Data Publishers: Access & Use summaries are now live

At data.wa.gov.au we believe there’s undeniable value in being able to discover more than just the data that’s open and widely available.

For our users though, the number one piece of feedback has been the need for a quick and easy way to tell whether they can access a dataset. So, we’ve been working on making this key information clearly visible in the data.wa.gov.au catalogue. We’re also providing improved options for you to communicate important restrictions and licensing information surrounding your data.

For more information about these changes check out our blog post Introducing Access & Use summaries.

What's changed for me?

Metadata fields you complete in DataWA’s data catalogue allows you to customise the Access & Use Information summary to suit your needs:

An image of an Access and Use card

There are 2 sets of required fields:

  • Access levels
  • Dataset maintainer contact information

There are 4 optional fields:

  • Data Access Statements
  • Custom Licence URLs
  • Additional licensing options URLs
  • Request Access URLs

What do I need to do?

We’ve pre-populated some of these for you, so there’s only a couple to do right now:

  1. Take a look at your existing datasets to familiarise yourself with the access categories.
  2. Update your maintainer contact details to a current email address.

Everything else can be done incrementally, as you refine what you want to communicate to data users.

If you have a lot of datasets to update, let us know – we can save you time and do it automatically for you. For example, if you have the same data access statement for lots of datasets, or you need to add licence information en masse, please get in touch!

Key features

Below are the key features you’ll want to be aware of, with links to new toolkit articles at the bottom of this email.

Simplified access categories

We’ve pre-populated these based on what you’ve already told us about your data – each dataset now has a straight-forward label that indicates whether the data is open or in some way restricted.

More flexible licensing options

Creative Commons remains the recommended option for publishing open data in Western Australia, but we recognise that not all data suits a CC licence. If you have custom licences, or more than one licence available, you can now provide direct links to these on your datasets.

For data publishers who have adopted the Creative Commons licensing suite, you don’t need to do anything – choosing a CC licence automatically links to the relevant licence on the creativecommons.org website.

Data access statements

Data access statements provide you with the opportunity to communicate key information about who the intended audience of your data is, and to highlight important information about limitations on its use.

For access levels other than Open, we’ve pre-populated placeholder statements that provide users with a general idea of what that means. Start thinking about what your specific data access statements should look like – take a look at the toolkit resources below and let us know if you’d like further guidance.

Request access button

When access to a dataset is restricted in some way users are often confused about how to apply for access. We’re guiding users to start the conversation with you instead, by adding a ‘Request Access’ button to datasets that have an access level of Restricted, Fees Apply, Government Use Only or Mixed.

If you have a webform or other webpage you’d like to direct users to, you can add a URL for the button. When no URL is supplied the button will direct users to email the maintainer contact, including a brief prompt to supply you with some initial information.

DataWA Toolkit quick links

Understanding access to data

Publishing a dataset on DataWA

Choosing an access category

Writing data access statements

Understanding the Request Access button

Licensing options

Detailed metadata information