Data Licensing on the NBN Gateway

Over the last 12 months the NBN Secretariat has undertaken a review of data licensing on the NBN Gateway.

This was done at a number of workshops and through questionnaires completed by NBN members and Data Partners. The focus of this has been to improve options for data sharing and facilitate increased data use.

One of the main requests from NBN Data Partners was for the ability to assign a data license to their own datasets. The NBN Gateway has now been changed to allow this and four data licenses are available. Data partners can now give their datasets a license via the dataset metadata page on the NBN Gateway, as explained below.

Why do we need data licenses?

Until now NBN Data Partners have been asked to describe the licence conditions attached to their datasets as free-text entries when completing their metadata. This has resulted in a variety of non-standard licensing descriptions that are hard for users to interpret, and virtually impossible to apply responsibly when users download data from multiple datasets via the NBN Gateway.

Additional drivers for changing the data licenses options on the NBN Gateway are:

  • to allow DEFRA network organisation to achieve Liz Truss’ vision of open data (JNCC, EA, NE etc.)
  • to ensure organisations in UK that want open data can use the NBN Gateway for that
  • to streamline data sharing with GBIF
  • to act on recommendations given at the NBN Gateway Terms and Conditions Workshop (November 2014)
  • to provide for closer connectivity (webservicing etc) with

What changes have been made?

The following four license options are now available on the NBN Gateway:

A new clause (2.8) has been added to the NBN Gateway Terms and Conditions to give these licenses legal effect. This new clause states that: “Datasets with a standard data license (OGL, CC-BY, CC-BY-NC, etc) are governed by the particulars of the data license. These licenses override sections 2 to 7 of the ‘Use’ section of the NBN Gateway Terms and Conditions.”

Read the NBN Gateway Terms and Conditions

How do I assign a data license?

There is no obligation to assign a data license to your datasets, though following the recent questionnaire on Improving Access to NBN Data and Products it is clear that there is an appetite within the Network to do this. If you wish to make any of your datasets available under one of the above four licensing options then follow the process described below:

1. Log into the NBN Gateway

2. Select ‘Edit Metadata’ from your dataset management page.

3. Select from the dropdown of the license options at the bottom of the metadata page

4. Confirm this change by selecting ‘update’.

If you have any questions or wish to discuss any aspect of this please do not hesitate to contact us.


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