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.

Matomo, a Javascript-based analytics tool, is used to generate usage statistics for the main web site. It stores IP addresses in an anonymised format. It does not log user names. uses its own private instance of Matomo so no analytics data is shared with third parties.

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 Opt-in to receive emails is given on registration by ticking the “newsletter” checkbox and can be withdrawn at any time by unchecking the “newsletter” checkbox in a user's account settings.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: Usage statistics for the main website are generated with Matomo. Matomo is configured to fully anonymise IP addresses and no personally identifiable information is retained in the logs. Matomo is also configured to respect Do Not Track headers.

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.

Matomo web analytics are kept for 3 months, then stored only in aggregated (daily/weekly/monthly) form.

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.
  • For anonymised website analytics generated with Matomo, as outlined above.

Sharing with third parties uses DigitalOcean and Amazon AWS to host its infrastructure. Personal data provided by users and statistics generated during the operation of are stored on systems operated by those companies. uses CloudFlare to provide security, content delivery network and caching services.

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

24 May 2018


Questions regarding this policy or the service can be sent to [email protected]. uses cookies to deliver its services. By continuing to use the site, you agree to this.