Data access policy
The purpose of the Isle of Wight Local Records Centre (IWLRC) is to collect, collate, manage and disseminate information of known quality on the Island’s biodiversity to those who require it, to increase knowledge and understanding, and to enable informed decisions to be made about factors affecting the environment.
As a public authority, IWLRC also has a statutory duty to make environmental information that it holds available to any person that requests it under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004. However, the supply of information under the Environmental Information Regulations does not automatically give the requester of the information the right to re-use that information. Separate permission needs to be obtained from the copyright owner, as set out in the Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2005.
In addition, IWLRC follows the seven Data Exchange Principles promoted by the National Biodiversity Network Trust (Appendix 1).
Data that is held by IWLRC includes both manual and electronically held data, and comes from a variety of sources, including:
All users of biological data should be aware of the interpretation limitations of the data supplied. Notable species records merely reflect the information held on our databases and do not represent a comprehensive list of notable species present within the search area. Also, presence of a species on the list does not necessarily indicate breeding status.
Data supplied by IW LRC has been validated (in terms of geographical accuracy and other accuracy attributes in the data capture process) as far as possible. Errors, however, cannot be totally eliminated. The IW LRC Partnership cannot guarantee the full accuracy, completeness or fitness for purpose of the data. The data supplied should be viewed as static upon release and may be liable to change without notification. The IW LRC Partnership is therefore not liable for any actions that may be taken as a result of using the data.
The ownership of information collected under the service level agreements remains the property of the IW LRC Partnership or specific funding organisation. Data provided by the species recording groups & individuals via data exchange agreements remains the property of those organisations or individuals. IW LRC can only provide copies of data to data requesters as set out in the individual data exchange agreements.
The Environmental Information Regulations 2004 allow for the fact that sensitive information, including that supplied and owned by third parties, is only released after careful consideration of the request and with the consent of all the parties involved. Regulation 12 lists all the exceptions to the duty to disclose environmental information including where “ its disclosure would adversely affect – the protection of the environment to which the information relates” The associated guidance states that information on the location of nesting sites, rare habitats and endangered/protected species may need to be withheld to avoid the risk of damage. However, the disclosure of such information can also be vitally important to ensure protection of that species or habitat.Requesting data
A request for data should give:
Under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004, a request for data must be responded to within 20 working days of the request being made. An extension can be sought for more complex requests.
If IW LRC holds data belonging to a third party, organisation or individual who has not consented to its disclosure then that data cannot be released and the person requesting the data will be transferred to the original Data Custodian with their consent.
If the data can be made available then the person requesting the data will be told, in writing, the nature of the data and what charge will be made in respect of costs reasonably attributable to the supply of that data. The schedule of charges follows the guidance laid down in the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 and the Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2005.
IWLRC Partners, voluntary conservation organisations, recording groups, community groups, students and the public will not normally be charged for the cost of supplying the data.
A request for data, the disclosure of which would make it more likely that the site, habitat or species to which such data related would be adversely affected, may be refused. An example of this could be the location of a rare or threatened species. In such cases the enquirer may be referred back to the original Data Custodian.
When a request for data is refused the reasons for refusal will be specified in writing in accordance with the Environmental Information Regulations.Biological Data Users' Declaration
When submitting a data request the enquirer has to agree to the conditions of the Biological Data Users Declaration which states that they are aware of restrictions on copyright and use of the data, and limitations on data quality. See Data Users’ Declaration.