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Best Practice: Enable feedback channels for improving the quality of existing government data

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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: Enable feedback channels for improving the quality of existing government data by Share-PSI 2.0 is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


The goal of this best practice is to improve the quality of government data by enabling feedback channels for users to report errors, inconsistencies, incompleteness in already published data. It is aligned with the European Commission notice 2014/C 240/01 paragraph 3.2 that states:

To facilitate the use of data in the public sector while significantly increasing the value of datasets for subsequent re-use, it is recommended that datasets be: [...] subject to regular feedback from re-users (public consultations, comments box, blogs, automated reporting, etc.) to maintain quality over time and promote public involvement.


Often re-users of governmental datasets make copies in order to curate their local copy of the data (for example, fixing errors or completing data). On the one side, this approach is not optimal as it leads to duplication of efforts and reduces the possibility of sharing and re-use, and on the other, the publisher would like to know about the user needs and the benefits of opening the data. Hence, the following questions can be raised by the publishing institution:

  • Who is accessing and using my data ? Does the data fulfill their need?
  • What are their experiences?
  • What is the true value of my data?
  • Can we increase our revenue by providing better services to our customers?


Responsible public sector bodies should provide feedback mechanisms through which stakeholders can identify mistakes and correct them where possible. One possible practical approach could be to use a distributed versioning system for the published data, such as GitHub, in order to improve open data as is common for open source software. Alternatively, provide a simple feedback loop using comment boxes, forums etc. Public sector bodies should actively encourage stakeholders/re-users to use these mechanisms.

Why is this a Best Practice?

Anyone using data, whether they're part of the organisation that creates it or an external re-user, will want the data to be accurate. This is difficult to achieve, requiring time and effort - i.e. it can be expensive. By creating mechanisms through which datasets can be corrected by the community of users, the cost is distributed. Although the data itself may not be crowd-sourced, its curation can be, to the benefit of everyone, including the publisher.

How do I implement this Best Practice?

The publisher needs tools for collecting feedback. Innovative ways such as crowdsourcing can be used for collecting and improving the quality of existing government data sources. Issue tracking and bug reporting platforms are commonplace in open source software projects and such tools can readily be used for collecting feedback about datasets.

Where has this best practice been implemented?

Country Implementation Contact Point
Poland Implementation of the revised re-use Directive in Poland, Open Data Portal Jacek Wolszczak, Ministry of Administration and Digitisation, Poland
Scotland ALISS service Peter Winstanley, Scottish Government, UK
EU FP7 ENGAGE project: feedback mechanisms based on Web 2.0 Charalampos Alexopoulos, University of the Aegean, GR
Czech Republic Fórum pro otevřená data Michal Tošovský


Local Guidance

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

Contact Info

Valentina Janev, Institut Mihajlo Pupin .

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

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