Privacy Policy

What data is collected

When signing up for an account, users provide their name, email address, and optionally, institution. Users can change this information at any time in their profile settings.

On first use of the forum, users’ profile information (name and email address) is copied into their profile. Users can update that information by visiting their profile settings on

The Discourse forum running on stores IP address data for security and spam protection. These data are not shared with the main site and are not used for analytics or tracking purposes.

Each API request is logged. API request logs do not contain IP addresses or usernames.

Usage statistics for the main website are generated with Fathom. Fathom is "a modern analytics tool that’s easy to use and treats citizens of the web with respect and privacy". It does not store any personally identifiable information and does not track users between visits. It does not use cookies.

How data is used

Name and email: We use names and email addresses to contact users with news (if they ticked the “newsletter” checkbox on registration or in their account settings). Opt-in to receive emails is given on registration by ticking the “newsletter” checkbox and can be withdrawn at any time by unchecking the “newsletter” checkbox in a user's account settings. Emails are used to inform users about major updates to or issues with and sent every two months at most. The forum uses name and email to send notifications on new topics, mentions, or private messages on the forum, as per the user’s profile settings.

Anonymised usage statistics: We may use the institution name (if given) and email domain names to compile aggregated, anonymised statistics on what institutions located in what countries have signed up for a account.

API performance monitoring and debugging: API logs are used to identify and debug possible API issues, such as requests returning an error or degraded API response speeds. They may also be used to generate anonymous statistics about API usage with respect to what datasets and what geographical regions are of particular interest to users and deserve further development effort.

IP addresses: The Discourse forum running on uses IP address data for security and spam protection. These data are not shared with the main site and are not used for analytics or tracking purposes. Website statistics and API logs for the main site do not contain IP addresses.

Website statistics: Usage statistics for the main website are used to understand which pages are accessed how frequently and how this develops through time.

How long data is kept

User profile data is stored for as long as a user account exists on the main website and the Discourse forum on

API logs older than 7 days are automatically deleted from the online system; older API logs are kept in encrypted offline backup.

Fathom web analytics are stored indefinitely. They do not include any personally identifiable information (see

System and database backups are retained for a maximum of 6 months before being deleted.

Accessing your data

To obtain a copy of the personal information held on you, email [email protected] with your user name (the email address you used to sign up to

Deleting your account

To delete your account, email [email protected]. On account deletion, data associated with that user account is removed from our systems but retained in backups until they are purged.

Use of cookies uses cookies for the following purposes:

  • To identify a user’s session and protect against Cross-Site-Request Forgery (CSRF) attacks
  • To identify whether a user is logged in to the site.
  • To identify whether a user is logged in to the Discourse forum.
  • To track whether a user has seen and dismissed the welcome message and cookie law notification banner.

Sharing with third parties uses Hetzner to host its primary infrastructure. Amazon AWS is used for additional services like sending email. CloudFlare is used to provide security, content delivery network and caching services.

Personal data provided by users and statistics generated during the operation of are stored on systems operated by these companies.

Data collected by are not shared with any third parties except as necessary for the operation of with the processors listed above.

Changes to this policy

This policy may be changed at any time with changes published through updates to this document. Material changes to the policy will be communicated to all registered users by email.

Date last updated

8 December 2022


  • 8 December 2022: Updated to reflect the move to Hetzner for hosting
  • 23 April 2019: Updated to reflect use of Fathom for analytics
  • 24 May 2018: Initial version


Questions regarding this policy or the service can be sent to [email protected].