Permitted Uses

Data Nuggets at Michigan State University holds the copyright for all the activities and associated materials on this website. Use of Data Nugget activities and materials must conform to our policies and restrictions, which we detail on this page. Please note:

  • We do not allow posting of content found within Data Nugget activities, Teacher Guides, templates, or any other associated materials on any other publicly accessible websites.
  • Scientists and other individuals who create Data Nuggets maintain all rights and permissions for their data and images included in activities.
  • Violations of our policies will be investigated and pursued.


As the copyright holder, Data Nuggets at Michigan State University encourages use of Data Nuggets for educational and not-for-profit use by individual educators, professional development providers, researchers, and administrators. In most cases, the use of Data Nuggets falls under standard usage and does not require permissions. However, there are non-standard cases where permission is necessary. Below we clarify our distinction between standard usage and non-standard usage.

Standard Usage

Standard usage of Data Nuggets means that you do not need to contact us for permission. In order to fall into this category, each of the following conditions must be met. Failure to meet any of these criteria means that usage is considered non-standard. To be standard, usage must be:

  • Educational
  • Non-profit
  • In print format, or on a password-protected website on your school’s intranet or on a course management system, which only the teacher and students can access. In cases of professional development (PD) training, similar organizational sharing is acceptable if limited to the PD provider and participants.

The following are typical examples of standard usage.

  1. Teaching materials: Educators may use our activities in their classrooms in accordance with “fair use” guidelines without seeking our permission. This includes modification of materials to fit a classroom setting, including personalization of activities for students. Data Nuggets are available on our website in PDF format, but are available as Microsoft Word documents upon request. When activities are used, the author(s) of the activity and Data Nuggets should be acknowledged as the source.
  2. Professional development (PD): We encourage PD providers to use our materials to train educators as a component of not-for-profit PD offerings. This includes training provided within districts or educational organizations and projects. We also encourage the use of our materials to facilitate training for scientists and researchers, regarding the communication of scientific research to broad audiences.
  3. Educational conference: We hare happy to have educators disseminate Data Nuggets at educational conferences by including them in their workshops and talks. If you plan an event where you’ll be using Data Nuggets, let us know and we can help disseminate!

Non-Standard Usage

All other uses of Data Nuggets we consider to be non-standard usage and requires our formal permission before proceeding. To request permission, please email Liz Schultheis and Melissa Kjelvik at In most cases we will allow the usage of materials and we will email you a response quickly and let you know if any additional information is required.

Examples of non-standard usage includes but is not limited to:

  1. Inclusion of material in a commercial text book.
  2. Use of Data Nuggets as assessments for students at the district or state level.
  3. Use of Data Nuggets for research purposes where data collection occurs. This includes data collection intended for publication in the science education literature, or for use by districts and administrators to track students performance.

Restrictions and Limitations

Student versions of Data Nuggets are hosted on our website and may not be re-posted on other publicly accessible websites or databases. We strictly control the access to the Teacher Guides associated with each Data Nugget. Teachers, instructors, PD providers, and administrators may download our Teacher Guides after requesting permission by filling out a short form that can be found here. Teacher Guides serve both as answer keys to each activity, as well as providing educators with additional notes, teaching tips, and links to additional resources. The use of Teacher Guides is restricted to the standard usage guidelines described above. Reproduction of our notes or answer keys in any form is prohibited without our written permission.


Copyright for all Data Nugget activities is held by Michigan State University. To determine whether you need our permission to use materials, see our Permissions section above.

Scientists and researchers maintain all rights and permissions to the data found in our activities or on our website. Data Nuggets use datasets with direct permission from their sources. All reproduction or hosting of data is prohibited without written permission from Data Nuggets or the author directly. Data Nuggets are often based on ongoing or recently completed research, and therefore many of these datasets are not yet published or in the public domain. When data is available through other sources, please follow the guidelines put forth by that institution. For example, some datasets are available in the public domain through repositories, such as Dryad, or networks, such as the LTER. Dryad’s policies can be found here. LTER’s policies can be found here.

Images on our website are either owned by Data Nuggets, used with direct permission from their sources, believed to be in the public domain, or incorporated into our activities according to “fair use” guidelines. Images will occasionally have their sources acknowledged in their captions when expressly requested by the author. To request the use of an image, please contact us or the author directly.