SCAR-MarBIN data policy

Art. 3.1.c of the Antarctic Treaty
'In order to promote international cooperation in scientific investigation in Antarctica, as provided for in Article II of the present Treaty, the Contracting Parties agree that, to the greatest extent feasible and practicable: […]
Scientific observations and results from Antarctica shall be exchanged and made freely available.'

Guiding principles

The first guiding principle within the SCAR-MarBIN network is the principle of free and open access to data in a partnership approach, in the spirit of the Antarctic Treaty System. This is in accordance with data policy of other major organisations like the Ocean Biogeography Information System (OBIS), the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) or the Conference statement of the Ocean Biodiversity Informatics (OBI) conference held in Hamburg, 29/11-1/12/2004.

A second guiding principle is that the scientist or team generating the data should have an opportunity to have first publication of the data, and analysis based on them.

SCAR-MARBIN does not assert any intellectual property rights in the data that is made available through its network. The data policy of the originator of the data will take precedence over data policy of SCAR-MarBIN. SCAR-MarBIN does not claim ownership of the data, only the participating institutes/organisations and/or the funder of the data collection will have this responsibility.

General Recommendations

In order to minimise probability of data loss, SCAR-MarBIN partners are urged to submit datasets (electronic and paper) for archiving in the recognised data centre of their choice for long-term preservation of the dataset as soon as data becomes available. Archiving does not imply immediate redistribution. No archived dataset will leave the repository (viz. will become publically available) unless specific permission of the data originator has been obtained. Data submitted for archiving will not be edited or quality controlled by the data centre, except for routine checks on the syntactic consistency of data (e.g. db and/or file integrity). All archived datasets have to be documented properly, and documentation archived together with the dataset. Also contextual data (physical oceanography, meteorology…) should be archived together with the primary (biodiversity) data.

Metadata are always freely accessible, without restrictions. Archiving results usually in the creation of a metadata record, which will be made available, inter alia, online through the SCAR-MarBIN metadata search screen. Metadata include taxonomic, geographic and temporal scope, data ownership/stewardship and conditions of access, and a description of 'fitness for use' of the data. A format for metadata (ISO19115), compatible with international standards for taxonomic and georeferenced datasets, is available.

All the sources of data in the SCAR-MarBIN databases available on line will be acknowledged, at the level of the individual record in the SCAR-MarBIN database. If the data source for SCAR-MarBIN is in itself a data compilation, preference is given to a data source as close as possible to the data originator to be listed as data source in SCAR-MarBIN. A statement of 'Terms of Use' for data available through the SCAR-MarBIN website is posted; visitors to the website are requested to confirm that they have read and agree with the Terms of Use before they are given access to the data. Briefly, the Terms of Use require the SCAR-MarBIN databases to be cited in publications that make use of data harvested using the SCAR-MarBIN portal, and to cite individual datasets. This data policy may be revised as required, in agreement with the SCAR-MarBIN International Steering Committee, partners and data contributors.

SCAR-MarBIN Data - Terms of use

By downloading or consulting data from this website, the visitor acknowledges that he/she agrees with the SCAR-MarBIN data policy, and agrees to the following:
I. If data are extracted from the SCAR-MarBIN website, the SCAR-MarBIN network should be cited, as appropriate:
    For the Website:
    • De Broyer C and Danis B (Editors). SCAR-MarBIN: The Antarctic Marine Biodiversity Information Network. [date accessed]. World Wide Web electronic publication. Available online at
    For the Register of Antarctic Marine Species (RAMS):
    • De Broyer C, Clarke A, Koubbi P, Pakhomov E, Scott F, Vanden Berghe W and Danis B (Editors). The SCAR-MarBIN Register of Antarctic Marine Species (RAMS), [date accessed]. World Wide Web electronic publication. Available online at

    For Data used:

  • De Broyer, C. Ant'Phipoda: biodiversity of Antarctic Amphipods. Retrieved [date accessed] from
  • David B., Chone T., Festeau A., De Ridder C.. Antarctic Echinoids, an Interactive Database. Editions Universitaires Dijon. Cd Rom. Retrieved [date accessed] from
II. For information purposes, please provide to SCAR-MarBIN (info(at) the full citation of any publication (printed or electronic) that cites SCAR-MarBIN or any constituent part.
III. The user recognizes the limitations of data in SCAR-MarBIN

Data Sharing Agreements

The data provider warrants that they have made the necessary agreements with the original owners of the data that it can make the data available through SCAR-MarBIN network.

The data providers make reasonable efforts to ensure that the data they serve are accurate, but this does not in anyway reflect acceptance by the Data Provider that the data are fit for the inttended use by the User.

Responsibility regarding the restriction of access to sensitive data resides with the Data Provider.

The resolution of sensitive data can be lowered, if required by the Data Provider.

The data provider includes stable and unique identifier in their data so that the owner of the data is known and for other necessary purposes.

SCAR-MarBIN and the Data Providers are not responsible for data content or the use of the data.

SCAR-MarBIN and the Data Providers are not liable or responsible for the data contents; or for any loss, damage, claim, cost or expense however it may arise, from an inability to use the SCAR-MarBIN network, or from inappropriate use of the data.

Providers are free to withdraw their data from the SCAR-MarBIN portal at any moment.


The infrastructure consisting of the central services of SCAR-MarBIN and data providers. Making data available through SCAR-MarBIN network means registering and advertising the pertinent services via the SCAR-MarBIN central services.
Biodiversity Data
Primary data on specimens, observations, names, taxonomic concepts, and sites, and other data on biological diversity.
Data describing the attributes and combinations of biodiversity data.
Biodiversity data and metadata.
Data sharing
The process of and agreements for making data freely and universally available on the Internet.
Data Provider
A custodian of data making it technically available. This may or may not be the data owner. If not they will have declared to SCAR-MarBIN that they have permission to make the data available.
Anyone who uses the Internet to access data through the SCAR-MarBIN network.
Owner of data
The legal entity possessing the right resulting from the act of creating a digital record. The record may be a product derived from another, possibly non-digital product, which may affect the right.
Sensitive data
Any data that the data provider does not want to make available.