Frequently Asked Questions

For people who are browsing EWA:


enlightenedWhy aren't there entries for X or Y country yet? You might look at our maps, and see a lot of regions with no entries. This is because our priority is to upload material in a respectful way, as part of a process of consultation and control by the communities of knowledge-origin. Also, when materials are kept private to the community itself (not open-access), they don't show up on the maps. 

enlightenedIs the material on EWA accurate? Material may be opinions, observations, narrations, interpretations, or records of knowledge in myriad forms, from the deep or recent past, or present day. Details should be included about where information comes from, whether a published source, grey literature, personal or oral knowledge, interviews, etc. If an item has no such details it is less valuable to the family/ community of the knowledge holder and to outsiders. From time to time actually fraudulent content might be posted in violation of EWA's Terms of Use-- if you notice this, please contact an EWA administrator.




For people who are contributing Digital Heritage or BirdWords to EWA:


enlightenedWhat are Communities and Cultural Protocols and how do I use them? See these help videos made by the Mukurtu designers


enlightenedHow do I best organize and manage media such as images, audio files, video, documents, etc.? We recommend that you create a folder on your device that holds all the materials you want to upload to EWA. If you have a lot of large videos, you may need to first put them on a hosting service like Youtube, Vimeo, etc. then EWA can stream them on your Digital Heritage entries.


enlightenedWhy isn't the scientific name I'm looking for in the dropdown list? Bird and other species names are changed frequently by taxonomists. EWA uses the BirdLife International/ IUCN lists of species that have been assessed as to conservation status. This includes all the known birds and most other life forms we're likely to tag. To track down a more recent synonym for the scientific name you are looking for, try searching the Catalogue of Life where you can get lists of synonyms and then figure out which yours is by geographic or other features.


enlightenedHow do I decide which Creative Commons License to use?

Quick answer: go to the Creative Commons website and use their simple decision tree to help you select a license.

More information: Creative Commons (CC) helps you legally share your knowledge and creativity online. Learn more about how Creative Commons provides free, easy-to-use copyright licenses to make a simple and standardized way to give the public permission to share and use your creative work–on conditions of your choice.

You may choose from six CC licenses (note that information provided here is directly quoted from the Creative Commons website):

1. Attribution CC BY: This license lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation. This is the most accommodating of licenses offered. Recommended for maximum dissemination and use of licensed materials.

2. Attribution-ShareAlike CC BY-SA: This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work every for commercial purposes, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms. This license is often compared to “copyleft” free and open source software licenses. All new works based on yours will carry the same license, so any derivatives will also allow commercial use. This is the license used by Wikipedia, and is recommended for materials that would benefit from incorporating content from Wikipedia and similarly licensed projects.

3. Attribution-NoDerivs CC BY-ND: This license allows for redistribution, commercial and non-commercial, as long as it is passed along unchanged and in whole, with credit to you.

4. Attribution-NonCommercial CC BY-NC: This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, and although their new works must also acknowledge you and be non- commercial, they don’t have to license their derivative works on the same terms.

5. Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike CC BY-NC-SA: This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work noncommercially, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms.

6. Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs CC BY-NC-ND: This license is the most restrictive of the six main licenses, only allowing others to download your works and share them with others as long as they credit you, but they can’t change them in any way or use them commercially.


enlightenedHow do I decide which Traditional Knowledge Licence to use?  Please visit and become familiar with the work of the folks at as EWA uses their framework for Traditional Knowledge Licenses and Labels. 


enlightenedIf I don't have my own pictures, how do I find images that I'm allowed to share online? Creative Commons has a portal to search for images that are labelled for various uses.  Also see this EWA collection of online resources for finding bird pictures that are in the public domain. For example, there are beautiful old illustrations in the public domain from the Biodiversity Heritage Library Flickr stream.


enlightenedIs EWA an archive that will preserve materials indefinitely?  No. EWA may evolve to have full archival-level standards of preservation, but currently operates only with excellent back-up capacity through the University of Oxford system. We unfortunately cannot guarantee against loss of materials so we recommend that all unique or valuable digital materials also be archived in appropriate dedicated language or media archives.


enlightenedShould I contribute materials to EWA that are secret, sensitive, or that really shouldn't be seen by any one?  No. Though all efforts are made to protect EWA materials from hacking and other accidents, we cannot guarantee this will never happen. Additionally, EWA administrators have access to all materials contributed, even those with private Cultural Protocol settings. 


enlightenedWhy isn't "+Digital Heritage" showing up for me in the Add Content dropdown list?  You must be a member of an EWA Community and at least one Cultural Protocol in that Community to see this option.


enlightenedWho may create content for EWA?  Any person 16 years and older who hasn't been blocked or banned from the site. EWA is made up of user-generated content, and only publishes material submitted by registered users. EWA accepts no liability in respect of any material submitted by users and published by EWA, and is not responsible for its content and accuracy. Any views expressed are the personal opinions of the contributor, and may not represent the views of EWA or any affiliated organisation unless specifically stated.  EWA attempts to provide a range of views from diverse communities. See EWA's Terms of Use for more guidelines.


enlightenedI have file cabinets full of material relevant to EWA. Can I mail it to EWA for upload to the site? Unfortunately EWA has no capacity to upload material to the site on behalf of users. If you have a significant collection, however, you could post a description of it on EWA and invite other users to help you with it. There are CSV and other bulk upload options as well.