Terms of Use

The Encyclopedia of Life aims to increase awareness and understanding of living nature by gathering, generating and sharing knowledge in an open, freely accessible and trusted digital resource. By using EOL you accept and agree to abide by the following terms and conditions:

The Scientific Community and the General Public Build EOL

Together we can make EOL the best, most comprehensive source for biodiversity information.

Anyone who registers for a user account is an EOL Member. An EOL curator is a member who is given certain abilities by EOL, for example to mark content in EOL as "trusted" and "untrusted", and who can also hide content from view. Curators present credentials to EOL in order to receive these abilities. An EOL Content Partner is an individual or organization that shares content for redisplay by EOL.

  • Anyone 13 years or older can register to become an EOL member in order to take advantage of opportunities to contribute content to EOL and use other interactive capabilities of the site. To register, visit the registration page.
  • Any EOL member can register to become an EOL curator in order to review EOL content, subject to review and approval of their application by designated members of the EOL community. To apply, create an account on the registration page, then visit your EOL profile.
  • Visit this page to learn how to distinguish between reviewed and unreviewed content.

For a full description of the many ways you can help build EOL, visit the contribute help page.

EOL Content is Freely Available to the Public

EOL makes its content and website available to you under different rules, depending on what you are doing with the content and website.

  • EOL welcomes you to visit and use its website subject to these Terms of Use.
  • EOL invites your reuse of or linking to the content on EOL as described in the Copyright and Linking Policy. EOL is committed to clearly crediting the sources of the information on EOL and urges its visitors to cite and visit the original sources.
  • EOL invites members to provide feedback via, email, comments on taxon pages, and communications through collections and communities subject to the Community Conditions. Unreviewed content will continue to be designated as "unreviewed" in the user interface.
  • EOL is committed to building an open access collection. In short, all information you share with EOL must also be shared with the rest of the world under at least one of the creative commons licenses that allow re-use. Please read the Copyright and Linking Policy for more information.
  • EOL reserves the right to moderate submitted content as described in the Curation Standards and Community Conditions. EOL members will be offered the ability to flag EOL content as inappropriate or in need of improvement.


Linking is an important feature that facilitates searching and making connections among websites. EOL invites linking as described in the Copyright and Linking Policy.


By using EOL, you agree that EOL may collect, use and disclose information that you provide as described in the Privacy Policy.


  • Certain names, titles, trademarks, service marks, and logos that appear on EOL are registered or common law (unregistered) marks owned by EOL consortium members, EOL content providers, or third parties. With the exception of fair use, you may not use such trademarks without the owner’s prior written permission.  Nothing on EOL shall be construed as granting any license to use any trademark displayed on EOL without the express written permission of the owner of the trademark.
  • If you have any complaints or objections to content posted on EOL because it was not properly credited or it was posted without permission and you are the copyright or trademark owner, please contact EOL at secretariat@eol.org and provide your contact information, a working link to the relevant content on EOL, a statement that you are the copyright owner or the owner's agent, and links or other evidence supporting your claim of ownership.
  • The Content is provided “as is” without a warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied, including but not limited to the implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular use, and/or non-infringement. EOL shall not be responsible or liable for any damage that may occur due to your use of EOL or downloading any Content from EOL. If you need specific advice (for example, medical or veterinarian) please seek a professional who is licensed or knowledgeable in the appropriate field.
  • EOL reserves the right to change these Terms of Use from time to time without notice; changes shall be effective upon posting. Please check back regularly for updates. Failure of EOL to enforce any of these terms shall not constitute a waiver of such terms.
  • By using EOL, you represent and warrant that your use will be consistent with these Terms of Use, including fair use. You agree to indemnify, defend and hold EOL harmless from all claims, causes of action, allegations, costs, expenses, fees (including reasonable attorneys’ fees), judgments, liabilities, losses, and damages arising from or relating to your use of EOL.
  • These Terms of Use and any amendments or revisions shall be governed by applicable federal law and the laws of the District of Columbia, without regard to its conflict of laws principles. Any case, controversy, suit, action, or proceeding arising out of, in connection with, or related to these Terms of Use shall be brought in the appropriate federal court.

August 2011