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Application for a download of the World Register of Marine Species (taxonomic data only)

Users are requested to provide detailed information relating to the planned usage of the data. Partial or incomplete applications will not be considered. Data downloads include taxonomic data only and are provided in Darwin Core (CSV) format

All WoRMS content is open-access. It is created by the time of contributors and the host institution staff, and supported by intermittent funding that they obtain through submitting proposals to research funding agencies and foundations.We encourage you to consider financial support for WoRMS in your own funding applications. These funds will be used to support experts with grants to improve the content of the database. Information on how you can financially support the database is available at:

World Register of Marine Species

Terms of Use


Steering Committee of the World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS)

represented by Vlaams Instituut voor de Zee (VLIZ)


To facilitate accessibility of data on marine (and brackish) organisms WoRMS grants to the licensee a licence to use and redistribute the taxonomic content of the World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS Content) subject to the terms and conditions set out herein. WoRMS Content has been assembled from the scientific literature by hundreds of voluntary editors. By citing WoRMS, users offer recognition for the collective effort of the WoRMS team help to sustain the WoRMS in the future.


WoRMS Content means the content contained on the open access WoRMS database released as a readable file (but currently excluding content supplied to WoRMS from the external database ‘AlgaeBase’), including the scientific and vernacular names, accepted names and synonyms, citations, status, record status, rank, parent, and sources.



Subject to the terms of this Agreement, WoRMS grants to the licensee a limited, non-exclusive, non-transferable, non-assignable, licence (without the right to grant any sub-licences) to use and distribute the WoRMS Content as part of its activities.

On a quarterly basis, WoRMS will provide access to the most recently updated copy of the WoRMS Content electronically as a specific download page on the WoRMS website.



  • The licensee is responsible for acknowledging the source of WoRMS Content by citing WoRMS in any product, derivate, website, publication, database, or similar, using the following format (respectively the currently applicable version of this citation):
    WoRMS Editorial Board (2024). World Register of Marine Species. Available from at VLIZ. Accessed 2024-03-04. doi:10.14284/170
  • The licensee provides a link to the WoRMS website from that of the licensee for information purposes such that awareness of the WoRMS Content is extended to as wide an audience as possible.
  • The licensee acknowledges that all Intellectual Property Rights in the WoRMS Content belong and shall continue to belong to WoRMS.The licensee acknowledges that it shall have no rights in or to the WoRMS Content other than the right to use it in accordance with the terms of use outlined in this document.
  • When distributing WoRMS Content, the licensee ensures that the WoRMS Content in its product/app/software/database/… is being updated at least 4 times a year.
  • When distributing WoRMS Content, the licensee will not provide an online variant of WoRMS through a website in a format that could be viewed as competition with WoRMS.
  • If the licensee commits a material breach of any of the conditions in this document all rights granted to the licensee under the Terms of Use defined in this document shall cease and the licensee shall cease all activities previously authorised by this document.
  • The licensor offers the licensed material as-is and as-available, and makes no representations or warranties of any kind concerning the licensed material, whether express, implied, statutory, or other. This includes, without limitation, warranties of title, merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, noninfringement, absence of latent or other defects, accuracy, or the presence or absence of errors, whether or not known or discoverable.
  • To the extent possible, in no event will WoRMS or VLIZ be liable to the licensee or the users of the licensee’s software on any legal theory (including, without limitation, negligence) or otherwise for any direct, special, indirect, incidental, consequential, punitive, exemplary, or other losses, costs, expenses, or damages arising out of this licence or use of the licensed material, even if WoRMS or VLIZ have been advised of the possibility of such losses, costs, expenses, or damages.