Data sharing agreement - background

The goals and principles of making biodiversity data openly and universally available have been defined in the GBIF Memorandum of Understanding, paragraph 8 (see the relevant excerpts in the attached Annex).

The Participants who have signed the MoU have expressed their willingness to make biodiversity data available through their nodes to foster scientific research development internationally and to support the public use of these data.

Data Publishers often participate in several data sharing arrangements at different levels (thematic, community, national, global).

GBIF data sharing should take place within a framework of due attribution.

Provisions

When registering their services with GBIF, the Data Publishers agree as follows:

  • Biodiversity data accessible via the GBIF network are openly and universally available to all users within the framework of the GBIF Data Use Agreement and with the terms and conditions that the Data Publisher has identified in its metadata.
  • GBIF does not assert any intellectual property rights in the data that is made available through its network.
  • The Data Publisher warrants that it has made the necessary agreements with the original owners of the data that it can make the data available through the GBIF network.
  • The Data Publisher makes reasonable efforts to ensure that the data it serves are accurate.
  • Responsibility regarding the restriction of access to sensitive data resides with the Data Publisher.
  • The Data Publisher includes stable and unique identifiers in its data so that the owner of the data is known and for other necessary purposes.
  • GBIF Secretariat may cache a copy and serve full or partial data further to other users together with the terms and conditions for use set by the Data Publisher. Queries of such data through the GBIF Secretariat are reported to the Data Publisher.
  • Data Publishers are endorsed by a GBIF Participant, if applicable, before their metadata is made available by the GBIF Secretariat.
  • GBIF Secretariat is not liable or responsible, nor are its employees or contractors, for the data contents or their use; or for any loss, damage, claim, cost or expense however it may arise, from an inability to use the GBIF network.

Service levels

GBIF Secretariat

  • Services provided by the GBIF Secretariat are managed in accordance with the GBIF Work Programme.
  • GBIF Secretariat's service provision includes software components and updates, interfaces, indexing and registry services, helpdesk, and training to assist the Participants to maintain Internet portals.

GBIF Participants

  • GBIF Participants keep the GBIF Secretariat informed of their contact and service information.
  • GBIF Participants maintain services that enable new and existing Data Publishers in their domain to be integrated within GBIF network, and the data owners be identified, as appropriate.

Definitions

  • GBIF Participant: Signatory of the GBIF-establishing Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
  • GBIF Secretariat: Legal entity empowered by the GBIF Participants to enter into contracts, execute the Work Programme, and maintain the central services for the GBIF network.
  • GBIF network: The infrastructure consisting of the central services of the GBIF Secretariat, Participant nodes and Data Publishers. Making data available through GBIF network means registering and advertising the pertinent services via the GBIF central services.
  • Node: A Data Publisher designated by a GBIF Participant that maintains a stable computer gateway that makes data available through the GBIF network.
  • Participant Node: An organisational unit designated by the GBIF Participant to coordinate activities in its domain. It may also provide data.
  • Biodiversity Data: Primary data on specimens, observations, names, taxonomic concepts, and sites, and other data on biological diversity.
  • Metadata: Data describing the attributes and combinations of biodiversity data.
  • Data: Biodiversity data and metadata.
  • Data sharing: The process of and agreements for making data freely and universally available on the Internet.
  • Data Publisher: A custodian of data making it technically available. This may or may not be the data owner. If not they will have declared to GBIF that they have permission to make the data available.
  • User: Anyone who uses the Internet to access data through the GBIF network.
  • Owner of data: The legal entity possessing the right resulting from the act of creating a digital record. The record may be a product derived from another, possibly non-digital product, which may affect the right.
  • Sensitive data: Any data that the Data Publisher does not want to make available, e.g. precise localities of endangered species.

Annex

GBIF Memorandum of Understanding - Paragraph 8

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

1.  Applicable Law
    Nothing in this MOU should be read to alter the scope and application of Intellectual Property Rights and benefit sharing agreements as determined under relevant laws, regulations and international agreements of the Participants.
2.  Access to Data
    To the greatest extent possible, GBIF is an open-access facility. All users, whether GBIF Participants or others, should have equal access to data in databases affiliated with or developed by GBIF.
3. Intellectual Property Rights to Biodiversity Data
    GBIF promotes the free dissemination of biodiversity data and, in particular:
        a. should not assert any proprietary rights to the data in databases that are developed by other organisations and that subsequently become affiliated to GBIF;
        b. should seek, to the greatest extent possible, to make freely and openly available, with the least possible restrictions on reuse, any data commissioned, created or developed directly by GBIF; and
        c. should respect conditions set by Data Publishers that affiliate their databases to GBIF.

    When establishing affiliations or linkages with other databases, GBIF should seek to ensure that the data so made available will not be subject to limitations on the further non-commercial use and dissemination of those data, apart from due attribution of their source.
4.  Attribution
    GBIF should seek to ensure that the source of data is acknowledged and should request that such attribution be maintained in any subsequent use of the data.
5. Access to Specific Data
    Nothing in this MOU should be read to restrict the right of owners of databases affiliated with GBIF to block access to any data.
6. Validity of Data
    It should be a condition of access to and use of GBIF that users acknowledge that the validity of the data in any databases affiliated with GBIF cannot be assured. GBIF should disclaim responsibility for the accuracy and reliability of the data as well as for the suitability of its application for any particular purpose.
7. Legitimacy of Data Collection
    Where the collection of new data has entailed access to biodiversity resources, GBIF should ask for reasonable assurances from the Data Publisher that such access was consistent with applicable laws, regulations and any relevant requirements for prior informed consent.
8. Intellectual Property Rights to Biodiversity Tools
    GBIF may claim appropriate Intellectual Property Rights available within applicable national jurisdictions over any tools, such as search engines or other software products that are developed by GBIF while carrying out the GBIF Work Programme.
9. Technology Transfer
    The Participants acknowledge that, subject to any relevant Intellectual Property Rights, GBIF should seek to promote the non-exclusive transfer, on mutually agreed terms, to research institutions, particularly in developing countries, of such informatics technology as it has available, especially in conjunction with training and capacity development programs.