Senckenberg Research

edaphobase_logo GBIF Database on Soil Zoology logo gbif
Information System for Taxonomy, Literature and Ecology
lumbricidae enchytraeidae Anatonchus_tridentatus oppiella nova neojordensia_levis collembola Chilopoda_Cryptops parisi ommatoiulus sabulosus (L.,1758) Trachelipus_ratzeburgi
– Legal aspects & copyright –
edaphobase is a product of the Senckenberg Museum für Naturkunde Görlitz (SMNG), ECT Oekotoxikologie GmbH Flörsheim am Main, Staatliches Museum für Naturkunde Karlsruhe (SMNK), RWTH Aachen - Institut für Umweltforschung (Biologie 5), gaiac - Forschungsinstitut für Ökosystemanalyse und -bewertung e.V. and the Botanischer Garten/ Botanisches Museum der FU Berlin, Referat Biodiversitätsinformatik (BGBM). (BMBF funding number 01LI1301A).
Project management:  Prof. Dr. W. Xylander, Dr. D. J. Russell, Dr. U. Burkhardt (SMNG), Dr. J. Römbke (ECT), Dr. H. Höfer (SMNK), Dr. M. Roß–Nickoll (RWTH), Dr. A. Toschki (gaiac) and A. Güntsch (BGBM)
Software:  S. Lesch, S. Rick, S. Dillan (SMNG)
Analysis tools: Dr. R. Ottermanns, Dr. B. Scholz-Starke, Dipl. Gyml. J. Hausen (RWTH)
Scientific content of edaphobase:  Dr. A. Christian, Dr. K. Hohberg, C. Trog, Dr. H.-J. Schulz, Dr. U. Burkhardt, Dr. K. Voigtländer, P. Decker, M. Döhler (SMNG), Dr. S. Jänsch, Dr. R. Schmelz (ECT),  Dr. T. Stierhof, F. Raub, F. Horak (SMNK), J. Oellers (gaiac)
GIS-components:  M. Döhler, S. Rick (SMNG)
Data input and management:  K. Franke, Dr. E. Engemaier , A. König, H. Jechorek, Dr. B. Balkenhol, J. Müller, J. Noe,
M. Wiesenhütter (SMNG), Dr. S. Jänsch, Dr. R. Schmelz (ECT), F. Horak (SMNK)
Homepage edaphobase:  I. Turre [Graphics & design], M. Döhler, Dr. E. Engemaier  [Text] (SMNG)
Rights of data owners (original data providers)
Public and free searches are generally possible in the edaphobase Portal. To prevent data misuse, the data provider of the original data (= data provider) can specify a priori the accuracy with which their data will be made available: available for free, "anonymised" (see below), only on request by the user to the original data provider and subsequent release of this data by the original provider with visibility of all details only to the requesting user, or temporarily blocked for release by the data provider (e.g. until after publication in a scientific article).
Accordingly, a staggered data-release management policy exists from the internal source database to the publicly accessible Portal database.
Coordinates are stored in two accuracy levels:
  • as coverage data or coordinates with one decimal place for anonymised data (see below)
  • as exact data acquired from the internal source database
The data in the publically available Portal database do not contain raw data, but are aggregated to allow cross-project evaluations. Raw data may be provided by the scientist responsible for the resprective animal group, in consultation with the original data providers and only upon direct request by a user. Those responsible at the Senckenberg Museum for Natural History Görlitz are Dr. Axel Christian (for Gamasina), Dr. Jürgen Schulz and Dr. Ulrich Burkhardt (for Collembola), Dr. Ricarda Lehmitz (for Oribatida), Dr. Karin Voigtländer (for Myriapoda), and Dr. Karin Hohberg (for Nematoda); at the State Museum for Natural History Karlsruhe Dr. Hubert Höfer (for Oribatida); and at ECT Ecotoxicology GmbH Flörsheim Dr. Jörg Römbke (for Lumbricidae) and Dr. Rüdiger Schmelz (for Enchytraeidae).
To protect the right of the original data provider or their data against misuse, access to the edaphobase Portal for external users is staggered by three different “data-access depths”:

  1. General, rather coarse queries (for example species lists, distribution maps) can be performed without registration in the database (anonymously). Thus, for example, sites of occurrence may be represented on a map differentiated by pH value, biotope type, etc. The points are mapped and only displayed in a generalized, "unfocussed" manner (= center point of a TK 25 map section or 10x10km quadrats). A table view is not possible, deeper queries with analysis options and table views and data-export functions are only for registered users with a login (option 2, below). The registration of the user and the issuance of a password, etc., occur automatically. A password will be assigned by the user him/herself.

  2. Registered users have access to the data stored in the Portal database including the exact coordinates of the sites of occurrence and the table views. Furthermore, it is only possible for registered users to locally save “projects” (complex queries) and export data (*.csv) as a text file.
    Registered users can see precisely mapped data and individual data records in a table. The production of contingency tables is allowed. Herein are two types of data visibility:
    • In the table views (“record-list tables” or contingency tables) all (queried) data sets are visible in the normal case. Exception: in museum collections, the attribute “sammler/collector” never appears.
    • To protect data against misuse, some data sets may be marked as “not visible to the public” on request of the respective original data provider (so-called “anonymized data sets”). Although such data are available for meta-analyses, when moved to table views (external user-specific analyses) the following attributes are not visible and are only marked as “available”:
      • Geographic coordinates of the sites (will be cartographically represented only in a generalized manner as in point 1)
      • Locality name/next town (only region [for example Saxony], natural landscape unit, etc. are displayed, but no detailed locality data)
      • Treatment, and similar plot-detailed analysis of individual characteristics that might permit spatially precise identification
    The aim of such anonymized data sets is to render unrecognizable the exact localities, examination schemes (sampling design), etc. of such data, so that the original investigation cannot be reproduced by external users.
    However, at the same time, external users are provided the opportunity to research and analyse the distribution area of individual taxa (for which the center point of a TK 25 map section or 10x10km quadrats are deemed sufficient) as well as habitat preferences (niche space) using these data (for which taxon name, abundance and habitat parameters such as pH value, biotope type, etc. are necessary, but not the exact location or the location description).

    Anonymized data sets are not forwarded to GBIF-D.

  3. Full access to anonymized data sets can be granted only after a specific, personal request (which data, for which purpose, etc.) and subsequent retroactive request to and approval by the respective original data provider. Upon approval, the data is then released to the specific (= requesting) user only for the requested taxa and only for a limited period of time. More in-depth research with detailed data views can thus be performed with such data sets only after personal consultation with the person responsible for the respective animal group (see above). The edaphobase team provides the possibility of sending a request to the original data provider ().
Use of data within the context of scientific Research
  • Research with the edaphobase Portal in the framework of scientific research is fundamentally open and free of Charge.
  • However, any commercial use of edaphobase-downloaded data requires the prior approval of the original data Providers listed in the metadata of the respective data sets.
  • If limited access to anonymized data packets is granted after a personal request, sharing or further dissemination of such data is only possible with the express approval of the original data Provider.
Privacy statement
We take the protection of your personal data very seriously. We collect and use your personal data in accordance with the provisions of the Federal Data Protection Act of the Federal Republic of Germany. In the following, we inform about the type, scope, and purpose of the collection and use of personal data. You can retrieve this information at any time from our website. PDF
1. Collection and processing of http-logfiles
If you visit our websites, our web servers temporarily collect each access in a log file. The following data are collected and stored until automatic deletion:

  • IP address of the requesting Computer
  • Date and hour of the Access
  • Name and URL of the retrieved data
  • Amount of data transferred
  • Report if the retrieval was successful
  • Data identifying the browser and operating System
  • Website from which the access takes place
  • Name of your internet access Provider

This data is processed for the purpose of enabling the use of the website (connection setup), for system security, for technical administration of the network infrastructure, and to improve the website. It is not possible to map this data to a specific person. These data are regularly deleted after a statistical analysis within one week. The IP address is only evaluated in the case of attacks on the network infrastructure of edaphobase.
2. Use of personal data
If you use certain features of this database, we collect personal data when necessary for this purpose. Personal data is only collected by us and only to the extent that you provide us with your information. The use of certain parts of the database requires prior registration and the processing of personal data, such as longer-term storage of email addresses, user IDs, and passwords. Such data is only used if you have provided us with it, and have given your prior consent for its use.

All use of your personal data is limited to the indicated purposes and to the attainment necessary for these purposes. Disclosure to third parties will not occur. You always have the right to revoke this consent.

Personal data is transmitted to state institutions and authorities only when required by federal legislation or in the case of attacks on our network infrastructure when disclosure is required to take legal action. Disclosure for other purposes will not occur.
3. Cookies
To extend the functionality of our website and to make its use more convenient for you, we use cookies. We also use cookies for the purpose of obtaining information about the use of our website and for statistical purposes.

Cookies are data that are sent from the web server to the web browser of the user and stored for later retrieval.

The records do not contain personal information. A compilation of any personal data provided by the user will not occur.

Whether cookies are collected may be decided by the user yourself by setting your browser so that you are notified before a cookie is saved, which is then stored only if you explicitly accept this. However, this might limit the functional scope of edaphobase.
4. Security
The Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung (SGN) will keep your data safe. For this we use technical and organizational security measures to protect your stored personal data against accidental or intentional manipulation, loss, destruction, or access by unauthorized persons. Our security procedures are continually enhanced as new technology develops.
5. Links to websites of other providers
Our websites may contain links to websites of other providers. Please note that the privacy policy stated here only applies for the edaphobase website of the Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung (SGN). We have no influence on and cannot monitor whether other providers comply with the applicable data protection regulations.
6. Right to Access Information
Stored data will be deleted when the statutory or contractual retention period has expired. You have the right at any time to obtain the information of the data stored about your person, including the origin and host of your data. You also have the right to correct inaccurate data, or to block or delete your existing data.
If you wish to obtain access to your personal data, to correct or delete it or have further questions about the use of your given personal data, please contact: or Christina Rock, sgn justice council / data protection,
7. Inclusion, validity, and timeliness of privacy
By using our website you consent to the data use specified above. The privacy policy is current as of 18.06.2014.
Through the further development of our website or the implementation of new technologies, it may be necessary to amend this privacy policy. The Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung (SGN) reserves the right to the change the privacy policy at any time with effect for the future. We recommend that you reread the current privacy policy from time to time.
Terms of use for the database
edaphobase gathers data on the distribution of soil animals, focussing on but not limited to Germany and neighboring countries. It describes at the least information on the sites of occurrence and, if possible, also individual numbers per unit area and is species specific. This information is linked to background information regarding biotic and abiotic parameters (vegetation at the site, sampling time, collector, biotype type, pH of the soil, water content, etc.) and makes this data freely available via this online portal. The data are recorded as accurately as possible, but made available online in multiple degrees of accuracy. The portal allows the creation of site-of-occurrence maps of individual species, but also more complexly filtered queries about species' communities of a specific biotope type.
1. Subject
These terms of use govern the legal framework for the use of the edaphobase databank. They are applicable between users and the provider.

The use of the database is only permitted under observance of the following terms of use. By registering with edaphobase, the user explicitly agrees to these conditions and acknowledges that they have read and understood the terms of use. The user confirms their knowledge by checking the marks in the corresponding checkbox.

The Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung (SGN) provides the contents of the database at no charge.
2. Contents
The edaphobase database is a database with various digital documents that are protected by copyright.

The data underlying edaphobase have been primarily obtained from German museum collections and scientific publications or "gray" literature, the results of field studies (for example diploma and doctoral theses, reports) as well as data collections from German research institutes. Associated background data such as soil physical and chemical parameters originate in some of these field studies from permanent soil-monitoring sites (BDF) of the German federal states. The publicly visible records are linked to a citable source and are thus assigned to the originator's (author's) copyright of the respective data.
3. Operator
The edaphobase database is provided by the
Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung, Senckenberganlage 25, 60325 Frankfurt am Main
as a service provider according to § 12 TMG.
4. Scope of service
  1. To protect the rights of the original data providers and their data against misuse, the online access to the edaphobase portal for external users is staggered in various stages of different “data-access depths” (for more details see below point III Rights of the data owners). General queries (for example species list, distribution maps) can take place without registration in the database (anonymous). The occurrence points are mapped only in an "unfocussed", generalized manner (= center point of a TK 25 map section or 10x10km quadrats). A table view is not possible.

  2. Advanced data research with analysis options, table view, and data export funtions can only be performed by registered users after a login. Only registered users have access to stored data in the Portal database including the exact coordinates of the sites of occurrence and a table view. Registered users can see precisely mapped data and individual data records in a table. The generation of contingency tables is allowed. Furthermore, only registered users may locally save “projects” (complex queries) and export data (*.csv) as a text file.
5. Registration
  1. For a complete utilization of existing services in accordance with item 4.2 of these terms of use, the user is required to register via a log-on mask and the transmission of user data. A password is chosen by the user during the registration process. The user subsequently receives an email confirming the registration at the email address provided during registration. In this email a link is given with which the registration can be activated and thus successfully completed. The access to the database is only possible with the individual password given by the user during the initial registration. To prevent misuse, the password must be carefully kept by the user and must not be disclosed to third parties. If the password is lost the operator of the database must be informed immediately. In this case, the entrance data will be disabled and the user will be sent an email with a new password to their account

  2. edaphobase reserves the right to refuse registration without stating reasons.

  3. All statements and declarations made via the access of the user will be attributed to that user. The user is liable for any misuse by a third party unless s/he furnishes proof that s/he bears no fault thereto.
6. Use authorization
The database and its contents are protected by copyright regulations. The information may only be used for personal use and may be printed and saved for purposes of science and research.

A systematic download of information or query results, especially by robots, is prohibited.

Information from the database may neither be shared electronically or in printed form nor given gratuitously to third parties. For users it is forbidden to change articles and texts from the database, to cut, edit, and otherwise to sublicense, sell, transfer, divide or distribute them.

On demand from the website operator, the user will immediately terminate the use of the information and articles within. This applies in particular if copyright claims or property rights are asserted against the operator or user.

The user will inform the website operator immediately if a third party asserts copyright claims or property rights.

The unlawful use, duplication, dissemination, or publication of contents of the database is subject to civil and, if need be, criminal prosecution.
7. Copyright wording and source disclosures
In case of the use of the information and data sets in scientific or other texts, the respective copyright of the original data provider to the database must be stated and the database named. Following the citation rules of printed publications, author, title, year, and the internet address are to be cited. Furthermore, the date of creation or last modification and last access date must be specified in the citation.
8. Database rights
The retrievable data and documents in edaphobase represent in total a copyrighted database. It is forbidden to copy or change the database and its structure in parts or in total without the explicit approval of the Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung (SGN).
9. Availability
The operator can change the contents of the database at any time and edit or delete any or all content. The user has no claim to the provision of certain content. The website operator can close the database without stating reasons at any time, especially to carry out maintenance and implement technical changes.

There is no contractual entitlement to the permanent availability of the database.
10. Liability
According to the state of technology, it is not possible to produce software so that it can be applied error-free in all its variants and combinations. For this reason, the operator accepts no liability for the flawlessness of the software or any damage arising therewith. In particular, no guarantee is given that the application will be sufficient for the requirements and purposes of the user. The operator is also not liable for indirect damages or consequential damages, especially not for lost profit.

The liability of the website operator and its agents and assistants for breach of contractual obligations and from tort is limited to intent and gross negligence. This does not apply to injury of life, body, and health; it also does not apply if essential contractual obligations are affected.
11. User lockouts
In the event of breach of the terms of use, edaphobase/SGN has the right to terminate the access of the user to edaphobase with immediate effect. A blocked member is prohibited from re-registering under a different user profile or from using edaphobase in any other fashion. edaphobase reserves the right to initiate legal action and to make claims (including claims for damages) asserted against the user.
12. Termination
The access to the edaphobase database remains at your disposal for an indefinite time. It may be cancelled at any time either by the operator, especially for non-compliance against the terms of use, or by the user.
13. Final provisions
These terms of use are subject exclusively to the laws of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Frankfurt am Main holds jurisdiction for all disputes arising from or in connection with these terms of use. Any party may, however, also be sued in its general place of jurisdiction.

Should any clause of these terms of use be or become invalid, the effectiveness of the remaining provisions shall not be affected thereby. The invalid specifications will be replaced by a single control that comes as close as possible to the intended purpose of the invalid specifications. The same applies if the terms of use contain a regulatory gap.
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