Copyright and Terms of Use

Terms of Use

The copyright of all digital and printed works produced by Dictionaries of the Scots Language SCIO (DSL) is owned by DSL. The works include the Dictionaries of the Scots Language Online which comprises electronic editions of the Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue and the Scottish National Dictionary and their supplements and appendices; the Concise Scots Dictionary; the Essential Scots Dictionary; the Schools Dictionary; the Scots Dictionary for Schools app; and other digital data sets such as word collections and  transcriptions.

Our websites and apps make available parts of that data to you solely for non-commercial research purposes (such as private reference, personal research, background research for authors, and the provision of teaching materials). It is, however, not an open dataset; beyond limited extracts of up to a few hundred words which are necessary for your research or teaching, you may not reproduce, copy or transmit any part of the data on this site without an explicit licence from Dictionaries of the Scots Language SCIO. Researchers must ensure that their use of the  data does not breach these conditions of use, especially with regards to quantity of data accessed and reproduction or transmission of such data.

We must protect and safeguard the copyright of this data under the conditions of our funders, and also because all royalties and other income from DSL data are used to support our ongoing work.

We appreciate being informed about uses of the DSL data in any field – please contact us at

Downloading  DSL Data

Regardless of your purpose, you are not permitted to use this site to gain access to a significant amount of DSL data. Only limited quantities of data can be made available through our websites and apps, although the amount which can be accessed is more than sufficient for almost all research purposes. It is explicitly prohibited to use DSL websites and apps to systematically download large amounts of our data.

Obtaining DSL Data for Research

We are always pleased to discuss the use of DSL in research projects. Should you be involved in a research project which requires a substantial amount of DSL data, please contact us at On application, we can discuss no-cost research licences for DSL data, providing your purposes do not overlap with an in-progress research project for which a license has already been issued.

Commercial Purposes

You may not use the material on this site for commercial or for-profit purposes. We are not opposed to commercial use of DSL data, but in accordance with our contract with our funders, data from this site cannot be used for commercial purposes by third parties. If you have an idea for a commercial project, please do contact us at to discuss a possible partnership opportunity.