Tools to find open standards

Open standards for data are reusable agreements that make it easier for people and organisations to publish, access, share and use better quality data.

This guide helps you find existing open standards from lists, directories and other useful resources.

Civic open data standards

This guide from Azavea, a geospatial technology company, focuses on open standards for the civic domain.

It describes standards that are already in use in cities and potential future standards. The focus is on standards that use location, have good documentation, are machine-readable (so the standards can be used by software), and have been adopted by at least one city or civic technology organisation.

Use this for: civic sector

Digital Curation Centre list of metadata standards

The Digital Curation Centre (DCC) is a centre of expertise in digital curation and research data management. This list of standards focuses on improving the quality and reuse of research data.

Use this for: research and academic sectors

Fairsharing list of standards

The Fairsharing team are based at the University of Oxford e-Research Centre and provide a list of curated standards focused on science and education. The list of standards is detailed and searchable. It also indicates which standards are related to others, their current status, and recommendations from the Fairsharing curators.

Use this for: science, research and academic sectors

Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations standards

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations provides a list of standards focused on agriculture and food, many developed by FAO itself for international use.

It is useful to compare the resources here to those provided by GODAN VEST.

Use this for: food and agriculture sectors

GODAN VEST list of agriculture and food data standards

This portal focuses on a detailed, searchable list of standards for the food and agriculture sector. The resource from GODAN, a global partnership advocating for food security, also includes useful and reusable general standards.

Use this for: food and agriculture sectors, general open standards

Ireland recommended standards for open data

The government of Ireland shares data standards commonly used by Irish Public Bodies and reviewed by The Public Bodies Working Group (PBWG).

Use this for: civic sector

Linked open vocabularies

This list of vocabularies is hosted by the Open Knowledge Foundation. It focuses on helping people and organisations discover new vocabularies that use linked data, assessing the vocabularies and adding new vocabularies as needed.

Use this for: general open standards

List of standards to assess

This list of open standards from James McKinney provides a useful list of standards, including the publisher, topic and subtopic.

A list of sources is also available on a seperate tab.

Use this for: general open standards

Open data standards directory

This joint directory from GovEx and GeoThink is a detailed, searchable list of open standards categorised by subject. The main focus is on civic domains, though other domains are covered.

Use this for: civic sector, general open standards

A joint effort from Google, Bing, and Yahoo, creates and supports open standards for structured data markup on the web and beyond.

The community effort covers many different types of data that can be standardised – for example, people, places, and organisations. It is interoperable with many open standards for data and is built on existing standards like ISO 8601 date/time standard.

Use this for: general open standards

UK local government open data schemas

The Local Government Association, the national voice of local government in the UK, provides a list of standards used by local government to publish open data along with simple guidance for adopting them.

Use this for: civic sector

UK government list of approved open standards

The UK government maintains a list of open standards for use in government technology to better integrate services. The list is maintained by peer review and open comment as part of the ‘Open Standards for government’process.

Use this for: civic sector, government accountability

U.S. Data Federation

The U.S Data Federation provides a list of open standards for use at federal and local government level that support integrated services and data that works better together.

Use this for: civic sector, government accountability

How to use this guide

There are a number of ways for you to learn more about the creation, development and adoption of open standards for data.

About this guide

This guidebook helps people and organisations create, develop and adopt open standards for data. It supports a variety of users, including policy leads, domain experts and technologists.

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