Terms of Use for EMBL-EBI Services


  1. These Terms of Use reflect EMBL-EBI’s commitment to OpenScience through its mission to provide freely available online services, databases and software relating to data contributed from life science experiments to the largest possible community. They impose no additional constraints on the use of the contributed data than those provided by the data owner. 

  2. EMBL-EBI expects attribution (e.g. in publications, services or products) for any of its online services, databases or software in accordance with good scientific practice. The expected attribution will be indicated on the appropriate web page. 

  3. Any feedback provided to EMBL-EBI on its online services will be treated as non-confidential unless the individual or organisation providing the feedback states otherwise. 

  4. EMBL-EBI is not liable to you or third parties claiming through you, for any loss or damage. 

  5. All scientific data will be made available by a time and release mechanism consistent with the data type (e.g. human data where access needs to be reviewed by a Data Access Committee, pre-publication embargoed for a specific time period). 

  6. Personal data will only be released in exceptional circumstances when required by law or judicial or regulatory order. 

  7. While we will retain our commitment to OpenScience, we reserve the right to update these Terms of Use at any time. When alterations are inevitable, we will attempt to give reasonable notice of any changes by placing a notice on our website, but you may wish to check each time you use the website. The date of the most recent revision will appear on this, the ‘EMBL-EBI Terms of Use’ page. If you do not agree to these changes, please do not continue to use our online services. We will also make available an archived copy of the previous Terms of Use for comparison. 

  8. Any questions or comments concerning these Terms of Use can be addressed to:The Administrator, EMBL-EBI, Wellcome Trust Genome Campus, Hinxton CB10 1SD 

Online Services

  1. Users of EMBL-EBI online services agree not to attempt to use any EMBL-EBI computers, files or networks apart from through the service interfaces provided. 

  2. EMBL-EBI will make all reasonable effort to maintain continuity of these online services and provide adequate warning of any changes or discontinuities. However, EMBL-EBI accepts no responsibility for the consequences of any temporary or permanent discontinuity in service. 

  3. Any attempt to use EMBL-EBI online services to a level that prevents, or looks likely to prevent, EMBL-EBI providing services to others, will result in the use being blocked. EMBL-EBI will attempt to contact the user to discuss their needs and how (and if) these can be met from other sources. 

  4. Software that can be run from the EMBL-EBI webpages may be used by any individual for any purpose unless specific exceptions are stated on the web page. Any software from EMBL-EBI made available for download through our web pages (either directly or from third party repositories) will have its own individual license agreement.
  5. EMBL-EBI does not accept responsibility for the consequences of any breach of the confidentiality of EMBL-EBI site by third parties.

Data Services

  1. The online data services and databases of EMBL-EBI are generated in part from data contributed by the community who remain the data owners. 

  2. EMBL-EBI itself places no additional restrictions on the use or redistribution of the data available via its online services other than those provided by the original data owners. 

  3. EMBL-EBI does not guarantee the accuracy of any provided data, generated database, software or online service nor the suitability of databases, software and online services for any purpose. 

  4. The original data may be subject to rights claimed by third parties, including but not limited to, patent, copyright, other intellectual property rights, biodiversity-related access and benefit-sharing rights. For the specific case of the EGA database and human data consented for biomedical research, these rights may be formalised in Data Access Agreements. It is the responsibility of users of EMBL-EBI services to ensure that their exploitation of the data does not infringe any of the rights of such third parties. 


  1. EMBL is an intergovernmental organisation, entrusted with a number of privileges and immunities necessary to fulfil its mission, including the inviolability of EMBL premises and archives. Within these limits, you are granted certain rights in relation to your personal data. 

  2. EMBL-EBI has implemented appropriate technical and organisational measures to ensure a level of security which we deem appropriate, taking into account the categories of data we collect and the way we process it. 

  3. For the purpose of monitoring and improving online services, planning and scientific review, EMBL-EBI will keep its own records of usage and may use services provided by other organisations. EMBL-EBI may make information about the total volume of usage of particular software or data available to third party organisations who supply the software or databases without details of any individual’s use. 

  4. In interacting with us through our website you may choose to give us personal data. We will keep your personal data confidential and use it for purposes connected to our mission. Examples of the personal data we may collect can be found here (//www.ebi.ac.uk/about/personal-data-collected-examples).
  5. EMBL-EBI will hold your personal data on our systems for as long as is considered necessary for the purpose(s) for which you provided us with your details, or as long as is set out in (i) any relevant contract you hold with EMBL-EBI (ii) in any relevant data retention policy, or (iii) applicable legislation. If you cancel your user account in any of our databases or web portals we will ensure that your personal information in that database or web portal is either deleted or your information will no longer be visible to others.
  6. When you contribute scientific data to a database through our website or other submission tools this information will be released at a time and in a manner consistent with the scientific data and we may store it permanently. 

  7. If you post or send offensive, inappropriate or objectionable content anywhere on or to our websites or otherwise engage in any disruptive behaviour on any of our services, we may use your personal information to stop such behaviour. Where we reasonably believe that you are or may be in breach of any applicable laws we may use your personal information to inform relevant third parties about the content and your behaviour. 

  8. EMBL-EBI’s websites uses cookies1 to record information about your online preferences that allow us to personalise your experience of the website. You can control your use of cookies from your web browser, but if you choose not to accept cookies from EMBL-EBI’s websites, you will not be able to take full advantage of all of the website's features. For information on how to manage cookies in different web browsers and a full list of EMBL-EBI and 3rd party cookies - see http://www.ebi.ac.uk/about/cookie-control.


Last Revised: 21 October 2015


1  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTTP_cookie