SeaDataNet Data policy and User licence

At the creation of the SeaDataNet infrastructure, the SeaDataNet Data policy, aimed to strike a balance between the rights of investigators and the need for widespread access through the free and unrestricted sharing and exchange of SeaDataNet data, meta-data and data products.

As a result, the access to SeaDataNet data was managed by a combination of (i) the role of the user from vocabulary C86 (e.g. Public, Administrator, Academic, Commercial, Partner) and the access restriction policy taken from vocabulary L08 (e.g. Academic, Commercial, Moratorium, No access, Unrestricted, SeaDataNet licence) with Data Centres assigning roles to their national users. A complicated algorithm was used which resulted in:

  • Giving direct access to every role for Unrestricted and SeaDataNet licence data
  • Giving by negotiation access to every role for all other access restrictions

This was described in the SeaDataNet data policy document.

During the SeaDataCloud project, the user registration has been simplified; users register with Marine-ID and at this point no longer have to accept the SeaDataNet data policy to become a SeaDataNet user. In this way, all Marine-ID users can use SeaDataNet. However, in the data request form, users must agree to the SeaDataNet Licence using a tick box each time they download data. All SeaDataNet (and new Marine-ID) users will be assigned the “Public Role” and Data Centres no longer need to assign any roles at a national level.

The access restrictions to data have been also simplified and priority is given to open access data where possible. The access rules to data are now the following:

  • For former SeaDataNet Licence and unrestricted data, there is a direct access, with a “CC-BY 4.0” licence set to each CDI => more than 90% of the SeaDataNet data are open access, under CC-BY licence.
  • Other former access restrictions are set to “By negotiation”

Simplification and evolution of SeaDataNet data access restrictions


CC-BY-4.0, defined as “The data are available under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (” has been added as a new term in L08 Access Restrictions vocabulary.