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Finding Open Datasets

Looking for open datasets? This guide provides access to reliable open data repositories and information about open data.

Navigating this Guide

Looking for open datasets? This guide contains a curated selection of open data indexes as well as information on open data.

  • United States: Locate recommended government websites storing open data.
  • Europe: A list of open data websites focused on Europe and European government organizations. 
  • Data Indexes: Data indexes collect datasets available freely on the web and allow you to conduct simple searches. This page lists several reliable data indexes.
  • Qualitative Datasets & Scholarly APIs: A short list of sources that can be used for qualitative data projects, including some APIs and Jupyter notebooks. 
  • Datasets available @ Swem: W&M Libraries provide access to datasets through our subscriptions, check out your options here!

What is Open Data?

The Open Data Handbook defines open data as:

Open data is data that can be freely used, re-used and redistributed by anyone - subject only, at most, to the requirement to attribute and sharealike. 

To be considered open data it should be in a format that is easy to modify and work with, be reusable - including remixing the data with other data sets - and open for anyone to use with no cost associated. From a governmental standpoint, open data promotes transparency and accountability. 

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