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    Is there a charge for data?

    The vast majority of our data is available free of charge.  In some rare instances we may have to make a small charge to cover our own data licensing costs.  For example, in some cases our data products have been derived from third-party data (such as Ordnance Survey data) which costs us to use.

    We will always make you aware if there is likely to be a charge.

    If you download a 'free' dataset you will be able to access it almost instantly (depending on the size of the data). If there is a potential cost, you will be contacted by CEH's licensing team to let you know exactly how much it will cost and what licence you need to agree. At this stage you can choose to pay for the data or decline.

    What is metadata?

    Metadata is documentation about data. It provides information about the content, condition and characteristics of a dataset which helps with:

    • Data discovery
      Informs potential users what data resources are available.  Our catalogue has search tools for this purpose.
    • Evaluation
      Informs potential users of the data whether the selected resource meets their requirements by, for example, describing where and when and how data where collected.
    • Use
      Provides information to assist users to understand, interpret and re-use data.

    The EIDC uses metadata standards (GEMINI) to provide common terms, definitions, and structure to and ensure consistency in our dataset documentation.

    How do I cite EIDC data?

    Once a dataset has been formally deposited into the EIDC, a DOI can be assigned. The DOI can then be included in a citation used to refer to that particular dataset, for example in a research article or data paper.

    Details of the citation and acknowledgement that should be used for EIDC data are set out on the metadata page of each dataset.

    screenshot of metadata page

    What is a DOI?

    A digital object identifier (DOI) is a unique string which permanently and unambiguously identifies the data resource and so assists with citation.

    A DOI consists of a string of characters divided into two parts, a prefix and a suffix, separated by a slash. For example:

    Doi structure

    The prefix identifies the registrant (10.5285 is the prefix for NERC) and the suffix is a unique string identifying a specific dataset.

    More about DOIs and citing data »

    Why do I need to register?

    When you order data or services from EIDC, we will usually send the data to you via email. Therefore we need to keep a record of your name and email address.

    You also enter into an agreement to use any data you access legally and responsibly (licence terms and conditions). Your details are therefore recorded with copies of any of the licences you agree.

    Any personal information you provide will be used only for the purposes of providing data, for keeping you informed of changes/issues relating to the data or associated services and for administration of the web server.

    See our Privacy Policy for more information

    What will you do with my personal information?

    We ask only for your name and email address when you register an account. This is so we can send you any data you order and keep you informed of any subsequent changes (for example if a dataset you've ordered has been replaced by a newer version or errata/addenda are published).

    We may also use your information to contact you with announcements about CEH services - for example, if the data catalogue is undergoing maintenance which means it will be unavailable for a while.

    We never supply your details to any third party.

    What is GEMINI?

    GEMINI (GEospatial information Metadata INteroperability Initiative) is a UK metadata specification for describing data resources. It is maintained an published by the Association for Geographic Information (AGI)

    The UK Government has adopted GEMINI as its discovery metadata standard and requires organisations to provide metadata that conforms to the GEMINI Standard

    For more information see the GEMINI pages on the AGI website

    What is INSPIRE?

    INSPIRE is an acronym for INfrastructure for SPatial InfoRmation in Europe

    It is the name given to European Directive 2007/2/EC which aims to establish an infrastructure for spatial information in the European Union.  Its effect will be to make spatial or geographical information more accessible and interoperable for a wide range of purposes and to facilitate better environmental policy across the EU.

    The European directive was transposed into UK law in 2009.

    The law means that UK public bodies (government departments and the bodies funded by them) must make data they collect publicly accessible and reusable.

    For more information see data.gov.uk

    What is my username and password?

    Your username is the email address you used when you registered an account. When you registered, you will also have chosen a password. If you are unable to remember your password, please use the 'forgot password' link on the login page to reset it. If you cannot remember your username, please email us at eidc@ceh.ac.uk

    CEH Staff: use your network username and password to login. You will not be able to use the 'forgot password' or 'change password' functions.

    Why is some data embargoed?

    NERC allows researchers it funds to protect their research by granting a reasonable amount of time to work‐up their data sets and publish their findings. This is known as an embargo period.  In most cases, a reasonable embargo period is a maximum of two years from the end of data collection.

    What this means in practice is that if you want to access certain datasets, you may have to wait until the embargo period has expired before you can access the data. It may, however, be possible to negotiate an earlier release.

    See the NERC Data Policy for more information.

    What does 'availability' mean?

    This is the most recent version of the dataset and it is freely available to download
    This is the most recent version of the dataset and it is available but a special licence will have to be negotiated to download it and there may be a data-access charge  
    The dataset has been deposited by the researcher but it's hasn't yet been made available to the public.  A date has been set on which the data will be available. More about embargos.
    The dataset has been replaced by a more recent version - this is usually because corrections have been made. The superseded version of the data is no longer publicly available but it can be accessed on request.
    The dataset has been withdrawn at the request of the depositor (usually because errors have been found) but a replacement version is not available. The withdrawn data is no longer publicly available but it can be accessed on request.
    Access to the data is restricted due to security, confidentiality or environmental protection concerns.