Journal archives for January 2024

09 January, 2024

How and why to update observation licences


What are licences and how do they work?

When you join iNaturalist you are presented with a “Yes, license my photos and observations so that they can be used by scientists” checkbox. Checking this adds a default Creative Commons licence (CC BY-NC) to your content.

A licence is an agreement you make with someone who wants to use your property. By law in most places, content like photos are a kind of intellectual property and you have the right to control how your photos are copied in certain situations. Creative Commons (CC) licences are a bit different: they are licences you apply that allow anyone to use your intellectual property without having to negotiate with you individually and without having to pay you, as long as the terms of the licence are respected, e.g. that they give you credit. This provides content authors with some legal controls while allowing content users to utilize and remix that content without fear of a lawsuit.

iNaturalist offers users a number of licence options including ‘No licence (all rights reserved)’.

What licence should be used for UK observations?

In line with the Global Biodiversity Information Facility’s (GBIF) approach to data licensing (see this article from 2014) the NBN Atlas and iRecord require that all iNaturalist data shared to them are on one of three licences:

The NBN Atlas is the UK node for GBIF and with the agreement of its data providers it regularly shares records from UK-based datasets with GBIF. Please note that the NBN Atlas does not accept Share-alike (SA) or No-derivatives (ND) licences. You can read more about data licences on the NBN Atlas Help Page.

It is possible to license observations separately to your sounds or photos. So you may, for example, want to license your observation as CCO and photos as CC-BY-NC.

Why does it matter?

If your observation is not licensed with one of these three licences it can’t be pooled together with other UK data sets allowing us to build up a full picture of the UK’s biodiversity. It will also not be passed to GBIF by iNaturalist as part of their regular exports.

The ideal is that all observations are licensed as CC0 or CC-BY. However, we recognise that this may not be appropriate for all users for all observations. Currently only around 30% of observations are assigned a CC0 or CC-BY licence.

How to check which licence is attached to your observations

Log into iNaturalistUK: Account Settings > Content and Display. Scroll down the page to 'Licensing'. Select the relevant licence using the drop down arrows. Remember to Save Settings.

On the iNaturalist Android App: Settings > Default Licenses. Click on the relevant licence to change it.
iOS users will need to make the change on the website.

How to edit individual observation licences

To edit photos on an individual observation

Within iNaturalistUK:

  • Select an observation > Edit
  • Click ‘View Original’ under your photo
  • Click on Edit Licence next to ‘Attribution’

On the iNaturalist App

  • Click on observation and click the edit icon
  • Within Edit Observation click on the image
  • Click the three dots
  • Select Edit Photo License

To edit the licence of an individual observation including sounds

Within iNaturalistUK:

  • Go to observation
  • Click on the drop down arrow next to 'Edit' and select Edit License. You can also edit the licence that applies to all your other observations through this route.

On the iNaturalist App

  • Click on observation and click the edit icon
  • Within Edit Observation click on the three dots
  • Select Edit Observation License

Further Reading

iNaturalistUK and its place in biological recording data flow

Licensing milestone for data access in

iNaturalist Licensed Observation Images in the Amazon Open Data Sponsorship Program

iNaturalist Blog – photo licences

You can also find more help and guidance within the iNatForum


Posted on 09 January, 2024 10:21 by giselle_s giselle_s | 0 comments | Leave a comment

11 January, 2024

Marine Highlights of 2023!

It was great to see that numbers of Saint Piran’s hermit crab (Clibanarius erythropus) are steadily rising along the south west coast of the UK, with dozens of sightings being reported to iNaturalistUK last year. Saint Piran’s hermit crab disappeared from our shores in the late 1980’s and has only recently reappeared. Unlike other hermit crabs their claws are of equal size and have black tips with electric blue and red stripes along their legs.

Increased numbers of bioluminescent crystal jellyfish (Genus Aequorea) were also reported towards the end of the summer in 2023, this delicate species are not commonly seen in the UK, usually preferring warmer waters. They are easily identified by their many tentacles (up to 150!) and fine white lines radiating from their centres.

The data collected by iNaturalistUK users is invaluable as it helps scientists globally to identify changes in our oceans.

Posted on 11 January, 2024 10:25 by julbun julbun | 1 observation | 0 comments | Leave a comment

30 January, 2024

NBN Awards for Wildlife Recording 2024

Know someone who's recording wildlife through iNaturalistUK and really making a difference?  Why not nominate them for a 2024 NBN Award for Wildlife Recording?  You can even nominate yourself! Closes: 3 April 2024

Posted on 30 January, 2024 14:43 by giselle_s giselle_s | 0 comments | Leave a comment