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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.

Instruction & Data Services Librarian

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Mary Oberlies
Swem Library, Rm 129

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.