General principles for using data shared by the FinBIF

Below is a description of the norms and instructions related to using and publishing data shared by the Finnish Biodiversity Information Facility. Compliance with these norms and instructions helps in managing Finnish biodiversity data, and promotes its open and active use in support of, among other things, political decision-making, scientific research and environmental education.

Give credit where credit is due

Good ethics and practice require proper attribution of material originating from other sources. Material distributed through FinBIF is the result of an enormous amount of work done in collecting, digitising and publishing data, as well as organising its management and maintenance, by both employees and volunteers. Their work deserves recognition. Attribution recommendations can be found at the end of this document.

Do your duty

Use information in a responsible manner! Data published through FinBIF is intended for free use so that we may better study, appreciate and understand our surroundings. Do not use data for purposes that may be illegal, harmful or lead to incorrect conclusions. Please remember that information is fluid and may contain errors or erroneous interpretation. Please safeguard the rights of data owners and clearly state if the data has been amended in any way for your personal purposes.

Let us know

Please let us know when you have used material provided by FinBIF. This increases the value and visibility of the work done by data owners. The easiest way to share information on data usage is with the form available at the portal.In addition, you can let data owners know if you have comments on the quality of the data, e.g., if you have noticed any errors, or if you have any further questions regarding the content. Contact information for data owners or managers can be found in the datasets’ metadata.

Respect the terms of the user access license

Be aware of and respect the terms of the license for data use. The terms are always available to read in connection with downloads that comply with data requests made on the website (via a link provided in an email message). As a rule, data shared by FinBIF is available under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 (CC BY 4.0) license, which requires proper attribution of source material. In the case of certain material, additional terms may apply. A separate description of these terms can be found in the metadata. This applies to, for example, research material with fixed copyright duration. Do not remove fields related to user rights from the material you have downloaded. Data warehouse metadata is free to use without any terms (CC 0 license).

Data publication principles

  • Good data management practices are at the heart of FinBIF operations. We hope to see the same level of appreciation towards data from clients of the facility. The following terms must be met before sharing data through FinBIF:You must be a registered user and in a client relationship with the facility.
  • You wish to publish biodiversity observation and/or collection data or metadata pertaining to your dataset.
  • Your data must comply with a data model that supports the model used by FinBIF.
  • You have the right to publish the data in your possession.
  • You are willing to maintain and, when necessary, update your datasets and ensure their quality.
  • In the case of datasets containing large amounts of data, please attach metadata to the actual data in accordance with the FinBIF data model.
  • You are willing to publish your data using the open user access license (CC 4.0 BY), which obliges users to give proper attribution for the original material (see Attribution).
  • You are free to share your datasets waiving all copyrights (CC 0).
  • If you are unwilling to publish observation data for free use in complete form, location data may be made less specific in a manner specified in advance – however, the exact location data must always be available to authorities for official duties (see Data policy / section 6, data usage).

These general FinBIF principles for using and publishing data may be amended without a separate notification. However, public notification will be given of all significant amendments.