Terms of Use & Privacy Policy

1. Morphobank Background

MorphoBank.org (“MorphoBank”) was created in 2001 under the leadership and guidance of Dr. Maureen O’Leary of The State University of New York at Stony Brook University (“SBU”) with funding provided to The Research Foundation for The State University of New York on behalf of SBU (“SUNY RF”) by the National Science Foundation (DBI 1457925). MorphoBank has been developed and sustained with additional funding from the National Science Foundation’s Directorates of Geosciences, Biological Sciences, and Computer and Information Science and Engineering (Grant numbers 1550251, 1208270, 1123321, 0629836, 0743309, 0743309, and 0622359) and from NOAA. SUNY RF owns the web application, database and compilations which make up MorphoBank (the “Materials”) under applicable copyright and other property rights and laws. MorphoBank is hosted at SBU in collaboration with its Department of Information Technology. The contents of MorphoBank (exclusive of the Data (as hereinafter defined) and other User uploaded information), including without limitation, any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations contained herein, if any, are solely those of SUNY RF and SBU, and do not necessarily represent or reflect the official views of the National Science Foundation or any other sponsor of MorphoBank.

2. MorphoBank Services

MorphoBank is a web application and database that provides scientists conducting comparative biological or paleontological research worldwide a private, online workspace into which they can load data (e.g., text; phylogenetic matrices, measurements, descriptions, and documents; metadata; and 2D and 3D media, sound and video) (collectively, “Data”), and then release such Data in conjunction with a peer-reviewed paper. Published MorphoBank data packages called “MorphoBank Projects” are then tagged with a digital object identifier (“DOI”). MorphoBank’s database includes fields for taxonomy that can be associated with different types of loaded Data, as well as a novel web-enabled phylogenetic matrix editor that allows teams to collaborate in real time and to load and archive Data in support of scientific observations. Data uploaded by a user is not visible to other MorphoBank users unless, and only if, the uploading user determines to publish such Data and clicks through the appropriate screens to “publish” the same. MorphoBank also has a novel web-based Media viewer that allows users to label anatomical features, and a graphical interface to record and display rules relating to phylogenetic characters. All of the foregoing functionality is referred to herein as the “Services”.

3. Applicability of Terms of Use

By using or accessing MorphoBank or the Services, you consent to a binding, non-exclusive agreement between you and SUNY RF wherein your use of MorphoBank and the Services is governed by these MorphoBank Terms of Use (the “Terms of Use”). If you do not agree to these Terms of Use, you may not access MorphoBank or the Services. Your use of MorphoBank or the Services is limited to non-commercial, academic or not-for-profit research and publication. You may not utilize MorphoBank or the Services if you are in any way acting on behalf of a for-profit entity or utilizing MorphoBank or the Services in furtherance of for-profit activities. Users desiring to use the Services for for-profit activities may apply for a commercial license by contacting SBU’s Office of Technology Licensing and Industry Relations at 631-632-9009.
Upon your agreement to utilize MorphoBank and the Services on the terms described herein, you may upload, extract, download, and make copies of your own Data and otherwise utilize the Services for your own academic and non-profit uses and purposes. You may create works based on your uploaded Data and freely redistribute those works by “publishing” such Data by clicking through the appropriate screens identified on MorphoBank. The publishing of Data is done at your own risk. SUNY RF and SBU are not liable or responsible for the use or misuse of any published Data by any person or entity, and make no warranties or guarantees that published Data will be properly used, acknowledged, or distributed. You may download, extract, and make copies of the published Data of any other MorphoBank users for scientific research and educational purposes only, and only in compliance with Terms of Use and all applicable laws, including without limitation applicable copyright laws. You also agree to properly acknowledge any such Data which you utilize. Except as otherwise expressly stated herein, no license or other property rights or interests, of any form, kind or nature, are granted in or to MorphoBank, the Services or the Materials herein. You may not facilitate unauthorized access by third-parties to MorphoBank, the Services or the Materials.

4. Attributions

By accessing MorphoBank and/or using the Services, you agree to provide attribution to MorphoBank. To attribute the use of the Data to MorphoBank, please cite the software as follows: O'Leary, M. A., and S. G. Kaufman. 2012. MorphoBank 3.0: Web application for morphological phylogenetics and taxonomy. http://www.morphobank.org. You may also be interested in citing the conceptual paper describing the database and tool as follows: O'Leary, M. A., and S. Kaufman. 2011. MorphoBank: phylophenomics in the 'cloud'. Cladistics. 27:1-9. You also agree to follow accepted scholarly norms for citing data and giving credit to fellow scholars (refer to Paragraph 3 of these Terms of Use). The desired format for links to the data packages is the fully resolvable DOI URL (http://doi.org/xxxxx, where xxxx = the numbers and letters of the specific DOI).

5. Prohibitions

You may not publicly represent or imply that either SUNY RF or SBU is participating in, or has sponsored, approved, or endorsed the manner or purpose of your use of the Data. You may not use any trademark or logo of SUNY RF or SBU, including any such trademarks or logos contained on or constituting a part of MorphoBank, without prior written permission from SUNY RF and SBU, as applicable. SUNY RF and SBU do not endorse or recommend any commercial products, processes, or services. The views and opinions of authors expressed on MorphoBank may not be used for advertising or product endorsement purposes. Some web pages contained within MorphoBank may provide links to other Internet sites only for the convenience of our users. SUNY RF and SBU are not responsible for the availability or content of these external sites, nor do SUNY RF or SBU endorse, warrant or guarantee the content, products, services or information described or offered at these third-party Internet sites.
Email addresses and other contact information of registered users on MorphoBank is provided exclusively for the purpose of furthering scientific discussions and collaborations. You may not send unsolicited single or bulk emails or any other communications (including, without limitation, bulletin boards, user-groups, or instant messaging services) to email addresses made available on MorphoBank or through the Services. SUNY RF and SBU only permit the sending of emails to recipients who would have reasonable expectations of receiving emails from the sender. You must not compile or distribute addresses of other users to third parties or use these addresses to advertise products or services, send junk mail, spam, or chain letters.
You may not use MorphoBank or the Services in any unlawful manner or in any manner that would impair the provision of the Services to others or that would compromise the security or functionality of MorphoBank or the Services. You may not post or submit any material or Data that is offensive, defamatory, illegal, or intentionally misleading or fraudulent. You may not post or submit any material or Data which comprises advertisement or solicitation.
You shall not (and shall not permit any third party to) either (a) take any action or (b) upload, download, post, submit or otherwise distribute or facilitate distribution of any Data or other content on or through MorphoBank or the Services that: (i) infringes any patent, trademark, trade secret, copyright, right of publicity or other right of any other person or entity or violates any law or contractual duty; (ii) you know is false, misleading, untruthful or inaccurate; (iii) is unlawful, threatening, abusive, harassing, defamatory, libelous, deceptive, fraudulent, invasive of another's privacy, tortious, obscene, offensive, or profane; (iv) contains software viruses or any other computer codes, files, or programs that are designed or intended to disrupt, damage, limit or interfere with the proper function of any software, hardware, or telecommunications equipment or to damage or obtain unauthorized access to any system, data, password or other information of SBU, SUNY RF, any other users of MorphoBank, or any third party; or (v) impersonates any person or entity, including any employee or representative of SBU or SUNY RF. Additionally, you shall not: (A) take any action that imposes or may impose (as determined by SBU and SUNY RF in their sole discretion) an unreasonable or disproportionately large load on SBU’s (or its third party providers’) infrastructure; (B) interfere or attempt to interfere with the proper working of MorphoBank or the Services; (C) bypass any measures SBU or SUNY RF may use to prevent or restrict access to MorphoBank or the Services (or other accounts, computer systems or networks connected to MorphoBank or the Services); or (D) run any form of auto-responder or “spam” on the Service.
SUNY RF reserves the right to remove any and all content for any reason, including just by way of example, content which, in the sole judgment and discretion of SUNY RF or SBU, is prohibited under these Terms of Use or which SUNY RF believes may infringe the copyright, trademark, and other property rights of third parties. SUNY RF and SBU reserve the right to take any appropriate action to preserve the security of MorphoBank and the Services.
SUNY RF reserves the right to remove, without notice, any and all Data and accounts that have been inactive for a significant amount of time. Inactivity sufficing removal is under the sole judgment and discretion of SUNY RF or SBU.

6. Provision and Termination of Services

While it is the ambition and desire of SUNY RF and SBU to continue to maintain MorphoBank and provide access to the Services, SUNY RF and SBU cannot, and do not, represent that access to MorphoBank or the Services will be available on a continuous basis or that MorphoBank or the Services will be made available on any specific platform or program. SUNY RF and SBU provide access to MorphoBank and the Services at their own discretion, and MorphoBank and the Services may be taken offline or made unavailable by SUNY RF or SBU at any time, for any amount of time. Notwithstanding the foregoing, SUNY RF will endeavor to provide you reasonable prior notice should there be a permanent cessation of operation of MorphoBank such as to allow you to relocate and preserve your Data. SUNY RF and SBU do not represent that either of them will provide technical support, and any such support that may be provided is understood as being provided without representations or warranties as to its continued provision.
SUNY RF and SBU reserve the right to suspend or terminate your account or cease providing you with all or part of the Services at any time for any reason, including, but not limited to a reasonable belief that: (i) you have violated these Terms of Use, or (ii) you have or will create risk or possible legal exposure for SUNY RF or SBU. SUNY RF and SBU may, at their sole discretion, discontinue providing all or part of the Services to any and all users.
In the event of any termination of your access to MorphoBank or the Services by SUNY RF or SBU, all licenses granted to you will terminate, including, without limitation, your license to access and use MorphoBank, the Services and the Materials. Notwithstanding such termination, all other terms and conditions of this Terms of Use will remain in force.

7. Privacy

SUNY RF will use reasonable efforts to protect the privacy of users and any personally identifiable information collected from users. By utilizing MorphoBank and the Services, you consent to being named as a scientific author and contributor. For planning, scientific review, and marketing purposes, SUNY RF will keep records of usage for the purpose of compiling aggregate usage information. Logs of usage may also be maintained for the purposes of monitoring and improving services or measuring the impact of a particular function on our resources. You hereby consent to the use of a Google Analytics cookie or similar monitoring tool which collects usage data regarding your use of the Service. You will be required to supply your name, the name of the institution with which you are affiliated, and an unique user name and password along with a valid email address for account registration. Students must register their advisor’s name. In the event that students who wish to register have no advisor, please use our Contact Us form to request approval. All other personal information is supplied by you on a voluntary basis.
MorphoBank is currently offered free of charge and SUNY RF and SBU do not store or record any credit card, debit card, bank account, or any other form of payment account information on its servers. If SUNY RF or SBU elects to charge for access to MorphoBank or the Services in the future, these Terms of Use will be revised to reflect any such new payment methodology.
SUNY RF and SBU may share with third parties without restriction ,aggregate information or individual information that does not personally identify a user, including without limitation Google Analytics. You are also hereby notified that SUNY RF or SBU may be required to disclose individually identifiable personal information about users of MorphoBank or the Services (i) if required by court order or applicable law; (ii) if necessary to perform or enforce these Terms of Use; (iii) in order to detect, prevent, or otherwise address fraud, security or technical issues; (iv) in order to respond to your support requests and improve services; (v) in order to protect the rights, property or safety of SUNY RF or SBU, its users and the public; or (vi) as necessary to enable third parties such as contractors to facilitate assistance in maintaining, improving or operating MorphoBank or the Services, provided all such third parties agree in writing to keep such information confidential.

8. No Warranties, Limitations on Liability

YOU EXPRESSLY UNDERSTAND AND AGREE THAT:
  • YOUR USE OF MORPHOBANK, THE SERVICES AND THE MATERIALS ARE AT YOUR SOLE RISK. MORPHOBANK, THE SERVICES AND THE MATERIALS ARE PROVIDED ON AN "AS IS" AND "AS AVAILABLE" BASIS. SUNY RF AND SBU MAKE NO REPRESENTATIONS OR WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, DESIGN, ACCURACY OF THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN MORPHOBANK, THE SERVICES OR THE MATERIALS, AND NON-INFRINGEMENT OF THIRD PARTY RIGHTS.
  • SUNY RF AND SBU MAKE NO WARRANTY THAT (i) MORPHOBANK, THE SERVICES OR THE MATERIALS WILL MEET YOUR REQUIREMENTS, (ii) MORPHOBANK OR THE SERVICES WILL BE UNINTERRUPTED, TIMELY, SECURE, OR ERROR-FREE, (iii) THE RESULTS THAT MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE USE OF MORPHOBANK, THE SERVICES OR THE MATERIALS WILL BE ACCURATE OR RELIABLE, (iv) THE QUALITY OF ANY PRODUCTS, SERVICES, DATA, OR OTHER MATERIAL PURCHASED OR OBTAINED BY YOU THROUGH MORPHOBANK OR THE SERVICES WILL MEET YOUR EXPECTATIONS, AND (v) THAT ANY ERRORS IN MORPHOBANK, THE SERVICES OR THE MATERIALS WILL BE CORRECTED.
  • ANY MATERIAL DOWNLOADED OR OBTAINED FROM MORPHOBANK, THE SERVICES OR THE MATERIALS IS ACCESSED AND UTILIZED AT YOUR OWN DISCRETION AND RISK, AND YOU WILL BE SOLELY RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY DAMAGE TO YOUR COMPUTER SYSTEM OR LOSS OF DATA THAT RESULTS FROM THE DOWNLOAD OF ANY SUCH MATERIAL.
  • NO ADVICE OR INFORMATION, WHETHER ORAL OR WRITTEN, OBTAINED BY YOU FROM SUNY RF, SBU OR THROUGH MORPHOBANK OR THE SERVICES WILL CREATE ANY WARRANTY NOT EXPRESSLY STATED IN THESE TERMS OF USE.
SUNY RF and SBU are not responsible for the content in MorphoBank, the Services or any Materials comprising opinions, advice, statements, services, offers, or other information or content expressed or made available by third parties. SUNY RF and SBU make no representation or warranty that the use of MorphoBank, the Services or the Materials as contemplated by these Terms of Use do not infringe the copyright or any other proprietary or intellectual property rights of any third party. SUNY RF and SBU in no way represent or warrant that they own or control all rights in Materials accessed via MorphoBank or the Services, and SUNY RF and SBU will not be liable to you for any claims brought against you by third parties in connection with your use of MorphoBank, the Services or the Materials.
UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES WILL SUNY RF or SBU BE LIABLE TO YOU OR ANY OTHER PERSON, FOR ANY SPECIAL, EXEMPLARY, INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES OF ANY CHARACTER ARISING OUT OF THE INABILITY TO USE, OR THE USE OF, MORPHOBANK, THE SERVICES OR THE MATERIALS BY YOU.

9. Governing Law, Jurisdiction, Remedies

Nothing herein shall constitute or be considered to be a limitation upon or waiver of the privileges and immunities of SUNY RF or SBU, all of which are specifically reserved.
These Terms of Use will be interpreted under and governed by the laws of New York (United States) excluding any laws that might direct the application of the laws of another jurisdiction. Each party waives all rights, if any, arising under the United National Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods, and all rights of application or appeal, if any, to non-U.S. courts in connection with any question of law. Any litigation arising from these Terms of Use or your use of MorphoBank or the Services will be undertaken in New York courts or Federal Courts located in New York, and each party consents to such jurisdiction. Each party shall be entitled, without waiving any other rights or remedies, to injunctive or other equitable relief.
SUNY RF has a property ownership as well as copyright rights covering MorphoBank, the Services and the Materials. You hereby acknowledge that the business of SUNY RF is dependent upon maintaining SUNY RF’s proprietary rights in and control of the MorphoBank, the Services and the Materials, and that any unauthorized reproduction, distribution, or furnishing of access thereto constitutes a fundamental breach of these Terms of Use, in which event, SUNY RF and SBU will be entitled to immediate injunctive relief and the immediate removal of all electronic copies of the Materials held by you (or your unauthorized transferees) without prejudice to any other rights or remedies to which SUNY RF and SBU may be entitled.

10. Changes to Terms of Use

These Terms of Use may be amended by SUNY RF from time to time at our sole discretion, without notice to you or other users. Please periodically review the controlling version of these Terms of Use available here. By continuing to access or use MorphoBank or the Services subsequent to SUNY RF making available an amended version of these Terms of Use, you acknowledge, agree and consent to such amendment.

11. Indemnity

You will indemnify, save, hold harmless and defend SUNY RF, SBU, and each of their trustees, officers, employees, agents, contractors and affiliates (each, an “Indemnified Party”) from and against any and all claims, damages, demands, actions, judgments, lawsuits, proceedings, assessments, liabilities, losses, penalties, costs and expenses (including, without limitation, reasonable attorneys' fees, costs and expenses), whether or not subject to litigation (collectively, "Indemnified Claims"), incurred by any Indemnified Party in connection with, by reason of, or arising directly or indirectly out of (i) use of MorphoBank, the Services or the Materials, including without limitation the upload of any Data, by you or any person acting by or through you (including, without limitation, by utilizing your login information), or (ii) the breach of these Terms of Use by you or any person acting by or through you (including, without limitation, by utilizing your login information).

12. Trademarks and Copyrights

Trademarks, service marks, logos, and copyrighted works appearing in or on MorphoBank or any of the Materials are the property SUNY RF and/or SBU or the party that provided the trademarks, service marks, logos and copyrighted works to SUNY RF and/or SBU, and no rights thereto are hereby granted, either expressly or by implication, all such rights being expressly reserved to the proper owner thereof.

13. Hyperlinks

This site may be hyperlinked to other sites which are not maintained by, or related to, SUNY RF or SBU. Hyperlinks to such sites are provided as a service to users and are not sponsored by or affiliated with MorphoBank, SUNY RF or SBU. SUNY RF and SBU have not reviewed any or all of such sites and are not responsible for the content thereof. SUNY RF and SBU are not responsible for webcasting or any other form of transmission received from any hyperlinked site. Hyperlinks are to be accessed at the user's own risk, and SUNY RF and SBU make no representations or warranties about the content, completeness, or accuracy of such hyperlinks or the sites linked thereto.

14. General Provisions

Each party will comply with all applicable laws. SUNY RF and SBU reserve the right to take any actions necessary in order to comply with applicable laws or court orders in any jurisdiction. These Terms of Use make up the entire agreement between you and SUNY RF, both individually and on behalf of SBU, and supersede any prior written or oral agreements related to the subject matter hereof. If any provision of these Terms of Use is unenforceable, it will not affect the other Terms of Use, which shall remain in full force and effect. A waiver of any provision or breach shall not be deemed to be a waiver of any other provision or breach. You may not assign or otherwise transfer your rights hereunder without the prior written consent of SUNY RF, and any transfer to the contrary shall be null and void. SUNY RF and SBU reserve their right to transfer all or part of their rights and obligations under these Terms of Use, including ownership and/or operation of MorphoBank, the Services or the Materials, to another entity.