- Genome Browser
- My Data
- About Us
This is a public website. There is no license or permission needed to use the website and any data on it. You can also load your own data onto our website and look at it there, and use track hubs or custom tracks to configure how it is displayed, as a commercial, non-commercial or any other entity. However, when you use the UCSC Genome Browser in your work, please cite one of our publications.
Permission is granted for reuse of all graphics produced by the UCSC Genome Browser website. There is no need to contact us to get permission. If your publisher, notably Elsevier, insists on getting approval, please direct them to this webpage. However, when you use the UCSC Genome Browser in your work, please cite one of our publications.
As far as the UCSC Genome Browser group is concerned, the raw table data and binary files used to create the graphics by the browser is freely available for both public and commercial use. This applies to data that is downloaded as files via http, https, ftp or rsync, and equally when data is accessed through the public MySQL server or via the web API. The only exception are the liftOver chain files, they can be linked, downloaded, used and redistributed, but only for non-commercial use see the liftOver README.
Sometimes, the source databases or authors place restrictions on data. In very rare cases, the genomes come with citation requirements. The README.txt file in the download directory of each assembly shows the original restrictions pertaining to the genome sequence itself by the original authors; most assemblies do not have any restrictions.
Certain genome annotation data, mostly on the human genome and in the domain of clinical genetics, have specific restrictions. For some of these, we are not allowed to make the data available. Usually the data must be obtained from the source database directly in the original format or licensed, rather from UCSC. Examples are HGMD, LOVD, OMIM, Decipher, Genomenon, Genehancer and COSMIC. For viral genomes, any GISAID-sequences or any data derived from GISAID sequences cannot be shared by us. Please see the respective track documentation pages on these assemblies for more details, by selecting the assembly and clicking the track title in the genome browser. They usually list or link to the exact license conditions. Files for these tracks are not available from our download servers, please contact us for questions or if you need a pointer to the respective conversion scripts in our Github code repository.
The majority of the Genome Browser source code is available under the MIT license, see the LICENSE file in our source code repository. As such, the Unix command line utilities needed to build tracks, track hub files, computational pipelines, and our hundreds of tools to filter, sort, rearrange, join, and process genome annotation files can be used and redistributed freely via package managers and installation tools, even for commercial use (except BLAT/LiftOver). Notable examples are bedToBigBed, wigToBigWig, overlapSelect, featureBits, pslMap, pslFilter and pslCDnaFilter.
The exceptions are source code directories with special LICENSE files in them.
the programs that produce the graphical images or user interface
for the UCSC Genome Browser. This includes the following subdirectories under
cgilib hgApi hgCollection hgFileSearch hgFileUi hgGateway hgGene
hgGenome hgIntegrator hgPal hgPcr hgPhyloPlace hgPublicSessions hgSession hgSuggest
hgTables hgTrackUi hgTracks hgVai hgc hubApi near visiGene liftOver
See the LICENSE file in the top level of our source code for a listing of licenses and directories that they apply to: https://github.com/ucscGenomeBrowser/kent/blob/master/LICENSE. Directories under non-commercial licenses have LICENSE files in them that start with the "LicenseRef-proprietary" SPDX tag.
When you use the UCSC Genome Browser in your work, please cite one of our publications.
Non-commercial usage for the Genome Browser graphical interface (primarily the "hgTracks" program), including download and local installation, aka setting up a "mirror", is free. When you use the UCSC Genome Browser in your work, please cite one of our publications.
For commercial use, a license is required for download and local installation of
certain Genome Browser webserver CGI binaries and source code. In the source
code repository, the respective directories are marked by special LICENSE
files in them. As specified above, this applies to
kent/src/jkOwnLib, and the following subdirectories and
kent/src/hg. The majority of license protected files
are the programs that produce the graphical images and the graphical user interface
for the UCSC Genome Browser:
cgilib hgApi hgCollection hgFileSearch hgFileUi hgGateway hgGene hgGenome
hgIntegrator hgPal hgPcr hgPhyloPlace hgPublicSessions hgSession hgSuggest hgTables hgTrackUi
hgTracks hgVai hgc hubApi near visiGene liftOver
Also, BLAT and isPCR, if needed, are covered by a separate license (see below). This concerns
the source code directories
To purchase a commercial license for Genome Browser source code, LiftOver, GBiB, or GBiC, please visit the Genome Browser store.
We also have an FAQ on licensing questions which may help to clarify questions on how to license the code. We also have documentation on how to choose the best option for a local installation of a Genome Browser "mirror".
If you would like to purchase the Genome Browser source code without going through our store, please follow these instructions:
Genome Browser licensing questions should be directed to email@example.com. For information about commercial licensing of the Blat and In-Silico PCR tools, see the Kent Informatics website or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
See the LICENSE file in the top level of our source code for a listing of licenses and directories that they apply to: https://github.com/ucscGenomeBrowser/kent/blob/master/LICENSE.
This software includes software made by open-source projects: