Earthworm Data

It is the aim of the Earthworm Society of Britain to increase our understanding of earthworms in the UK and the ecological impact that these animals have on their environment. This involves ensuring that earthworm records are shared widely and are available for other potential data users to put the data collected by earthworm recorders and research institutions to good use. So, exactly what happens to earthworm records after they have been submitted to the ESB or iRecord?

NERS stats August 2023

Journey of an earthworm record

Processing Records are processed and subjected to NERS verification protocols. Where necessary, queries are sent to recorders. Records that are processed through iRecord are then available for both the Earthworm Society of Britain and the relevant Local Environmental Records Centre to download.

Collation Records are added to the relevant dataset. The following datasets are currently managed by the ESB:

  1. Earthworm Research Records (UK) 
  2. Environment Agency Eiseniella tetraedra records (England)
  3. National Earthworm Recording Scheme records (Channel Islands)
  4. National Earthworm Recording Scheme records (Isle of Man)
  5. National Earthworm Recording Scheme records (United Kingdom)
  6. Earthworms of Ireland (Ireland)

Dissemination The ESB then shares these records:

  • Locally by emailing all earthworm records to all of the Local Environmental Records Centres in the UK on an annual basis.
  • Nationally through bi-annual uploads of ESB datasets to the NBN Atlas and Biodiversity Ireland.
  • Internationally by authorising NBN Atlas and Biodiversity Ireland datasets to be uploaded to the Global Biodiversity Information Facility.

Earthworm Recording Data Flow

Open Data Agreement for Earthworm Records

The Earthworm Society of Britain (ESB) actively encourages the use of our data and hopes that it can be used to further the current understanding of earthworms, both nationally and internationally. We are always interested to hear about how others have used our data (whether for use in science, sociology, art or anything else) and are glad to have produced a resource that is being put to use.

We ask all our data suppliers to read the information below and only submit records to the ESB if they are happy with the data-sharing policy outlined.

Access to ESB earthworm records

John Sawyer NBN Open Data AwardThe ESB has an open data policy, allowing open access to our earthworm records with no constraints to the use of the data and ensuring records are available at the full resolution they are accepted at.

This is achieved through the submission of our databases to the National Biodiversity Network (NBN) Atlas and Biodiversity Ireland. As a Data Sharing Partner of the NBN, the ESB is committed to ensuring this data is updated on a regular basis (and no less than twice per year). In 2019 the Earthworm Society of Britain was awarded the John Sawyer NBN Open Data Award. This award recognises and celebrates the outstanding contribution of NBN Data Partners towards achieving the NBN vision of “collecting and sharing biological data openly to educate and inform”.

Furthermore, we allow our records to be made available through:

  • Global Biodiversity Information Facility (an international open data infrastructure, funded by governments) in accordance with their vision: "A world in which biodiversity information is freely and universally available for science, society and a sustainable future."
  • Local Environmental Records Centres (LERCs) (regional not-for-profit organisations that collect, collate and manage information on the natural environment for a defined geographic area). ESB data is submitted to LERCs annually through ALERC, though no formal data sharing agreements exist.


A full list of earthworm occurrence datasets managed by the ESB is provided below alongside links to the data.

  1. Earthworm Research Records (UK)
  2. Environment Agency Eiseniella tetraedra records (England)
  3. National Earthworm Recording Scheme records (Channel Islands)
  4. National Earthworm Recording Scheme records (United Kingdom)
  5. Earthworms of Ireland (Ireland)

Licences and attribution

Open license CCBY logoAll data submitted to the Earthworm Society of Britain is assigned a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International licence as it is recommended for maximum dissemination and use of licensed materials.

It allows others to:

  • Share — copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format for any purpose, even commercially.
  • Adapt — remix, transform, and build upon the material for any purpose, even commercially

(The licensor cannot revoke these freedoms as long as you follow the license terms.)

Under the following terms:

  • Attribution — Users must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.
  • No additional restrictions — Users may not apply legal terms or technological measures that legally restrict others from doing anything the license permits.

GBIF logoUse of ESB datasets in scientific literature

The following research papers are cited through GBIF as using ESB data:

Arlé, E. et al. (2021) 'bRacatus: A method to estimate the accuracy and biogeographical status of georeferenced biological data', Methods Ecol Evol., 12, pp. 1609– 1619. DOI: 10.1111/2041-210X.13629.

Beery, S. (2021) 'Scaling biodiversity monitoring for the data age', XRDS, 27(4), pp. 14–18. DOI: 10.1145/3466857.

Booysen, M. et al. (2018) ‘Earthworms (Oligochaeta: Lumbricidae) of Interior Alaska’, Biodiversity Data Journal, 6, p. e27427. DOI: 10.3897/bdj.6.e27427.

Buffalo, V. (2021) 'Quantifying The Relationship Between Genetic Diversity And Population Size Suggests Natural Selection Cannot Explain Lewontin’S Paradox', Elife, 10. DOI:10.7554/elife.67509.

Chapman, A. et al. (2020) ‘Developing Standards for Improved Data Quality and for Selecting Fit for Use Biodiversity Data’, Biodiversity Information Science and Standards, 4. DOI: 10.3897/biss.4.50889.

Giannini T.C. et al. (2021) 'Flora of Ferruginous Outcrops Under Climate Change: A Study in the Cangas of Carajás (Eastern Amazon)', Frontiers in Plant Science, 12. DOI: 10.3389/fpls.2021.699034

Hughes, A.C. et al. (2021) 'Sampling biases shape our view of the natural world', Ecography, 44, pp.1259-1269. DOI: 10.1111/ecog.05926.

Karlsson, K. (2021) 'Using airborne eDNA to study ecosystem dynamics'. Umeå, Sweden: Umeå University.

Li, X. et al. (2020) ‘Deeply digging the interaction effect in multiple linear regressions using a fractional-power interaction term’, MethodsX, 7, p. 101067. DOI: 10.1016/j.mex.2020.101067.

McGeoch, M.A. et al. (2021) 'Policy-relevant indicators for invasive alien species assessment and reporting', bioRxiv. DOI: 10.1101/2021.08.26.457851.

Oliver, R.Y. et al. (2021) 'Global and national trends, gaps, and opportunities in documenting and monitoring species distributions', PLOS Biology, 19(8): e3001336. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.3001336.

Pelletier, T.A. et al. (2021) 'phylogatR: Phylogeographic data aggregation and repurposing', bioRxiv. DOI: 10.1101/2021.10.11.461680.

Perez‐Navarro, M.A. et al. (2021) 'Temporal variability is key to modeling the climatic niche', Diversity and Distributions, 27, pp. 473–484. DOI: 10.1111/ddi.13207.

Qu, J. et al. (2021) 'MODB: a comprehensive mitochondrial genome database for Mollusca', Database, 2021, baab056. DOI: 10.1093/database/baab056.

Ramírez, F. et al. (2022) 'Challenges for Marine Ecological Assessments: Completeness of Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable Biodiversity Data in European Seas', Frontiers in Marine Science, 8. DOI: 10.3389/fmars.2021.802235.

Ruiz, S.A. et al. (2021) 'Global earthworm distribution and activity windows based on soil hydromechanical constraints', Commun Biol , 4, 612. DOI: 10.1038/s42003-021-02139-5.

Samarakoon, M. C. et al. (2018) ‘Combined multi-gene backbone tree for the genus Coniochaeta with two new species from Uzbekistan’, Phytotaxa, 336(1), p. 43. DOI: 10.11646/phytotaxa.336.1.3.

Satterthwaite, E.V. et al. (2021) 'Establishing the Foundation for the Global Observing System for Marine Life', Frontiers in Marine Science, 8. DOI: 10.3389/fmars.2021.737416  .

Walton, S. et al. (2020) ‘Landscape Analysis for the Specimen Data Refinery’, Research Ideas and Outcomes, 6. DOI: 10.3897/rio.6.e57602.

Yesuf, G. U. et al. (2021) ‘Predicting range shifts for critically endangered plants: Is habitat connectivity irrelevant or necessary?’, Biological Conservation, 256(109033) p. 109033. DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2021.109033.

Zizka, A. et al. (2020) ‘Transitions between biomes are common and directional in Bombacoideae (Malvaceae)’, Journal of Biogeography, 47(6), pp. 1310–1321. DOI: 10.1111/jbi.13815.


Creative Commons License
Except where otherwise indicated, this work was created by Keiron Derek Brown on behalf of the Earthworm Society of Britain and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.