The KSS collects and archives all data relevant to the cave and karst features of the state in the effort to document and protect Kentucky's world-class karst landscape and ecosystems. The database is managed with the intended use as a resource for researchers, conservationists, government agencies, private groups and individuals, and commercial enterprises. Access to data within the KSS database is granted through an approval process and requires submission of a Data Request Form (available online and in hard copy).

Requests are reviewed by the Data Access Committee, with consideration given to the protection of sensitive resources and the privacy of landowners. If after review, the committee decides not to grant a request due to conflict with these considerations, it is still within the goal of the organization to provide the requestor with any alternative resources or other helpful information possible.

Ownership, distribution, and replication rights are specifically not granted to any requesters. Requesters may be asked to sign a confidentiality agreement stating that the information shall not be disseminated without written permission of the Data Access Committee, or other agreements as requested by the committee. Wherever applicable, the requester may be asked to make a report stating the scope of their use of the data and any findings to the KSS in a timely manner.

Commercial requests for data are assessed a fee for the search, and for the data returned. There is a $50 search fee, and a fee of $10 for each location returned.

Searches are conducted on an as-staffed basis and are not guaranteed to be returned quickly, nor is the data in any way warranted as correct. An initial response can be expected within one week, though the request may not be processed in this timeframe depending on workload. Please inform us of any deadlines that must be met.

Data Requests can be submitted by completing the Data Request Form online or by downloading the Data License and submitting a hard copy.