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Annex 1: How to attribute data

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Annex 1: How to attribute data

In this section we provide some guidance on how to properly attribute the original source of data under the Open Government Licence, Open Database Licence, Ordnance Survey Data Exploration and the Ordnance Survey Public Sector Mapping Agreement licences, as well as some general guidance on attribution.

We recommend you still check the relevant documentation for the data you are using to ensure compliance.

General guidance

You should attribute the source of any data you use, even if the licence does not require it. Giving attribution is a way of recognising both the efforts that the publisher has made to put together the content or data you are reusing, and their generosity in making it available for reuse.

When content or data is licensed using a licence that requires attribution, the publisher might specify:

  • what wording the attribution should include
  • where and how the attribution should be presented

You should follow what the publisher asks you to do. If it is not practical, for example if you are providing a service that does not have room for the attribution statement that they request, then get in touch with them to ask how to proceed.

Public sector/ Ordnance Survey open data – Open Government Licence:

The OGL encourages you to use and reuse public sector information freely and flexibly. It includes one mandatory requirement – to acknowledge the source of the information in your product or application. To properly attribute when using data under the OGL, you must follow this guidance:

  • Include or link to any attribution statement outlined by the original data provider(s). Where possible, you should also provide a link to the Open Government Licence guidance page.
  • If the original data provider(s) does not include a specific attribution statement, then the OGL suggests wording to use in the ‘you must’ section of the licence. At the time of writing this guide, the suggested wording was ‘Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0’.
  • If you are using Ordnance Survey open data: OS has developed a style guide which includes specific instructions on acknowledging use of OS open data, part of which asks you to include this statement: ‘Contains OS data © Crown copyright and database rights (YEAR)’
  • If you are using data drawn from multiple data providers and including multiple attribution statements is not practical within your product, service or application, then you can include a URL or hyperlink to a resource that contains the attribution statements.

OpenStreetMap – Open Database Licence:

The ODbL (ODbL) is an Open Data Commons licence for reuse of databases specifically. It intends to allow users to freely share, modify, and use a database while passing on the same freedom for others. It is the licence used for reuse of the OpenStreetMap database.

Requirements for attribution under ODbL are;

  • In all cases you must acknowledge any public use of the data, or products, services or applications produced using the data.
  • If you use or redistribute the database, or works produced from it, you need to make it clear to others that the database remains licensed under ODbL and include any notices on the original database.
  • There is some example text in section 4.3a of the licence which states ‘Contains information from DATABASE NAME, which is made available here under the Open Database License (ODbL)’.

If using OpenStreetMap data, the OpenStreetMap Foundation request attribution wording of; “© OpenStreetMap contributors” and set out guidance on where to place an attribution statement based on the output you are producing from the data (eg printed map, electronic map, electronic database). This is important to recognise the contribution of the volunteers that maintain the OpenStreetMap database and to raise awareness about the OpenStreetMap project and encourage use or contribution of data from others.

Ordnance Survey – Data Exploration Licence

The Data Exploration Licence enables short-term access to data that is otherwise only available under a chargeable commercial licence, for the purpose of developing ideas, prototypes and performing trials.

You need to acknowledge your use of Ordnance Survey data under the Data Exploration licence clearly and in a prominent location. You need to do this for any reproductions of Ordnance Survey data or any products, services or applications produced using Ordnance Survey data as part of the data exploration activity.

Ordnance Survey has produced a detailed style guide which sets out how to acknowledge the source of the data, including:

  • font size and style
  • where to position text
  • suggested text for different Ordnance Survey data sources eg ‘© Crown copyright and database rights (insert year) OS (LICENCE NUMBER)’
  • how to acknowledge third party data (eg Addressbase suite and other OS products)
  • guidance on use of OS trademarks and branding.

Ordnance Survey – Public Sector Mapping Agreement

The Public Sector Mapping Agreement enables public sector organisations to access and use Ordnance Survey data that would otherwise only be available under a chargeable commercial licence, for the purposes of performing their public task.

You need to include an attribution (copyright) statement on any reproductions of Ordnance Survey data or any products, services or applications produced using Ordnance Survey data eg printed or online maps that you publish or distribute. The statement should clearly acknowledge your use of Ordnance Survey Crown Copyright materials. The specific requirements of the copyright statement vary depending on:

  • The format in which you provide the data or information products (online or printed)
  • Whether the user is accessing a static image or viewing a web map service
  • Whether the data is provided via download or on media

The Ordnance Survey copyright statement web page should help you decide which details to include.

When you are sharing data under the PSMA with third parties you need to pass on the same  licensing terms. This can be done as part of attribution by sending the terms (or a link to the terms) in a document along with the data you are providing.

Ordnance Survey has produced a detailed style guide which sets out how to acknowledge the source of the data, including;

  • Font size and style
  • Where to position text
  • How to acknowledge third party data (eg Addressbase suite and other Ordnance Survey products)
  • Guidance on use of Ordnance Survey trademarks and branding