Topic: More Gateway peculiarities

Browsing records via the 'Browse sites' function I see that there are 1065 records from the MCS Seasearch surveys within the DGERC area. Great - perhaps they'll share them with us. They're public access, but I'll request access as I must do to comply with NBN terms and conditions...

Ah, but when I filter for the DGERC area in the 'request better access' dialogue the MCS Seasearch dataset does not appear in the list of surveys within our area - very puzzling.

Ok, I'll type the survey name into the single dataset box. It finds it - great! But then when I try to ask confirm details and request  enhanced access permission it tells there are no records in my area.

Can anyone explain what's going on???


Mark Pollitt
SWSEIC (formerly DGERC)


Re: More Gateway peculiarities

Hi Mark, the issue here is that there is a separation between requesting access to the data and getting permission to use the data on the gateway. Unfortunately we are in the position that requesting access to data on the gateway does not give you permission to use the data commercially, etc... this has to be negotiated outside of the gateway (a pain I know, but it is not something I have control over).

The issue you are encountering is that I have had to implement a system that prevents people from requesting access to fully publicly accessible records on the gateway at the request of many of the data providers.

Hopefully that is clear, but please let me know if you have any further questions here.


Matt Debont
Application Developer
Joint Nature Conservation Committee, Monkstone House, City Road, Peterborough PE1 1JY, UK


Re: More Gateway peculiarities

Thanks Matt

I had presumed that the issue was that the dataset had full public access and I understand the distinction you make between better access and permissions.

Matt.Debont wrote:

Unfortunately we are in the position that requesting access to data on the gateway does not give you permission to use the data commercially, etc...

However I don't think the above is strictly true as if I request enhanced access to a dataset for a specified purpose (e.g. commercial use from the drop-down list) and this is granted by the dataset owner then surely you are doing both of these at the same time? If someone asks me for enhanced access to a dataset for a specified purpose and I grant that to them then surely they wouldn't expect to have to write separately to get permission to use the data that I have given them access to? In this case the two are surely inextricably linked.

I'm playing devil's advocate here of course. If I understand you correctly, what you are saying is that datasets with full public access are treated differently to those that aren't - so effectively it means that you can't keep a record of all your permissions to use different datasets on the NBN gateway via your account request logs since you can't use the online tools to manage your permissions for full public access datasets.

Does seem rather a shame that this can't be managed through the Gateway though.



Mark Pollitt
SWSEIC (formerly DGERC)


Re: More Gateway peculiarities

I think this is a particularly interesting situation and one LRCs in particular should be paying attention to.

The way i have understood the T&Cs (i haven't re-read them recently so i apologise if things have been updated and my comments are no longer relevant!) is that in order to make use of the data outside of the Gateway, ANY data, then permission should first be given regardless of the use being commercial or non.

I believe that so long as data providers insist on restricting commercial use via the Gateway then we should also abide by the same conditions as users, and this is how i understand the T&Cs.

So, for fully public datasets we still need permission. Some time ago i went through the process of requesting access for LRC use (the majority of which was granted) under Gateway 5.

One of the few organisations to decline stated their reason as that the datasests were public... However, on the basis that they declined to allow use via the Gateway i am unable to use data in LRC services that is otherwise fully downloadable and publicly accessible!

Natural History & Biodiversity Data Enthusiast


Re: More Gateway peculiarities

This interpretation seems counter to what I thought, and re-reading the T&Cs still seems wrong

NBN Gateway Terms and Conditions wrote:

  3: Under these Gateway Terms & Conditions you are permitted to view and download any material, data and/or information that Data Providers allow you to access on this website for your own private use or for use in the ordinary course of your business provided that use is in accordance with these Gateway Terms & Conditions.

6: You may not make any financial profit from use of the material, data and/or information on this website or from any products you derive without first obtaining written permission from the relevant Data Provider.

Surely these would cover the use by LRCs or organisations like NT as part of ordinary business and not-for-profit? Slight complications on the restricted data and special terms of use T&Cs, but surely anyone would only be able to make special terms noticeable by restricting the data and by granting permissions based on applications for the restricted data?

Gordon Barker
Biological Survey Data Manager
National Trust


Re: More Gateway peculiarities

Gordon, you are probably right but there has been so much confusion and greyness over who can do what with data, i would rather have the permission. Especially from an LRC perspective as we do charge for commercial use (though not for profit), and LRCs often get such a bad press i want to keep everything clear.

I would suggest the situation is different for land managers and those using the data for their own property.

Natural History & Biodiversity Data Enthusiast


Re: More Gateway peculiarities

As Matt says, the issue is that some providers don't want to be bothered when they haven't put any restrictions on the data, yet we have to bother them. There was a lot of discussion between LRCs and Paula when she was access officer before the launch of V5, and the upshot is the current situation where LRCs do need permission, but can't ask for it from public datasets via the Gateway. The same goes for research use, of course. And I think technically land management too, since the warning mentions it when you download data. CBDC waives the restrictions on land management and research use for public level data in our datasets' metadata, and I am sure everyone using it for those purposes have read the metadata which is why I've never been asked. ;)

This is one of the reasons the terms and conditions/licensing has been being looked at for a while and there is a workshop running the day before and after the conference to get some provider input. (The recently announced moves at GBIF are also a consideration of course.) Deadline for registering interest in the workshops is today: http://www.nbn.org.uk/News/Latest-news/ … -2014.aspx

Teresa Frost | Wetland Bird Survey National Organiser | BTO
Other hat  | National Forum for Biological Recording Council
(Old hats  | NBN Board, ALERC Board, CBDC, KMBRC)