What terms of use for an image database

Hi everyone,
As our OMERO database grows in size and complexity we are going to put in place some terms of use. The kind of thing you agree to when you use the service. The idea is to put some limits to the messiness that is starting to grow in our server and to give us, the administrators, the right to clean up in the most extreme cases (untraceable rotation student’s data in default private group untouched for the last 3 years).

Here is a list of topics and thoughts that I considered adding to it.

  • Responsibility / liability:
    • Describe in detail what is our infrastructure in terms of security of the data: RAID redundancy, off-site backup,…
    • Define what would be the responsibility in case of data loss (in our case, I guess none)
    • Remind that the use of the database is subject too to the institutional terms. That covers a lot of the basics (no password sharing, no right to use someone else’s data,…)
  • Who owns the data: essentially clarifying that we do not own the data
  • In which context to keep the data: Data in the default group must be moved to a group within X months. We want to avoid group / PI orphaned data.
  • How long do we keep the data:
    • My idea would be, non annotated data must be removed after x years. Annotated data must be associated to a DMP (data management plan) and we would comply with that.
    • What do we consider ‘annotated’? I was thinking to base this on the requirements of IDR, as a reference.
  • Cost: We are currently not charging for the storage but, unfortunately we might have to one day. Two thoughts on this:
    • I’d like to open the door to this possibility saying something like ‘We might charge in the future’ and limit this to the price that academic institutions charge for this.
    • Unfortunately, making users pay is a efficient way to get them to clean up unnecessary data.

I wondered if anyone had something like that in place. I’d be happy with any resource, comment, idea, opinion,… about this. I tag this with omero, but of course the principles are going to be the same independently of the database used.

Cheers, Julio


Hi @juliomateos

we do have some rules in place for users that are not associated to our institute directly (i.e. other parts of the university etc.) as all of the funding of our OMERO is coming from the institute (so this is where we drew the only line so far).

The basic idea is to make users from outside the institute aware that they don’t have any claims towards us regarding support for special use cases / support, but that we’ll still try to help them as time permits.

I can summarize the document, but probably only after the currently ongoing OME meeting. Please feel free to remind me in case I forget.