iNaturalist copyright

I’m writing a booklet on the natural history of an area and wanted to talk about future recording and submitting records. Is it sufficient to just quote iNaturalist as the preferred submission mechanism or do I need specific permission to mention it in writing?

Maybe you find an answer here under Science and Research

I’m not 100% sure (you could post a draft of text or something for better feedback), but I don’t think referring to iNat would involve any kind of copyright issues. If you copied some text from iNat’s documentation or something like that you should cite it. However, if it is just your own words talking about iNat, you will be fine.


I’m not a lawyer, but I doubt you need permission to mention iNat.


If you’re referencing specific observations or using photos you’ll need to adhere to the content licenses of the users who posted them (many people, myself included, use CC BY-NC and in those cases attribution is enough for non-profit projects). Simply recommending that readers use the site to upload observations will not get you into trouble.


I agree with @annemirdl and @cthawley that you probably don’t need permission to include the address of iNaturalist and suggest people post to it, any more than you would need permission from Facebook or Instagram to do the same.

The one thing I would say for any print material linking to a website, make it clear when you checked the website and wrote your advice. In academic writing this will already be part of your citation style, but for less formal work, still say “As of February 2023…” or similar.


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