Dataset] (Available: Ocean Biogeographic Information System. Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO. www.iobis.org. Accessed: 2015-01-01)

When data represents a subset of many datasets taken from the integrated OBIS database, you can, in addition to cite the individual datasets (and taking into account the restrictions set at each dataset level), also cite the OBIS database as follows:

OBIS (YEAR) [Data e.g. Distribution records of Eledone cirrhosa (Lamarck, 1798)] [Dataset] (Available: Ocean Biogeographic Information System. Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO. www.iobis.org. Accessed: YYYY-MM-DD)

The derived information products from OBIS are published under the CC-0 license and can be cited as follows:

OBIS (YEAR) [Information product e.g. Global map showing the Hulbert index in a gridded view of hexagonal cells] [Map] (Available: Ocean Biogeographic Information System. Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO. www.iobis.org. Accessed: YYYY-MM-DD)

Disclaimer

Appropriate caution is necessary in the interpretation of results derived from OBIS. Users must recognize that the analysis and interpretation of data require background knowledge and expertise about marine biodiversity (including ecosystems and taxonomy). Users should be aware of possible errors, including in the use of species names, geo-referencing, data handling, and mapping. They should crosscheck their results for possible errors, and qualify their interpretation of any results accordingly.

Unless data are collected through activities funded by IOC/IODE, neither UNESCO, IOC, IODE, the OBIS Secretariat, nor its employees or contractors, own the data in OBIS and they take no responsibility for the quality of data or products based on OBIS, or the use or misuse.