Open access resources

A guide to finding freely accessible resources and scholarly research

What is open data?

Open data is data that is available to anyone, and can be accessed, analysed and reused with minimal restrictions, in an open format that is easy to modify. Many government departments, government agencies, and research institutions world-wide publish open data online, with the aim of creating transparency, government accountability, and allowing for the sharing and reuse of data in ways that benefit the community. Open data can be used to verify the results of studies, or to broaden the available data for research. Exploration of open data can also lead to serendipitous discovery of ideas not initially intended by the data collector.

The Australian Government policy on public data is that “all government agencies should make non-sensitive data open by default, and it should be free, easy to use, and reliable”.

Note that open data is de-identified and does not contain any personal or sensitive information.

State Library Victoria has also released several sets of open data, which are available both on our website and on the Victorian and Australian data depositories. See our webpage on open data for more information.

Open data resources

There are many open data resources available online to explore. Some of the more prominent Australian and international resources are listed below:

Fun with open data