The UK Open Data Institute has launched Open Data Certificates, and legislation.gov.uk, the UK Government’s official online legislative information service, will be implementing them, according to the ODI announcement.
“Certificates are created online, for free, at
Here is a partial description of the certificates, from the announcement:
The certificate is made up of two components:
1) a visual mark that shows the quality level of the data
2) a human and machine-readable description of the data being released
There are four levels of certificates:
- Raw: A great start at the basics of publishing open data.
- Pilot: Data users receive extra support from, and provide feedback to the publisher.
- Standard: Regularly published open data with robust support that people can rely on.
- Expert: An exceptional example of information infrastructure.
Benefits of the certificates include helping:
- publishers of data understand how they can better connect with their users;
- users of data to understand its quality, licensing, structure, and its usability;
- businesses, entrepreneurs and innovators have confidence that the data has value to them;
- policy-makers benchmark and compare the progress and quality of the data released.
Commercial and public sector organisations have already committed to the certificates including:
- Open Corporates: corporate information for over 50 million companies worldwide
- OpenStreetMap: the free wiki world map offering worldwide open geodata
- legislation.gov.uk: 500 years of UK legislation information
- amee: an environmental score for each of the 2.7 million companies in Britain
- MastodonC: energy monitoring data analysis from Retrofit for the Future projects
- Placr: transport data covering all 360,000 stops and stations nationwide
Jeni Tennison, Technical Director at the ODI said:
‘Publishing open data can be difficult, time-consuming and may need the support of legal and technical teams. Anyone who gets a certificate, at whatever level, has done really well.’
‘The Expert level sets a very high bar. This ambition underpins the potential we see in open data if it is published well. We don’t know who will be the first to attain an Expert certificate, but whoever it is will be celebrated!’
‘Certificates are created online, for free, at
. The process involves publishers answering a series of questions, each of which affect the certificate generated at the end.’
In a series of tweets on 15 June 2013 (here, here, here, and here), Jeni said that ODI currently had “no revenue stream” associated with the certificate program, but that they were “working it out”; that ODI would not charge for certificates but “probably” would charge for “auditing/advice/training”; and that ODI would not seek exclusivity over the certificates in the future, since ODI’s goal was “more+better open data” and “exclusivity would work against that.”