Privacy Policy

The Encyclopedia of Life consortium (EOL) is committed to the responsible handling of the information and data it collects. EOL provides this privacy policy to explain what information it collects through its website (www.eol.org) and how that information is used. Members of the consortium adhere to this policy when acting as part of EOL.

Non Personal Information Collected Automatically

EOL permanently logs standard non-personal technical information, such as browser type and IP addresses of the website visitor’s computer, in order to better understand traffic patterns, technical needs, and improve performance.

We use third party analytic traffic analysis services to provide quantitative analysis about EOL usage patterns. This information does not include name, email, address or telephone about your visits to this website.

EOL uses a third-party vendor, currently Google Analytics, to place cookies and analyze the information collected by cookies in order to make the EOL website more interesting and useful. Information that EOL collects from cookies will not be used to create profiles of users and only will be used in aggregate form. You may set your browser to refuse cookies from any website that you visit. Turning off cookies will disable functionality enabled by logging into the site including the ability to add or alter existing content in anyway. However, all regularly viewable content will remain accessible. You also may opt out of Google Analytics by using a browser opt out.

Personal Information You Provide to EOL

You do not need to provide any personal information to access the information on the EOL site.

In order to gain access to the interactive features of EOL, you must provide a valid e-mail address. 

Other than this, EOL collects information that you choose to provide to it. You decide how much information to provide and by which method you provide it, including without limitation:

  • When you request news and information.
  • When you register with EOL.
  • When you participate in EOL by submitting content and feedback.
  • When you provide personal information in connection with your participation in any of the forums or social media EOL makes available to the world.
  • When you donate money to EOL.

What EOL does with Personal Information

EOL handles your personal information responsibly according to the circumstances by which you provided it.
  • Subscriptions: If you sign up for a newsletter or the RSS feed, you will be asked to provide an e-mail address. EOL newsletter subscription capability is powered by iContact, a third-party e-mail marketing vendor, and personal information is used for the purpose of managing registrations and communication. Your use is subject to iContact’s privacy policy and other terms which govern the use of those services. The policies can be found on their site.
  • Registration: When you register with EOL you are asked to provide contact information and a profile. Personal information that you provide during the registration process is not available to the public. 
  • Participating in EOL by Submitting Content: EOL is committed to building an open access collection. If you help build the Encyclopedia of Life by submitting content (images, text, videos, or other information), your submission will be publicly archived. Do not include in your submission any personally identifiable attribution or other information that you do not want publicly shared. Please be aware that your username will be available to the public. You should also be aware that third party entities may use aggregate data which does not identify you for research purposes (e.g., to determine how citizen scientists interact with scientists and how EOL interacts with citizen scientists and scientists).
  • At this time, videos and photographs must be submitted via EOL’s Flickr group, Vimeo, Wikimedia, or any of EOL’s other content providers; your use of these third party technologies is subject to the third party’s privacy policy and other terms which are available on those websites.
  • Participating in EOL by Submitting Feedback: You may submit feedback directly to EOL staff via the website or using staff contact information provided on the website. If you include personal information in your feedback, it will be used only for the purpose of responding and providing follow up information.
  • You also may provide feedback publicly by using third party feedback mechanisms. Your use of these third party feedback mechanisms is subject to the third party’s privacy policy and other terms. The policies are available on those websites. Be aware, that even if a discussion is available only to registered EOL users, the discussion remains public in nature because registration with EOL is open to the general public.
  • Supporting EOL by Making Donations: When you donate money to EOL via EOL’s donor page, EOL will use your personal information for the purpose of processing your donation. EOL donation capability is powered by Cybersource Corporation, a third-party e-commerce vendor. As such, your use is subject to the Cybersource’s privacy statement and other terms which govern the use of those services. The policies are available on their site. EOL also uses the personal information to contact donors about upcoming news and events relevant to EOL.
EOL may share information with third parties if it has a good faith belief that such disclosure is reasonably necessary to (a) take action regarding suspected illegal activities; (b) enforce or apply EOL’s policies or terms; (c) comply with legal process, such as a search warrant, subpoena, statute, or court order; or (d) protect EOL’s rights, reputation, and property, or that of EOL users, partners, or the public. Otherwise, EOL does not rent, sell, or provide your name or contact information to third parties.

You Control Your Email and Communication Preferences

EOL may send e-newsletters and other electronic announcements to registered members of the site, to newsletter subscribers, to RSS feed subscribers, and to individuals and organizations that provide content to EOL. E-mail recipients may opt out at any time by following the "unsubscribe" instructions included in the e-mail message. Website registrants may subscribe or unsubscribe at any time to newsletters and other notifications by changing their preferences online with EOL.

Third Party Embeds, Links, and Technology

From time to time EOL embeds a third party’s technology or links to third party websites. The third parties operate independently of EOL and EOL does not have control over their privacy practices or content; EOL’s use of third parties is not intended to be an endorsement of the third party, its technology, website, or content.

EOL recommends that users read the privacy policies at all websites they visit.


EOL takes reasonable precautions to prevent unauthorized access to EOL information. Unfortunately, no website can fully eliminate security risks. You are responsible for maintaining the secrecy of your registration and password information.


EOL does not knowingly collect personally identifiable information from children under 13. If a parent or guardian becomes aware that his or her child has provided us with Personal Information without their consent, he or she should contact EOL at secretariat@eol.org. If EOL becomes aware that a child under 13 has provided EOL with Personal Information, EOL will delete such information from its files.

Your Comments are Welcome

EOL is a consortium with many people sharing responsibility. Please direct your input regarding the privacy policy to secretariat@eol.org .

EOL may update this privacy policy from time to time; updates will be posted on this page.