Re: NBN Gateway Consultation on access controls and data download

A consultation on proposed changes to the NBN Gateway access controls and data download functionality is currently taking place. Our overall aim is to secure more effective use of the NBN Gateway.

We would like to get your views on these proposals, so please read on to find out more and to take part in this important piece of work.

The access controls on the NBN Gateway data have now been in place for over ten years and there are several key reasons why we would like to change them:
-    To improve data access and exchange – there is increased demand from all sectors of the community to improve the way that the NBN Gateway provides data.  Several data providers have asked us to increase the level of control further than at present (e.g. to only allow access to data within a particular geographical area or for a certain taxonomic group).
-    To achieve greater clarity – there is a lack of clarity in the current access controls; they are complex and confusing to both data providers and users e.g. the distinction between view and download access.
-    To improve the performance of the NBN Gateway and web services – the NBN Gateway now contains nearly 70 million records and, as this number continues to increase, the implementation of access controls creates a significant overhead on performance. Streamlining the access controls will improve performance.

The key changes are:
-    The ability to set access controls at the record level rather than at the whole dataset level - the proposals will give data providers greater flexibility and control by enabling them to allow access to a geographical subset, taxonomic group, date range or for a specific time-limited period.
-    The ability for users to download whole datasets
-    Improved reporting on who is downloading what – providers will be able to see exactly who has downloaded what data from their datasets, the use category and reason for the download.
-    Ability for users to apply for improved access for a series of datasets in a single operation – this will benefit users as well as facilitating the exchange of data between providers (eg Local Record Centres requesting increased access to data from National Schemes and Societies for their area or National Schemes requesting taxonomically specific data from LRCs).
-    Removal of the view access control – we propose to drop the ability to be able to set data to be view only. In effect this switches the presentation on the Gateway much more to “what you see is what you get”.

Further details of these proposed changes are available on the NBN website (http://www.nbn.org.uk/News-and-Events/NBN-news/Gateway-consultation.aspx). This includes:
A complete list of these proposals
A list of Frequently Asked Questions

Responding to this consultation.

We have developed an online questionnaire for you to summarise your responses. Please complete this only when you have considered all of the key points in the proposals.

The consultation will close on 30 November 2011.

If you have any queries or comments please contact Dave Chambers on Dave.Chambers@jncc.gov.uk or 01733 866862

Thank you for your help with this important piece of work.