Timişoara Workshop: Open Data Priorities and Engagement — Identifying data sets for publication

Call for Participation

This workshop, the third in the Share-PSI series, is designed to gather experiences as data holders prioritise their datasets for publication and engage directly with users, whether those users are private individuals, commercial companies or public sector bodies, part of the same organisation or external to it. The aim is to identify best practices in these areas with a focus on Public Sector Information, although cultural heritage, commercial and scientific data are also relevant.

A number of specific questions are being raised and these will form the backbone of the event but, of course, related topics are also very much in scope.


In 2013, the G8 published its Open Data Charter. This built on earlier work, including the Shakespeare Review of Public Sector Information and both emphasised the need for

…a clear, visible, auditable plan for publishing data as quickly as possible, defined both by bottom-up market demand and by top-down strategic thinking, overcoming institutional and technical obstacles with a twin-track process which combines speed to market with improvement of quality:

  1. an ‘early even if imperfect’ track that is very broad and very aggressively driven, and
  2. a ‘National Core Reference Data’ high-quality track which begins immediately but narrowly;

and then moving things from Track 1 to Track 2 as quickly as we can do reliably and to a high standard. ‘Quickly’ should be set out by government through publicly committed target dates.

This need for a clear plan was highlighted again at the first Share-PSI 2.0 workshop in Samos. In that workshop, Uses of Open Data Within Government for Innovation and Efficiency, the importance of a strategic plan with high level endorsement and support was repeatedly made very clear.

But … budgets are tight and becoming ever tighter. How can PSI provision be prioritised? How do you rank national core reference data in importance? Is it a question of making a decision at the top or of responding to demand from elsewhere?

Again referring to the first Share-PSI 2.0 workshop, we heard experiences of both approaches from the Czech republic. Priorities need to be set through dialogue between all stakeholders.

Workshop Aims

To help define Best Practice and available methods for:

  • assessing the priority order for releasing datasets;
  • making high quality reference datasets available;
  • making available data that may be incomplete or imperfect in such a way that it is valuable to reusers but that does not put a heavy burden of liability on providers;
  • receiving and acting on feedback from the user community.

Workshop Questions

Questions we'd like to address include, but are not limited to:

  • On dataset priorities
    • What are the key criteria for prioritising datasets for publication?
    • How can the priorities of the producers and the users be balanced when selecting datasets for publication?
    • Should producers of the same category (e.g. municipalities or local governments) publish a common set of datasets (e.g. budgetary data, public transport data etc.)? If yes, how should this common set of dataset should be identified and how can these datasets be provided in a coherent and interoperable manner?
    • Should the potential for reuse, both for commercial and non-commercial purposes, play a role in the selection process? If so, how can this potential be measured and/or evaluated?
    • How do you create synergies and avoid redundant efforts when establishing and maintaining an overview/inventory of the data in the organisation? And how is this coordinated across different teams working on, for instance, open data, information security, archiving, performance reporting, knowledge management etc.
  • On engagement
    • How can public bodies engage the potential reusers of their data?
    • What methods are available to reusers of your data to send you feedback about your data?
    • How do you handle feedback received so as to improve your data?
    • Should data producers track use of, and demand for, data? If so, how?
    • How does data visualisation foster participation in political and social life, and increase transparency of government?
  • Related Questions
    • How can/should public authorities respond to community efforts to crowd source data that replicates official data that is not open? (e.g. address data)
    • What could be the role of standard disclaimers or positive statements (sometimes known as 'proclaimers') to communicate the extent to which data can be guaranteed to be complete?
    • What quality aspects need to be considered for different types of data?
    • What are the challenges and possible solutions for the persistent maintenance of data over time?

In short, this workshop is about the relationship between data owners and data reusers, whether those reusers are from other parts of the same organisation or external to it. The focus is on the public sector but, as ever, there are many lessons that can be learned from the private, research and cultural heritage sectors which are equally welcome.

Workshop Style

UVT logo

The workshop is hosted by Department of Computer Science of West University of Timişoara, Romania.

As with the Share-PSI 2.0 event in Lisbon in December 2014, the majority of the two days of the workshop will be devoted to small groups meeting to discuss particular themes. Session leaders are asked to facilitate a discussion, not give a presentation. See the Sunlight Foundation's Tips & Tricks page/video for more. In addition to the planned sessions, there will also be an opportunity to propose ad hoc discussions on the day (bar camp sessions).

The style will therefore be highly interactive discussions where participants can talk about ideas and possible solutions to common problems. Up to 5 sessions will be running at any one time.

In addition, there will be two plenary sessions that will include a small number of presentations of high quality work and some keynote talks.

Whatever the specific topic of the session or talk, we're looking for answers to three questions:

  1. What X is the thing that should be done to publish or reuse PSI?
  2. Why does X facilitate the publication or reuse of PSI?
  3. How can one achieve X and how can you measure or test it?


There are several ways in which you can participate:

  1. Lead a session. This entails facilitating a discussion. It may begin with a very short set up presentation but 90% of the time should be allocated for discussion. Proposals should not be academic papers but descriptions of the discussion you would like to lead and the experiences you have to offer. These are expected to be 1 or 2 pages in length.
  2. Give a plenary talk. Longer papers, up to a maximum of 5 pages in length, are invited for consideration as the basis of a plenary presentation of which no more than 3 are expected to be presented at the workshop.
  3. If you would like to attend but do not wish to lead a session or give a plenary presentation, please outline your interest in a short position paper. The intention is to make sure that participants have an active interest in the area, and that the workshop will benefit from their presence.

Session proposals and plenary papers will be subject to review by the Programme Committee. Closely related session papers will be grouped together so that authors of selected papers will need to decide ahead of time who will actually lead the session, which is likely to last approximately one hour.

Anyone present at the workshop may propose a bar camp session. Ideas can be submitted at any time before or during the workshop. There's no Programme Committee review - people vote with their feet on the day!

Submission guidelines

Papers should be submitted in a non-proprietary format (HTML, PDF, ePub etc.) via e-mail to group-share-psi@w3.org no later than the deadline. If you already subscribe to any W3C mailing lists you'll be able to post to that address, if not, please send your submission to Phil Archer. Please include an abstract of the paper in your e-mail. Note that the archive for this e-mail address is visible to Share-PSI partners and W3C Team only.

Submissions by more than one author are welcome; however only the coordinating author (as indicated in the submission) of the selected paper will be invited to take part in the Share-PSI workshop. Additional authors will be able to attend the workshop only if space allows. All selected contributions and associated slides will be published in the Share-PSI 2.0 Web site after the announcement of results under a ccBy licence.

Call for collocation

The Share-PSI 2.0 partners encourage other groups to propose sessions and perhaps hold face to face meetings in Timişoara around the time of the workshop in March 2015.

The Timişoara workshop, with its highly interactive format across multiple tracks, is a perfect place to boost your project's dissemination activities.


The venue for the workshop is the West University of Timişoara Blvd. V. Parvan 4, Timisoara 300223, Timis, Romania. See the Practical Info page for more details.

Questions? Please contact Phil Archer, Share-PSI 2.0 coordinator and W3C Data Activity Lead.