iDigBio Intellectual Property Policy

iDigBio promotes open-access to sharing data through the iDigBio portal. iDigBio’s goal is to make data for scientific specimens widely available in electronic format. iDigBio strongly urges those who submit content to do so without limitation on use or without limitation on use other than attribution.

Factual data

Factual data submitted to iDigBio are publicly available without limitation on use. Items such as specimen records and associated metadata are not protected by United States copyright law. If content providers do not designate a Creative Commons license for their submissions, then iDigBio will treat them as factual data.


Data submissions to the iDigBio Portal may include text, metadata, structured data, graphics, audio, video, multimedia, and static images in various digital formats for public use through the iDigBio portal. They may be subject to copyright protection. Content providers who have copyright in their submissions agree to the following:

  1. Neither iDigBio nor its content providers may assert any intellectual property right over any public domain materials that are made available through iDigBio.
  2. Content providers shall select and clearly designate in their submissions one of the following Creative Commons mechanisms to serve content on the iDigBio Portal. If no license is selected then the default license is CC BY.
    1. Public-domain or CC0 (Universal), under which copyright, moral, publicity and privacy, unfair competition, and database rights are all waived (see
    2. CC BY (Attribution), which allows users to copy, transmit, reuse, remix, and adapt content, as long as attribution regarding the source of the content is made (see
    3. CC BY-SA (Attribution-ShareAlike), which includes the constraint on users that requires distribution only under the same or similar license, if the content is altered, transformed, or enhanced (see
    4. CC BY-NC (Attribution-Non-Commercial), which includes the additional constraint beyond CC BY that the content may not be used for commercial purposes (see
    5. CC BY-NC-SA (Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike), which includes both the NC and SA constraints as defined above (see
  3. All content that is submitted to iDigBio should include metadata that clearly state attribution.
  4. iDigBio will provide attribution information, as submitted by providers, and indicate the Creative Commons license attached to each submission for all content that it serves.
  5. The iDigBio website will display thumbnail images of submitted data.