Preparing data for release

How should I approach licensing and charging?

Agencies will need to license their data appropriately, with clear terms surrounding copyright and use. Where possible and appropriate, a non-restrictive licence should be used to promote maximum dissemination and reuse of the data.

  • Existing licensing arrangements – where this makes the data available according to the principles of the Policy.

  • Standardised licensing frameworks, such as Creative Commons where existing licensing arrangements are not suitable, or there is no existing licence in place.

  • Other approaches to licensing – there may be instances where agencies are required to set out special copyright arrangements; legislation stipulates a particular copyright position; or a more restrictive licence to those provided under Creative Commons is required.

  • Intellectual property – data may have inherent intellectual property and deliver more value and better outcomes for the State when access to the data is managed appropriately. Agencies should consider the Western Australian Government Intellectual Property Policy 2015.

Wherever possible, agencies should make data available at no cost to users in order to maximise the potential for reuse. However, there may be legitimate instances where agencies consider applying a reasonable charge for the data. Agencies are encourage to discuss with the lead agency for implementation (Landgate).

How should I format the data to make it usable?

Data should be published in internationally recognised, open standard formats that make it easy to use and transform. Non-proprietary and machine-readable formats are ideal. Data as collected at the source, with a high level of granularity is preferred, however some data may be best published in aggregate or modified forms, for example where there are privacy considerations.

Other resources:

How do I make the data easy to understand?

Data should be published with:

  • metadata to better enable users to understand the data and how best to use it; and

  • a statement regarding the data’s purpose and quality, including sufficient information about any caveats or limitations with regard to the dataset. This will better enable users to decide whether a dataset is suitable for their purposes.

Resources: the ABS Data Quality Statement Tool which helps with assessing and reporting on the quality of data; and the Australian Government Open Data Toolkit – How to use data.gov.au – Metadata

How often (i.e. frequency) should I publish data?

Data should be as up-to-date as possible and made available to users in a timely manner. As data is updated, agencies should aim to make it available as soon possible, or on a consistent, periodic basis.


Refer to Appendix A of the Western Australian Whole of Government Open Data Policy for the definitions of terms used throughout (indicated in italics).