Worcestershire Biological Records Centre: Policy On The Use
Of BRC Data
By G H Trevis, June 2001
The Worcestershire Biological Records Centre is currently
under development with the aim of becoming NBN (National
Biodiversity Network) accredited and part of the Linking Local
Record Centres project. One of the standards set is that the
Centre should have a policy on use of data, which is available to
recorders providing information to the database. The following
statement covers the essential features of the Worcestershire
policy though it may be expanded with additional detail by future
- Data from the centre is in the public domain and may be
accessed by any bone fide enquirer for the purposes of
nature conservation, research and education.
- Under exceptional circumstances e.g. where a site or
species may be at risk because of disclosure, data may be
treated as confidential. This would be at the discretion
of the management committee.
- Recorders may ask for their data to be kept confidential.
However, where such restrictions are imposed the Centre
may not accept the information.
- Disclosure of complete data sets for particular taxa will
only be approved for personal use and recipients will be
required to agree not to use the data for publication, in
whole or in part, without the express permission of the
- When the Record Centre itself wishes to use data for the
publication of county atlases, the intention to do so
will be advertised in the Centre's newsletter, the
- Copyright and intellectual property rights remain with
the recorder, though the right to use the data has been
granted to the BRC, and recorders can, therefore, use
their own data for publication without permission of the
- The Record Centre will not charge for data. However, it
reserves the right to charge commercial and other
professional users for the administrative costs of
producing reports using the database. The fees will go
towards the running costs of the Centre.
- The Centre reserves the right to provide information of
free of charge to certain groups e.g. volunteer recorders
or educational groups or institutions. The waiver of a
fee will be at the discretion of the management committee.