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Topic: R6 Announcement: Introducing the new licence fee

Greetings Recorder 6 Users,

**Important announcement**

The new software licence for Recorder 6 is now live. Please pay the licence fee for access to R6 dictionary updates (available now) and new version releases (coming soon).

Payments are being handled by the NBN Trust, on behalf of the Recorder 6 Steering Group. To purchase your licence, please visit: https://nbn.org.uk/join-or-donate/recorder6/

For 2019-20 the fee for existing users is:
•    Organisations with full-time paid employees: £250, to cover all the organisation’s copies of Recorder 6 [site IDs]
•    Individuals and voluntary organisations without full time paid employees: £25 per copy of Recorder 6 [site ID]

The licence fee is being introduced to ensure Recorder 6 users can continue to manage and use their data-holdings effectively, now and in the future. It has been set in line with the average ‘willingness-to-pay’ expressed in responses to the Recorder 6 consultation. It will need to be reviewed in future as we develop a clearer understanding of the number of Recorder 6 users paying for updates, users’ requirements, the costs of maintenance and development, and other potential funding sources.
If you foresee any issues with affordability of the new licence fee, please bring this to the attention of the Recorder 6 Steering Group. We can be contacted at recorder6@nbn.org.uk.

Current users can continue to use existing versions of Recorder 6 without paying the licence fee but you won’t be able to access dictionary updates or new releases.

If Recorder 6 users could pay the licence fee sooner, rather than later, that would really help with getting the new maintenance and development arrangements fully up and running. Please.

**Thank you!**


Further information

This licence fee is being introduced by the Recorder 6 Steering Group which includes representatives from across the Recorder 6 user community. The group aims to ensure Recorder 6 users are able to preserve the structure and integrity of biodiversity datasets held within Recorder 6, and can continue to manage and use their data-holdings effectively. You can see our terms of reference here.

The introduction of the licence fee is also supported by the Recorder 6 Consortium – Mike Weideli, John van Breda and Sally Rankin. Version 6.29 of Recorder 6, released by the Recorder 6 Consortium under the interim support arrangements, will be the last version of Recorder 6 that can be accessed without paying the licence fee. New copies of Recorder 6 can be purchased from Sally Rankin for £30.00; new users will receive the latest version of Recorder 6, but will then need to pay the annual licence fee in order to receive further updates. For more information about the Recorder 6 Consortium please visit: www.recorder6.info.

The Recorder 6 Steering Group is pursuing a twin-track approach towards addressing the needs of Recorder 6 users:
1.    Maintenance (and potentially some development) of Recorder 6 in its current form
2.    Development of a successor system which will replicate the Recorder 6 data model on a modern platform

The Recorder 6 Consortium has offered to continue with basic maintenance of Recorder 6 in its current form, as an ‘in kind’ contribution to the Recorder 6 community – to help maximise the funding available for development. The Recorder 6 Steering Group will have the job of deciding how funding from the Recorder 6 licence fee is allocated, to best address the Recorder 6 user community’s requirements and priorities.

To increase resilience of Recorder 6 support arrangements, we have brought in an additional developer: Andy Foy. Andy has considerable experience working with local environmental record centres in London & the South East, so will bring a users’ perspective to Recorder 6 maintenance and development as well as an extensive background working on complex software development projects. Andy will work alongside Mike Weideli and John van Breda, as part of the Recorder 6 developer team.

We all recognise that Recorder 6 maintenance and development needs to be responsive to users’ requirements – this is especially the case if it’s being funded by users. We are therefore launching a new Trello board, to capture development ideas and engage with users. Andy Foy will share more information about that in a separate NBN Forum post.

We hope that the new Trello board will provide a focus for a reinvigorated Recorder 6 community and we encourage all users to get involved, share ideas and expertise. The Recorder 6 Steering Group will keep a close eye on the Trello board, when it comes to making decisions about development priorities and allocating funding.

It is looking very likely that we will need all the income we are able to gather through the Recorder 6 licence fee to invest in development. The arrangements for individual user and systems support will therefore remain broadly the same as they have been up to now, i.e. we will be looking to the Recorder 6 community to support each other. If your issue is too large or technically complex to be resolved through peer support, you may need to pay for specialist support such as that offered by members of the Recorder 6 Consortium. As mentioned above – we would love to see Recorder 6 users getting behind these new arrangements and helping to make them a success. We are particularly keen to hear from experienced users who may be interested in getting more involved in Recorder 6 development, providing peer support or testing new releases.


A long list of thank yous!

A lot of work has been going on in the background to get us to this point, so I would like to take a moment to thank the following people and organisations.

The Recorder 6 Consortium – Mike Weideli, John van Breda & Sally Rankin – and new Recorder 6 developer, Andy Foy. Their technical advice has been invaluable in understanding the current position with regards to Recorder 6, as well as future challenges & opportunities.

The Recorder 6 Steering Group: Ian Carle (Herts Environmental Records Centre), Harry Clarke (Butterfly Conservation – volunteer vice-county coordinator), Steve Hannah (The Wildlife Information Centre), Damian McFerran (Centre for Environmental Data & Recording), Janet Simkin (British Lichen Society), David Slade (South East Wales Biodiversity Records Centre), Philippa Tomlinson (Manx Biological Recording Partnership), Philip Whelpdale (Yorkshire Wildlife Trust). And we’ve also recently welcomed Tania Walisch (Natural History Museum Luxembourg).

N.B. Steve Hannah stepped down from the Recorder 6 Steering Group earlier this year, due to a change in role; Lindsay Bamforth (Fife Nature Records Centre) has offered to represent Recorder 6 users in Scotland in future.

The organisations which covered the new developer set-up costs: British Lichen Society, Centre for Environmental Data & Recording, Thames Valley Environmental Record Centre, Greenspace Information for Greater London CIC, Kent & Medway Biological Records Centre, Isle of Wight Local Records Centre, Hampshire Biodiversity Information Centre, Sussex Biodiversity Record Centre and EcoRecord.

Jo Judge and others at the NBN Trust, for agreeing to handle the financial and administrative side of the introduction of the licence fee, which they are doing at no cost to Recorder 6 users. Under the terms of our written agreement with the NBN Trust, the Recorder 6 Steering Group will retain full control over how funds are spent and how Recorder 6 is developed. Giselle Sterry has also done a great job putting the new Recorder 6 payment site together.

Chris Raper and all at the Angela Mormont Centre for UK Biodiversity at the Natural History Museum, London, for providing meeting space as well as advice on alignment with the UK Species Inventory and Species of Conservation Concern.

And a final thank you in advance to all the Recorder 6 users who choose to support these new maintenance and support arrangements, pay the licence fee and engage with Trello. We will all need to work together to make this work.


With best wishes to you all,

Clare Blencowe

Chair of the Recorder 6 Steering Group
Manager of Sussex Biodiversity Record Centre - sxbrc.org.uk

Clare Blencowe
Sussex Biodiversity Record Centre | Manager
Association of Local Environmental Record Centres | Chair

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Re: R6 Announcement: Introducing the new licence fee

Please also see the post https://forums.nbn.org.uk/viewtopic.php?id=7475 for details about the new Trello Recorder6 ideas board.

Andy Foy, Ecologist & IT consultant
Andy Foy Consulting

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Re: R6 Announcement: Introducing the new licence fee

... and you can find Mike Weideli's post about accessing the latest dictionary updates here: https://forums.nbn.org.uk/viewtopic.php?id=7474 - please note you will need to purchase a licence to access these updates.

Clare Blencowe
Sussex Biodiversity Record Centre | Manager
Association of Local Environmental Record Centres | Chair