BIEN data and derived products (New World species geographic range maps, New World phylogeny, workflows etc.) are available for use. Please contact the primary BIEN contact1 for access. Please first see below for background pertaining to access to BIEN data and products and the data use policy.
- BIEN-mediated data: Primary biological trait, plot, and observation data, derived from published literature, individual databases and global data indexers such as GBIF.
- Derived BIEN data products: Products such as geographic range maps, species lists, attributes of taxa, etc., developed by BIEN using BIEN-mediated data as inputs.
- Data providers: Data authors (the persons or institutions who created the data) and data publishers (the persons or institutions from whom BIEN obtained the data, including global data indexers such as GBIF).
Since 2008 we have been working with data providers and working group participants to make available BIEN-mediated data, derived BIEN data products and BIEN computational workflows. In an effort to best deliver these products as well as to meet working group science goals and protect data providers' intellectual property rights — including restrictions on providing direct access to some primary data — we have prepared the following Data Use Policy. As of 2013 BIEN consists of two databases, BIEN2.0 (created in 2011 and 2012) and BIEN3.0 (finalized in 2013). If you are interested in the use of BIEN data from BIEN2.0 or BIEN3.0 please contact the primary contact1
Policy on use of BIEN-mediated data and derived data products
Last revised: 21 February 2013
This policy describes three stages in which access to data increases and the need to engage with BIEN group members decreases. The first stage allows BIEN group members one year to pursue research projects prior to making the public data accessible, while providing other researchers a means of proposing a collaborative project with the group within that first year. The second stage makes the publicly accessible data available to all scientists with a requirement that co-authorship be offered to BIEN members. The third stage requires only that users register online to use the publicly accessible data and that they cite both BIEN and our data providers.
- Short term (1 year – end 2013): External parties interested in using BIEN-mediated data and/or derived products should approach the Primary Contact1 , who will then consult with members of the BIEN group. There will be a group decision based upon current research and technical work as to whether or not short-term collaboration is in the best direction of the working group. If so, then discussion will then focus on how to best collaborate with the BIEN group in the use of BIEN-mediated data, derived data products and technical developments. Use of BIEN-mediated data and derived data products is allowed only for research and writing papers — no re-serving of the data on a different website or production of derived products is allowed.
- Intermediate term (2-4 year – 2014-2016): The BIEN working group is working with data providers and working group participants to make available BIEN-mediated data and derived products. By this time the BIEN group should have released publically accessible parts of the BIEN database and derived products such as range maps. Use of publicly accessible data does not require contacting the BIEN working group or primary contact. However, if access to the entire BIEN 2.0 and 3.0 database is requested then external parties interested in using BIEN-mediated data and derived products should approach the Primary Contact for access. For collaborators utilizing the BIEN3.0 database, all of the BIEN core group should be OFFERED co-authorship during the intermediate term. Again, the usage of BIEN-mediated data and derived products is allowed only for research and writing papers – no re-serving of the data or derived products on a different website is allowed
- For long term (year 4+ – end of 2016 and foreword ): Users of BIEN-mediated data and derived products do not have to offer co-authorship to BIEN members. Users of the BIEN primary database will need to register online to access the database. Publications resulting from BIEN-mediated data or derived products should cite and acknowledge BIEN, as well as BIEN data providers that contributed to the dataset used in the publication. At this time BIEN-mediated data and derived products may not be re-served or used to calculate additional derived products without written permission. Note that expiry of the obligation to offer co-authorship to BIEN participants and the removal of redistribution restrictions on BIEN-mediated data does not negate any third party co-authorship obligations to authors of specific datasets, nor does it negate ongoing redistribution restrictions by data providers from whom BIEN obtained the data. Users of BIEN-mediated data and derived products will be advised of ongoing third party obligations or restrictions, if any. See Obligations to data providers, below.
Obligations to data providers – Overview: Users of BIEN-mediated data and derived products agree to acknowledge the BIEN working group plus all data providers of BIEN-mediated data used in an analysis. Users must cite each data provider either directly in their publications, or by citing an acknowledgment URL which will be provided by BIEN. BIEN will provide a list of these data providers with each data set obtained from the BIEN website or the BIEN database. In addition to acknowledgment, some data sets may come with additional obligations such as offering coauthorship to the data owner. BIEN will inform you of any additional obligations. You must respect these obligations to use the affected data.
Obligations to data providers – Logging and reporting of data usage: Information on data usage and publications involving their data is important to many data providers. BIEN reserves the right to report all use of data to the original data providers. Use of data includes access of data from the BIEN website or BIEN database, in addition to publication of analyses based on those data. By using data obtained from BIEN, you agree to allow BIEN to provide your name and contact information to BIEN data providers whose data you have accessed.
Co-authorship & the BIEN core development group: Because over 50 people have been involved in different aspects of the BIEN project at some time, it is necessary to define a subset of participants as core contributors to BIEN for automatic invitation to participate as a possible author of papers by 3rd parties. Inclusion in the core group is based on two factors: regular participation and contribution to the infrastructure of BIEN (as distinct from writing papers using BIEN data). This has been assessed by the BIEN PIs and will be re-evaluated annually. Core members are not automatically authors on these 3rd party papers, but must opt in and be actively involved (see co-author statement). Conversely, invitation to participate in a paper by a 3rd party will include not just those on the list of "core participants" but also others that the BIEN primary contact thinks should be invited because of their area of research with the BIEN network. If a person is not included on the core list, but thinks that there are specific areas or types of papers/research development he or she would like to be asked about, the person should make this clear in an email to the primary contact1. Here, BIEN_2013_core_PI, is the link to list of core group members with email addresses.
Co-authorship policy: During years 1-4 (2013-2016), for any request to use BIEN-mediated data or derived products, BIEN core working group members should be invited to collaborate and be co-authors. This implies that the invited BIEN member needs to respond in a timely fashion and then join a project as a collaborator in order to become a co-author. Failing to respond means no co-authorship. Specifically, BIEN working group co-authors are expected to be an active participant in either the intellectual development and/or the writing/analysis of the manuscript as well as being able to understand, articulate, and defend the proposed research. A BIEN working group member can also decline to participate and thus decline co-authorship. The default — if a BIEN working group member does not respond to repeated (at minimum 2) efforts at contact — would mean no co-authorship subject to approval by the primary BIEN contact1.
For stages 1-3 users are asked to accept the BIEN disclaimer:
BIEN Disclaimer – “BIEN has made a good faith effort in providing quality data but provides NO WARRANTY to the accuracy or usability of the data and accepts no liability for any errors or omissions.”
Publications – BIEN acknowledgement statement – Publications utilizing BIEN-mediated data or derived BIEN data products should also include an acknowledgement of the support of NCEAS, iPlant and the primary granting agencies that have supported the BIEN database and derived products.
“We acknowledge the use of version X.X of the Botanical Information and Ecology Network (BIEN) data base (PIs B.J. Enquist, B. Boyle., R. Condit, S. Dolins, B. Peet, M. Schlidhauer, and B. Thiers,) which was developed with support from NCEAS, The iPlant Collaborative and NSF (# xxxxxx to xxx, DBI-0735191 to iPlant) with data contributed by http://bien.nceas.ucsb.edu/bien/bien-database-summary-statistics/bien-2/sources/ [ for use of data from database BIEN2.0] or http://. . . [ for use of data from database BIEN3.0, link soon to come]."
1 BIEN Primary Contact, Brian J. Enquist email@example.com