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While the process of choosing a rights statement for your collection will differ between institutions, the process for submitting this information with the rest of the metadata to Europeana is standardised.

Once you've identified the right statement(s) for your item or collection, please consult information on our Knowledge Base for aggregators which provides information on how to technically submit rights statements to Europeana.

Europeana will check the validity of rights statements before publication.

Europeana’s approach to accuracy

As a data provider, you have the responsibility to ensure that the rights statement that you submit is accurately chosen. This means that it reflects any rights that might exist in the underlying object, that it does not claim rights that do not exist, and that it flags any other relevant conditions to reuse. This includes complying with the national law and conducting, if necessary, a rights clearance process.

From the Europeana Foundation, we take a ‘clean hands’ approach. As a data provider, you are responsible for ensuring that the rights information that you provide is correct, and we assume that you have undertaken the correct level of due diligence and labelled the digital objects accurately.

However, we also wish to support our data providers to make sure rights statements are applied correctly. In order to do this, the submission of the rights statements will prompt a manual review by Europeana Foundation staff during the ingestion process (prior to publication), and we may at this point question the use of some rights statements. This approach enables a consistent standard to be reached when applying rights statements, which ultimately helps users to be clear on how the objects and collections can be used.

We also analyse the data post-publication to ensure and verify a consistent level of accuracy of rights statements across the database. There may be situations post-publication when it becomes clear that the chosen rights statements do not meet the acceptance criteria. We will discuss these issues with you when they occur.

Rights statements and the Europeana API

Rights statements are shared via the API in the same way that any other metadata field is shared. The rights statement in the edm:rights field provides information about the conditions of use of the linked digital objects.

The statements are a fully searchable field, and most of our rights statements pages are described in a machine readable way using the semantic web standard RDF. You can find a list of the most-used rights statements that are used in the edm:rights field at the bottom of this Help page.

Rights statements in the Europeana website

Users of the Europeana website find all the relevant rights information below the digital object. By clicking through the rights statement that accompanies an object, users will access a webpage that describes the rights and permissions in more detail. Explore an example.

Rights preferences can also be indicated when conducting a search in Europeana. Through the 'can I use it' filter, users can search works by rights statements so that they only see works that can be used the way they want.

Good practice by (re)users

We want to make sure that users of digital cultural heritage that have access to your data via the Europeana website and API use it in a way that is respectful with your institution and the people or communities that the cultural heritage relates to.

That is why anyone who accesses your data via Europeana is encouraged to respect the public domain usage guidelines, and the usage guidelines for metadata.

In addition, we really believe that proper attribution is valuable, respectful and necessary. An attribution snippet therefore automatically generates when a user downloads a digital object.

This page was updated on 30/06/2023 to add a link to the Knowledge Base for Aggregators, where the most up-to-date technical information about submitting rights statements to Europeana sits.