DoeDat User Agreement and Privacy Policy

User Agreement


DoeDat is a citizen science platform (henceforth referred to as “DoeDat” or “platform”) operated by Meise Botanic Garden (henceforth referred to “we”) and hosting projects from several institutions. It supports scientific research by involving members of the public in the processes of transcribing data and tagging images. You can find more information on our webpage, section “About DoeDat ”.This document describes which personal data we collect, how we use it, and how we protect it.

DoeDat users (henceforth referred to “members”) are expected to read and adhere to these Terms of Use. We, as host and manager of the platform DoeDat reserve the right to change the conditions of use without prior consultation of the members. Changements to  the terms of use will be announced on the platform.

We may deny access and remove members suspected of not complying with these terms of use, and/or delete inappropriate posts on the DoeDat forum.

What you agree to when creating and using a DoeDat-account

Projects involving the public are needed to enable researchers to cope with the otherwise unmanageable flood of data. The web provides a means of reaching a large audience willing to devote some of their free time to projects that can add to our knowledge of the world and its biodiversity.

The major goal of this platform is for the analyzed data to be available to researchers, for use, modification, and redistribution in order to further scientific research. Therefore, by contributing to DoeDat, you grant us and our collaborators full permission to use your contributions for present and future projects at our sole and absolute discretion. This may include digital and printed scientific publications,our virtual herbarium  and the Global Biodiversity Information Facility , where the data you contributed will be made open and freely accessible.

Privacy Policy

In addition to the contributions you make on the platform, we collect additional data about you to support and improve the operation of the project. This Privacy Policy describes which data we collect, how we use it, and how we protect it.

By using the DoeDat website and the content available on and through it, you are agreeing to this Privacy Policy.

Data we collect

Identifying information: By registering with DoeDat, you are asked to create a username and supply an e-mail address. The e-mail address is visible to site managers (Meise Botanic Garden staff as well DoeDat project contributors from other institutions) but not to other users with no affiliation to one of the participating institutions (see list  here). All users, managers or not, will be able to see your username in various contexts. Notably, it is permanently associated with any contributions you make on the platform, including any kind of consulted (finished or unfinished) tasks and comments submitted to the discussion forums. You may optionally provide your real name which we may decide to include when publicly thanking participants, e.g., in presentations, publications.

When registering, a genuine e-mail address must be provided. Your username may be your real name,  pen name, nickname, or pseudonym. Usernames must not impersonate another person, dead or alive, nor may they be offensive or inappropriate. We reserve the right to block accounts of users whose username does not comply with these guidelines.

You must ensure that any information you enter and maintain on your user profile is accurate, correct, and up-to-date. We reserve the right to block an account  whose information is faulty, offensive or inappropriate, or suspected of having been created by or on behalf of someone who has been previously blocked due to any violation of these Terms of Use.

You are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality and security of your password(s). You are therefore responsible for everything done or submitted using your account.

If you become aware of any unauthorised use of your account, you should notify us immediately at

We may lock, restrict and/or delete your account should you fail to comply with these Terms of Use. Blocked or deactivated accounts may be reactivated.

DoeDat works without the use of an external service provider. When using DoeDat, a record of your visit is logged. The following information is supplied by your browser and recorded by our servers:

  • The user’s IP address;
  • The user’s operating system, e.g. Windows, Mac OS;
  • The user’s top level domain name, e.g. .be;
  • The date and time of the visit to the site;
  • The pages accessed within DoeDat and the documents/data downloaded;
  • The search terms used;
  • The user’s browser, e.g. Firefox, Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Safari.

What we do with the information we gather

We may use the data collected upon your visit to the site for the following purposes:

  • Monitoring, developing, and improving the DoeDat website;
  • Dealing with your inquiries and requests;
  • Usage statistics such as server traffic, download statistics, etc.;
  • Contacting you and providing you with information about DoeDat, including but not limited to current and finished projects, forthcoming events, your contributions to the site, general and specific feedback.

What is shared with third parties

We will never release e-mail addresses to third parties without your express permission. However, we may and shall share data which you may have contributed as part of DoeDat projects with other researchers, or in scholarly work describing our research.

All contributions you make to the forum are visible and available to others.

All information stored by us is held within a secured database. Passwords are hashed rather than being stored in plain text.

Your personal information will not be released unless the law requires it or your explicit permission is given.

We aim to provide a secure environment and reliable system, this is however exposed to any and all inherent risks associated with the transmission of information via the internet.We will implement all reasonable technical and organisational measures to assure data are kept safely and if we detect a data breach we will inform the users of the breach.

You always keep access to your personal data and you may update it at any time. Should you stumble upon inaccuracies related to your personal data which you cannot correct yourself, contact us at

Data removal

Due to how we archive data, it is generally not possible to completely remove your email address, username and data related to your activity on DoeDat from the systems if they are linked to previously saved transcriptions. If you have specific concerns, please contact us.


A cookie is a small file that a website sends to your browser when you access information at that site. Upon receipt of the information, your browser saves it on your hard-disk (unless your browser doesn’t support cookies). Each time you use your computer to access that same website, the information that was previously received is sent back to the website by your browser. It records information necessary for certain website functions, such as remembering your preferences or settings.

DoeDat may use cookies for some of its interactive features. However, these cookies collect only enough information to enable website functions.

If you don’t want to accept cookies, you can set your browser and/or firewall to block them. You will still be able to access most DoeDat content but some interactive features will be unavailable.

Interaction with the DoeDat website

There are a number of interactive features on DoeDat that you can contribute to, e.g. forum posts or annotations on tasks. Information provided this way will be recorded. The information you provide will be solely used for the purposes stated on the platform and/or this Privacy Policy.

Should you directly disclose or post personal information on DoeDat, on any page other than your user profile, this information becomes visible and available to anyone with access to the internet and may be collected and used by others. The responsibility of any consequences arising therethrough, to us, you, the platform, or third parties, exclusively lay with the person who disclosed such information. We therefore suggest you use discretion and exercise caution when providing any personal information, including but not limited to posting any personal information in public sections of the platform, e.g. the forum and the transcription forms.

When we will contact you

We may choose to contact you by e-mail, solely in relation to DoeDat, in the following circumstances (including but not limited to):

  • Provide feedback on your contribution;
  • Highlight a particular aspect of our research;
  • Announce new features or explain changes to the platform or any underlying system it runs on;
  • Invite you to special events.

If you wish to unsubscribe from the mailing list please send an email to

Further information and requests

Any questions about this Privacy Policy or any privacy issues related to the platform should be addressed to