Best Practices/Feedback to Improve Quality

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Overview

Feedback should be obtained from stakeholders to improve the quality of published information.

Many reusers often make copies of the governmental dataset in order to curate their local copy of the data. In many cases, to enable reuse it is necessary to improve its quality (e.g., fixing accuracy errors, or completing data), and this usually happens locally. This situation is not optimal: it leads to duplication of efforts and it reduces the possibility of sharing. An improvement could be achieved by asking governments to publish their dataset in standard formats (e.g., using the Resource Description Framework (RDF)), and by implementing feedback channels allowing improvements to be merged back into the original datasets.

Why

Quality of information is a concern of all stakeholders. Poor quality limits achievement of the goals of publishing public-sector information. But quality of collected information can be difficult to achieve.

Intended Outcome

The quality of published information is improved.

Possible Approach

Public sector bodies publishing information SHOULD provide feedback mechanisms by which stakeholders can identify mistakes and correct them where possible. One possible practical approach ccould be applying a distributed versioning system to the published data (in order to improve Open Data like it has been made for Open Source software), or simply enhance simple feedback loop using e.g., comment boxes, forums etc. Public sector bodies SHOULD actively encourage stakeholders/reusers to use these mechanisms.

How to Test

Whether feedback mechanisms are provided CAN be checked by reviewing the websites on which information is published.

Evidence

Many presentations and discussions at the Samos SHARE-PSI workshop mentioned the difficulties of achieving good information quality (for example: http://www.w3.org/2013/share-psi/workshop/samos/OpenCoesioneMonithon), and the implications of not doing so.

The need for information quality is described in the Open Public Sector Data Business Scenario.

The need for feedback from reusers in order to improve quality is also described in the EU commission notice 2014/C 240/01 paragraph 3.2: "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."

Lifecycle Stage

Planning, publication, external use, access, and feedback.

Audience

Everyone responsible for the creation or publication of public-sector information.

Related Best Practices

(To be added once the list of best practices is complete.)