Share-PSI 2.0 logo

Best Practice: Dataset Criteria

This version
Latest version
Previous version

This is one of a set of Best Practices for implementing the (Revised) PSI Directive developed by the .

Creative Commons Licence Share-PSI Best Practice: Dataset Criteria by Share-PSI 2.0 is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


This best practice sets out a number of criteria that can be used to prioritise the publication of some datasets ahead of others.


To develop the criteria for ‘high-value datasets’ taking into consideration the likely re-use of open data and to help governments understand which datasets to prioritise for publication.


To follow this guidance on dataset criteria which has been developed through engaging with both users and re-users of the data. The characteristics of ‘high-value datasets’ are seen from three perspectives: re-usability, value for data owners, value for re-users.


  • High-value data should reach at least 3-stars on Tim Berners-Lee's 5 star schema (making it available on the Web under an open licence in a non-proprietary, structured format).

Value for data owner

A dataset may be considered of high-value when one or more of the following criteria are met:

  • sharing it contributes to transparency;
  • the publication is subject to a legal obligation;
  • the data directly or indirectly relates to their public task;
  • sharing it helps with cost reduction.

Value for reusers

The value of a dataset primarily depends on its use and reuse potential, which can lead to the generation of business activity. The potential of the dataset is defined by:

  • the size and dynamics of the target audience;
  • the number of systems or services that could use the dataset.

Datasets contributing to transparency have a strong social impact and re-user’s interest in these datasets is high.

Engaging with Reusers

It is important to engage directly with reusers to understand the value of your dataset. Recommendations:

  • establish a communication channel, for example, with a mailing list or a community on Joinup or on the Open Data Portal that could be used to make announcements to re-users and to gather feedback;
  • use collaborative tools. This encourages collaboration between a community or re-users and the cross-fertilisation of ideas and business opportunities.

Why is this a Best Practice?

It’s important to have a shared understanding of what can be considered to be high-value datasets so that publication of these datasets can be prioritised.

Why is there a need for this Best Practice?

Understanding which datasets should be published, under what criteria and priority, will help public authorities to see the benefits of publishing more high quality datasets.

How do I implement this Best Practice?

In order to implement this BP you need:

  • an understanding of high-value data;
  • communication channels with data users and data reusers.


Local Guidance

This Best Practice is cited by, or is consistent with, the advice given within the following guides:

Contact Info

Nicolas Loozen, PwC

Issue Tracker

Any matters arising from this BP, including implementation experience, lessons learnt, places where it has been implemented or guides that cite this BP can be recorded and discussed on the project's GitHub repository

$Id: Overview.php,v 1.6 2016/08/19 09:02:17 phila Exp $