Skip to Main Content

Open Data

ATU Open Data banner

Open data is data that anyone can access, use and share.


Governments, industries and individuals can use open data to generate social, economic and environmental benefits. 


Open Data:

► Should have no limitations that stop it from being used in any way, everyone should be free to use, modify and share the data;

► Becomes usable when the data is made available online in a machine readable format;

► Is described well to promote reuse;

► Is required to have an open license to promote reuse, so people can use the data in any way they want, including altering, combining and sharing it with others, even commercially; 

► Is not privacy sensitive or commercially sensitive data.


Data is only open if anyone can access, use and share it.

Open Data =
Greater Transparency

Ireland's Open Data Initiative

"Ireland is continuing to lead the way in Europe for Open Data having been ranked top of the European Commission’s Open Data Maturity survey for the past 3 years running - 2017, 2018 and 2019".



The objective is to foster an open, transparent and accountable public governance in Ireland.

The public service encompasses a varied range of government departments, agencies and offices, who deliver a range of services across all areas of society and business. These organisations create large quantities of valuable data. The concept of open data is about making the data held by these bodies available and easily accessible online, for reuse and redistribution.



Open Data Strategy 2017-2022

“Opening up Government data provides new opportunities for research, innovation, engagement and greater efficiency for all sectors of the economy with the potential to generate business opportunities, stimulate economic growth, and contribute to Open Government”.

Source:, pg. 3.

 FAIR principles

The FAIR Principles define how all data should be be Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable.

 Key funding bodies, including the European Commission, promote FAIR data to maximise the integrity and impact of their research investment.


4 Basics of FAIR data

Adapted from:


FAIR-Aware: Assess Your Knowledge of FAIR

FAIR-Aware is an online tool which helps researchers and data managers assess how much they know about the requirements for making datasets findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable (FAIR) before uploading them into a data repository.

FAIR data contribute to research integrity and reproducibility.

Ireland’s National open data portal provides access to official non-personal government data, in open format. The portal links to over 10,000 datasets from over 100 public sector bodies. This data must be available under an open licence so it can be freely used, re-used and redistributed.

Take the e-learning tutorial on

Designed to enable you to discover what Open Data is and how it is changing our everyday lives.

Other Open LibGuides

Further Reading

Wilkinson, M., Dumontier, M., Aalbersberg, I. et al. The FAIR Guiding Principles for scientific data management and stewardshipSci Data 3, 160018 (2016).