Accessing data

What are the purposes of allowing people access Record Pool data?

We allow access to Record Pool data for three main purposes:

  • To allow users to view data to help with conservation applications, such as understanding distributions, assessing population status, or informing habitat management
  • To motivate users to submit more records
  • To undertake quality control.

For further information about access to Record Pool data, see the Data access page.

What is the Record Pool's policy on data access?

The default position would be to allow full access to all biological data, i.e. each record should be viewable at full resolution with all associated information except for the recorder's personal information. However, we recognise that this position is not always appropriate. Full access is undesirable when it might substantially:

  • Increase the risk of harm to animals or damage to sites
  • Compromise relations with landowners
  • Compromise relations with data providers or recording centres
  • Undermine the effective functioning of the Record Pool
  • Promote the spread of alien species.

For further information about access to Record Pool data, see the Data access page.

How can I get a dataset containing full details?

If you want to access higher resolution data to help with a research or conservation project, please contact us to discuss.

Once I enter records into the Record Pool, where do they go?

Records sit on the Record Pool database. Biological records can be accessed by the Local Environmental Records Centre (LERC) and/or local Amphibian and Reptile Group, and are available at the 'public' level of resolution on the NBN Atlas (Record Pool records on the NBN Atlas are licensed Creative Commons with attribution non commercial - CC-BY-NC)The people and organisations who can see your records (unless they are embargoed) are: the Record Pool developer, ARG UK, ARC, LERC, the local recorder, and (where appropriate) the Record Pool Project Leaders.

Does the Record Pool sell records?

Neither ARGUK and ARC will sell any records entered via the Record Pool, nor any service associated with the records, though we cannot control what happens in this regard once the records are passed on to other recording centres. However, the recorders we share data with are expected to work to recognised data standards (as promoted by the Association of Local Environmental Records Centres and the National Biodiversity Network).

Record Pool records are licensed as Creative Commons with attribution non-commercial (CC-BY-NC). Like all Creative Commons Licenses the NC licenses are non-exclusive. This means that the data owner/provider can offer the same data under different terms, including commercial use under certain circumstances, where this is believed to be in the interests of conservation. A potential user could therefore contact the data provider to seek permission to use data for commercial use.  ARC and ARG UK have no problem with recording groups charging for services under appropriate circumstances, and so long as the wishes of recorders are respected. 

I don't like the idea of my records being sent to the Local Environmental Recorda Centre, Amphibian and Reptile Group or NBN Atlas. Can I ask that the records are not passed on?

Sharing data for conservation use, locally and nationally, is a fundamental principle of the Record Pool.

Does the 'Record Pool local recorders' network' form a separate group from existing recorders?

That is not the intention. All experienced recorders are encouraged to join the Record Pool local recorders' network, and contribute their skills to assist with verification. If you would like more information about this, or to offer to become a local recorder or verifier, please contact us.


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