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 management committees.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Recorders may ask for their data to be kept confidential. However, where such restrictions are imposed the Centre may not accept the information.
  4. 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 Record Centre.
  5. 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 Worcestershire Record.
  6. 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 BRC.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
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