It is the goal of the Avian Knowledge Network (AKN) to share observational data on bird species with as
widespread an audience as possible. With this in mind, we recognize the need to assure data quality and validity,
and that data sets available through the AKN have appropriate documentation (metadata) to judge data quality
and potential usefulness. We must also assure the privacy rights of landowners and data contributors.
All contributing members of NatureCounts/AKN have complete authority over the use of the data they have provided,
and can withhold data at any time from any party or application. Each data set contributed to the AKN has an
associated level of access to that data (see details here). It is recognized
that the investment and time committed to the collection of a data set entitles the owner to the fundamental
benefits of its use.
Acknowledgements and recognition
All users of any NatureCounts/AKN data must clearly acknowledge the contribution of the members who are making data
available. Each dataset comes with its own Data Sharing Policy that defines the various conditions for data usage.
This document is available from the datasets page, and is also provided as a text
file along with any data that you download from this site. Please review all documents carefully
and make sure to contact the primary data owners for permission, collaboration and review as required.
This acknowledgement shall include at most, co-authorship, and at least, recognition in any printed or Internet
content, and will depend largely on the degree to which a given analysis or publication relies on any single data
providerís data. Additionally, appropriate branding (i.e. logos of contributing members) should be placed on any
website, educational, outreach, presentation, or promotional materials on which the data are used. All researchers
making substantial use of a data set are required to communicate directly with the investigators who acquired the
data, or those to whom responsibility for the data has been entrusted, prior to publication. Consultation before
and during analysis of the data is also essential and required. The AKN coordinators will require and facilitate the
ethical and courteous use of data within the AKN archives.
Redistribution of data
As a general rule, data aquired from NatureCounts should not be redistributed directly to third parties or
made available publicly for download, unless explicitely authorized in the Data Sharing Policy of an individual
dataset. This ensures that the appropriate information about the dataset and the conditions of use are always
included with the data, and also ensure that the most up to date version of the dataset. AKN data will not be
modified except as needed to ensure compatibility with the recipientís geographic information system. The AKN
advisory board has the authority to mediate and decide any conflicts regarding data usage and publication.
All data contributed to the AKN is clearly documented using the descriptive metadata standards of the
Bird Monitoring Data Registry (BMDR). The BMDR describes the data ownership, geographic coverage, protocols,
and access rights. All data stored in the AKN conform to the Bird Monitoring Data Exchange (BMDE). The BMDE is a
data exchange standard that extends the Darwin Core metadata schema for data integration
(http://www.avianknowledge.net/organization-discovery/data_exchange). It is the responsibility of data users to
understand sampling differences and/or protocol effects between projects before using any data from the AKN.
Location coordinates of data held within the AKN are defined by the project that collects the data.
Descriptions of the locational precision for a project can be obtained by the BMDR. The spatial data standards of
the AKN will adhere as much as possible to those standards being developed by the International Union of Biological
Sciences Taxonomic Databases Working Groupís subgroup on spatial standards (http://www.tdwg.org).
About the AKN
Bird Monitoring Data Registry
Bird Monitoring Data Exchange
NatureCounts Data Sharing Policy
Levels of Data Access