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 Annex attached to the Data publishers agreement).
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.
GBIF data sharing should take place within a framework of due attribution.
Using data available through the GBIF network therefore requires agreeing with the following:
- The quality and completeness of data cannot be guaranteed. Users employ these data at their own risk.
- Users shall respect restrictions of access to sensitive data.
- In order to make attribution of use for owners of the data possible, the identifier of ownership of data must be retained with every data record.
- Users must publicly acknowledge, in conjunction with the use of the data, the Data Publishers whose biodiversity data they have used. Data Publishers may require additional attribution of specific collections within their institution.
- Users must comply with additional terms and conditions of use set by the Data Publisher. Where these exist they will be available through the metadata associated with the data.
Data retrieved from the GBIF network shall be cited according to the "dataset citation provided by the publisher", as shown on the dataset or occurrence page on the GBIF portal. If the publisher-provided citation is either missing or incomplete, the user shall observe the "default citation" given on the dataset or occurrence page.