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Best Practices for Sharing Public Sector Information

As a result of the Share-PSI 2.0 Thematic Network's efforts, national, sectoral and community guidelines around implementation of the (Revised) PSI Directive have been created, or updated, taking into account the information exchanged at the workshops and codified by the standards bodies. Those local guides are able to refer to specific best practices as their authors see fit.

Technical best practices and relevant background material, have been developed and collated in the W3C's Data on the Web Best Practices. However, the Share-PSI workshops identified a number of Best Practices that are non-technical and therefore out of scope for the W3C Working Group but that complement the W3C work. Taken together, these 'two sets' of Best Practices underpin the sharing of PSI and have been collated here.

Citing Best Practices

Individual Best Practices in the W3C document can be cited using the relevant URI and fragment identifier. For example, the best practice 'Provide Metadata' can be cited using The summary is itself a list of citations (that is generated automatically).

The Share-PSI best practices exist as individual documents and therefore each one has its own URI, such as These URIs always resolve to the latest version of the best practice. In the unlikely situation that it is necessary to refer to a specific version of the best practice then this is possible using the 'dated URI' such as As an aside, this approach follows the W3C advice to Assign URIs to dataset versions and series.

The Best Practices

Policies and Legislation #policy
Legal requirements, licenses etc. licensing of information, data and metadata
Platforms #platforms
Open data platform(s), publication and deployment of information, data and metadata
Dataset criteria #criteria
Dataset criteria, priorities, value and scope
Charging #charging
Charging issues and proposals
Techniques #techniques
Techniques for opening data, technical requirements and tools.
Organisation #organisation
How to organise PSI sharing, necessary functions and communications
Formats #formats
Dataset structures, formats, APIs
Reuse #reuse
Encouraging (commercial) re-use
Persistence #persistence
Persistence and maintenance of data and metadata
Quality #quality
Data quality issues and solutions, quality assurance, feedback channels and evaluation.
Documentation #documentation
Documentation of information/data, creation of metadata.
Selection #selection
Selection of information/data to be published according to various criteria.
Discoverability #discoverability
Data discoverability.

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