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The UK Data Service celebrates instant access to open datasets

Did you know the UK Data Service provides access to open datasets that you can download instantly without the need to register? This is part of an ongoing initiative to produce more ‘open data’ – data that is available to anyone immediately without any access restrictions.

A large amount of our data available under an open access licence can be accessed and analysed by anyone without the need for registration or authentication. To celebrate Open Data Day on 5 March 2022, we have brought together a number of our open datasets with some resources to help you get started with using them.

Open datasets

Our open datasets cover a wide range of topics, such as crime, labour and work, lifestyles, relationships, social and political attitudes, food and living costs, wellbeing, housing and much more. Below are some examples to get you started:

Much more open data is available in our catalogue too – you can filter the catalogue so that it just shows you open datasets. Remember – you don’t need to log in to access this data!

Open teaching datasets

These datasets work in a similar way to our open datasets, but they are specifically designed for teaching purposes and are specially selected to contain a range of variables designed to be used in teaching a variety of topics and methods.

They also come with special documentation, which has been simplified to help those learning about using data to get to grips with it easily. Some also include accompanying notes, with suggestions on how they can be used in teaching. Some examples include:

We recently made available new open access teaching datasets from the British Social Attitudes survey, and our full list of open data teaching datasets.

Open data resources

Our Data Skills Modules ‘Introduction to Survey Data’ and ‘Exploring crime surveys with R (Beta version)’ are interactive training courses, which use open datasets, meaning you can follow along without the need to register.

Nesstar – The UK Data Service Nesstar catalogue allows you to access, download and explore open data, view key variables and create tabulations.

Open data resources from other providers.

Cite the data

Please do not forget, even if you are using open data, it is important to cite the data correctly! Each catalogue page has a data citation tool, which allows you to generate a citation in your preferred format. For more information on how and why to cite data, learn more from our Cite data correctly page.

If you are using open data, let us know at @UKDataService on Twitter using the official Open Data Day hashtags: #OpenDataDay #ODD2022.