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Web Policies and Important Links

Where applicable, the National Agricultural Library's (NAL) Statements and Disclaimers link to the appropriate pages on the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) or United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) websites. If you have any comments or questions about the information presented here, please contact us.

Copyright Statement

Most information on the NAL website is in the public domain and can be freely distributed or copied. We request byline, photo, or image credit as follows: "National Agricultural Library, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture." Some materials on the NAL website are protected by copyright, trademark, or patent restrictions, or are provided for personal use only. NAL uses this material with permission and has made every attempt to identify and clearly label copyrighted items. You may need to obtain permission from the copyright, trademark, or patent holder to acquire, use, reproduce, or distribute these materials.

Links to Other Sites from the NAL Website

The NAL website links to many other websites. The copyright and licensing restrictions of the linked site apply to all content on that site. It is the sole responsibility of those visiting the NAL website to examine carefully its content and that of all linked pages for copyright and licensing restrictions and to secure all necessary permissions.

Copyright Restrictions for Requesting Library Materials

The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specified conditions requires the photocopy or reproduction not be "used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research." (17 U.S.C. §§ 1.108) If a customer makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of "fair use," that customer may be liable for copyright infringement. NAL reserves the right to refuse to fulfill a copying order if, in the judgment of NAL staff, doing so would violate copyright law.

Freedom of Information Act

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) gives any person the right to request access to federal agency records, except those protected from disclosure by legal exemptions and exclusions (e.g., classified national security, business proprietary, personal privacy, and investigative documents).

Submit FOIA requests for NAL through the Agricultural Research Service.

Discussion Group Disclaimer

The National Agricultural Library hosts e-mail based discussion groups. The views, opinions, and validity of information expressed in those discussion groups are solely the responsibility of the original sender. The use of trade, firm, or corporation names and the data provided are for the information and convenience of the reader. Such use does not constitute an official endorsement or approval by the U.S. Department of Agriculture or the National Agricultural Library of any product, service, or information to the exclusion of others that may be suitable.

NAL Agricultural Thesaurus and Glossary

The NAL Agricultural Thesaurus is the National Agricultural Library's controlled vocabulary. The companion Glossary provides definitions for many terms within the Thesaurus. Both are updated annually. Users are encouraged to obtain and reference the latest edition.

Terms and Conditions of Use

As a work of the U.S. Government, the NAL Agricultural Thesaurus and Glossary are in the public domain within the United States. Additionally, the U.S. Government waives copyright and related rights in this work worldwide through the CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication.


The definitions contained in the NAL Agricultural Thesaurus and Glossary do not constitute USDA's official use of terms and phrases for regulatory purposes and nothing in the Thesaurus and Glossary should be construed to alter or supplant any other Federal document. Official terminology may be found in the laws and regulations as published in the Congressional Record, Federal Register, and other official sources.

Privacy Policy

Our privacy policy is clear: We do not collect any personal identifiable information (PII) without your explicit consent.

Visitor Information Collected and Stored Automatically

If you do nothing during your visit but browse through the website, read pages, or download information, certain information about your visit will automatically be gathered and stored. This information does not identify you personally. Only the following information about your visit will be collected and stored:

  1. The Internet domain or the IP address from which you access the website
  2. The type of browser and operating system used to access the site
  3. The date and time you access the site
  4. The pages you visit
  5. If you came to our site from another website, the address of that website

We use this information to help make NAL's site more useful to visitors. Information about individuals and their visits is not tracked or recorded.

What We Do with Personal Information

If you choose to provide personal information via an e-mail to NAL or by submitting a form through the website, we use that information only to respond to your message and to help locate the information you requested.

NAL is required to maintain many documents under the Presidential Records Act for historical purposes; however, personal information is not collected for any purpose other than to respond to you. We will share the information you give us with another government agency only if your inquiry relates to that agency or as otherwise required by law. We do not create individual profiles with the information you provide or share it with any private organizations. We do not collect information for commercial marketing.

Links to Other Sites

NAL's website has links to many other websites. Once you access another site through a link from the NAL website, you are subject to the privacy policy of the new site.

Website Security

For site security and to ensure that this service remains available to all users, NAL employs software programs to monitor network traffic to identify unauthorized attempts to upload or change information or otherwise cause damage.

Except for authorized law enforcement investigations, we will make no other attempts to identify individual users or their usage habits.

Unauthorized attempts to upload information or change information on this service are strictly prohibited and may be punishable under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986 and the National Information Infrastructure Protection Act.

To learn more see the USDA Privacy Policy.

Non-Disclosure Agreements Notice

As a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) employee, you may have been required to sign a non-disclosure policy, form, or agreement (NDA) to access classified or other information. You should read the following statement as if it were incorporated into any NDA you have signed:

"These provisions are consistent with and do not supersede, conflict with, or otherwise alter the employee obligations, rights, or liabilities created by existing statute or Executive order relating to (1) classified information, (2) communications to Congress, (3) the reporting to an Inspector General of a violation of any law, rule, or regulation, or mismanagement, a gross waste of funds, an abuse of authority, or a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety, or (4) any other whistleblower protection. The definitions, requirements, obligations, rights, sanctions, and liabilities created by controlling Executive orders and statutory provisions are incorporated into this agreement and are controlling."

The provisions in the following list of Executive orders and statutory provisions are controlling in the case of any conflict with an USDA NDA.

  • Executive Order No. 13526;
  • Section 7211 of Title 5, United States Code (governing disclosures to Congress);
  • Section 1034 of Title 10, United States Code, as amended by the Military Whistleblower Protection Act (governing disclosure to Congress by members of the military);
  • Section 2302(b)(8) of Title 5, United States Code, as amended by the Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989 (governing disclosures of illegality, waste, fraud, abuse or public health or safety threats);
  • Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982 (50 U.S.C. § 421, et seq.) (governing disclosures that could expose confidential Government agents);
  • The statutes which protect against disclosure that may compromise the national security, including sections 641, 793, 794, 798, and 952 of Title 18, United States Code; and
  • Section 4(b) of the Subversive Activities Act of 1950 (50 U.S.C. § 783(b)).

Special Collections Disclaimer

Special Collections of the National Agricultural Library (NAL) acquires, arranges, describes, preserves and makes available rare materials significant to the history of agriculture. Materials are obtained through donation or active collection in accordance with the established Special Collections collection development policy. Special Collections staff organize and describe materials according to archival principles and create descriptions and indexes to enhance access. Staff do not edit or otherwise modify the original materials. The views expressed in the collections do not necessarily reflect the policies of the National Agricultural Library or the United States Department of Agriculture.

Additional Relevant Policies

For the following topics, the National Agricultural Library adheres to the policies of the Agricultural Research Service or the United States Department of Agriculture. Links to these policies are provided for your convenience.