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:
- IOC data exchange policy
- IOC guidelines on transfer of marine technology
- IODE objectives
- OBIS vision and mission
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:
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:
- Distribute the data via its data and information portal
- Build an integrated database, use the data for data quality control purposes, complement the data with other data such as climate variables and build value-added information products and services for science and decision-making
- Serve the data to other similar open-access networks such as GBIF in compliance with the terms and conditions for use set by the data providers.
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.:
- Recognize that the OBIS portal holds the master copy of the integrated database and hence users should refrain from online redistribution of the OBIS database. Because the OBIS database is updated regularly (every so months) with new datasets and revisions of existing datasets, copies of the OBIS database will become out of date quickly. If you wish to build access web services on top of OBIS, please contact the OBIS secretariat.
- Respect the data providers, and provide helpful feedback on data quality.
- In the case you are a custodian of biogeographic data yourself you should take action to also publish these data through OBIS.
- Consider sponsoring or partnering with OBIS and its OBIS nodes in grant proposal writing. Creating a global database like OBIS cannot happen without the, often voluntary, contribution of many scientists and data managers all over the world. Several activities, such as the coordination, data aggregation, quality control, database and website maintenance require resources including manpower at national and international level. A list of sponsors can be found here
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.
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)
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.