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1. Introduction

This document sets out the policy concerning the collection and use of biological records by Yorkshire Naturalists’ Union (YNU). It is based on guidance from the National Biodiversity Network (NBN) and ensures that individuals who provide data to the YNU understand how their records may be used and disseminated. The policy may be subject to revision from time to time and should be checked regularly by YNU members.

2. Our aims and objectives

Yorkshire Naturalists’ Union aims to promote scientific investigation and encourage conservation of the biological and physical features of the historic county of Yorkshire. In order to achieve these aims we believe biological records held by the YNU should be made as widely available as possible to inform environmental decision making, research and education in the Yorkshire region.

3. Data sources

The YNU receives biological records collected throughout Yorkshire from a wide variety of sources. These include records collected by individual members, either from casual observations or more formal surveys; records held by affiliated societies of the YNU; data from YNU excursions and records from amateur naturalists from outside the YNU.

4. Data use

Records are held electronically and managed by the YNU Section Recorders. The section databases may also be backed up using a central YNU Recorder 6 database hosted by the Yorkshire and Humber Environmental Data Network (YHEDN). Records will be subject to quality assurance checks before being entered into a database and suppliers of data may be contacted by a YNU Recorder if there are any queries about a record. A full list of recorders and how to contact them can be found on our website, www.ynu.org.uk.

5. Data sharing

The YNU believes in making data widely available to support research, education and environmental decisionmaking. Records submitted to the YNU and YNU recorders may therefore be passed on to local and national recording schemes and local record centres, where they may then be entered on the NBN Gateway. Contact details submitted with records will not be passed on to any individual or organisation outside of the YNU; however your name will form part of the record that is collated and disseminated. It is impracticable to obtain permission from every individual for their records to be used in this way. Anyone who submits records to the YNU or YNU recorders is therefore considered to have given permission for their records to be made publically available as outlined above. The YNU recognises that some environmental data, if released into the wrong hands, could lead to damage to the natural environment. Data suppliers are therefore able to identify data as confidential where they believe there is a risk of environmental harm in releasing the data. The reasons identified for this confidentiality will be recorded in the meta-data associated with the confidential data and will be made available to anyone requesting access to the records.

6. Terms and conditions

All data held by the YNU will remain the property of the original recorder and they retain any copyright governing its use. Data held by the YNU will be made available to YNU members and members of the YNU's affiliated societies to assist with their work and research. Records will also be shared with national recording schemes and local environmental records centres, who may then make the records available via the NBN Gateway

YNU 2012

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