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COMETS Reference Guidelines

By downloading and using the COMETS public-use data file, users agree to include the following citations in their references:

Additionally, users agree to include a reference in any Publication (a formal publication, on a website, or in some other venue will be considered “Publications”) utilizing the COMETS public-use data file as follows:

Certain data included herein are derived from the COMETS database release 2.0. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the National Science Foundation, or other funders of COMETS.

In all cases where individual copyright does not supersede the COMETS copyright, we exempt from use restrictions personal non-commercial use that conforms to our limited use policy as long as full citation to the source as above is made.


The Kauffman Foundation seeks to enable broad public access to any research results, reports, or articles that may be generated as a result of its support of the COMETS database. As such, by downloading and using the COMETS public-use data file, you agree to post all Publications in the Entrepreneurship Research & Policy Network (ERPN) of the Social Science Research Network (SSRN). To the extent that you have the right to do so, the reference shall include the actual Publication and an abstract of the full Publication.

The SSRN repository can include working papers, PDFs of PowerPoint presentations, reports, book chapters, as well as citations for published papers. If requested, you agree to collaborate with the Foundation on publicity related to the use of the COMETS public-use data file.

COMETS ©2011-2014 by Lynne G. Zucker and Michael R. Darby

This umbrella copyright does not take away any rights from the individual data source author’s copyrights as noted on this website. To be sure that your use is approved by the author(s) it is best to obtain written permission for the use you propose from them.

The full COMETS website is copyrighted under U.S. copyright laws. All rights reserved. Our limited data use policy specifically disallows any other web deployment of the data or other form of distribution of the data as posted here, the geo-coding embedded in our data files, or the organization matching embedded in our data files without explicit written permission from either Lynne Zucker or Michael Darby

Permitted uses

Provided you register on the COMETS site and comply with the following restrictions and requirements, you are granted a license to download and use the COMETS public-use data file consistent with the principles of fair use, and/or for educational, non-profit research or other non-profit purposes. In most cases, we will not consider republication of a substantially complete copy of the COMETS public use-data file to be fair use.

Restrictions on use

You may not republish a substantially complete copy of the COMETS public-use data file for political purposes or in connection with grassroots lobbying and you may not charge fees or tie advertising or other revenue streams to your republication of a substantially complete copy of the COMETS public-use data file. The original contributors will retain all ownership of the COMETS public use-data file and the components thereof. You are prohibited from making any claims of ownership with respect to the COMETS public-use data files or the components thereof and may not make any derivative works except to the extent that you acknowledge the Foundation’s ownership rights using the Reference Guidelines below.

Conditions of use

To facilitate accurate use of the data, you agree to make a good faith effort to follow the recommended best practices for use of the COMETS data (such as describing the sample correctly, etc), to comply with the Reference Guidelines below, and to work in good faith with the Foundation or its representatives to accurately communicate research resulting from the COMETS data.   By using the data, you agree that your use shall be governed by the laws of the United States and the State of Missouri.