Update about changes to data.gov.uk

We’ve been improving data.gov.uk to help people find and download datasets.

The site has a clearer, simpler design, highlighting the information that our research shows people need to see. We’ve also improved how search works to show more relevant results.

As a part of the new design, we’ve also removed some sections of the site.

Commenting and forums

The forums, which had been read-only since January 2017, have now been closed. Commenting on datasets has also been switched off. Both were rarely used, and were being heavily spammed.

When used, we found that it was often to ask questions about datasets, but unfortunately publishers weren’t always seeing or responding to those questions. So we’ve made it easier to connect you to publishers. If the publisher has provided their contact details, we’ll display them on the dataset page so you can ask questions directly.


The App gallery, intended to showcase ways that open data from this site is being used, has become less popular and isn’t used regularly. As we’re not responsible for maintaining the Apps, we can’t answer questions we receive about them.

In the future we’ll be looking at better ways to work with App creators to help data users find the answers and information they are looking for.

Five Stars of Openness

We’ve decided to remove the stars after learning that some data users regard it as a ‘ranking’ system of the dataset. They cause confusion and are mistaken for acting like a user rating.

The Five Stars of Openness by Tim Berners-Lee was included on data.gov.uk to help publishers reflect information about the quality and format of their open data.

It was meant to grade open data on specific criteria, including being available under an open licence, and as structured data among others. Our research shows that some data users who aren’t data experts may not understand what "linked data" and "structured data" mean.

To stop data users misunderstanding their meaning, in the future we hope to find out more about what users find helpful when searching for a dataset to use.


We found that data users didn’t find the glossary useful, and so it’s been archived and removed. Instead we’ve focussed on helping users to find and use datasets. We would recommend using the glossary on The Open Data handbook.

The new improved data.gov.uk is ready

Take a look at the newly-designed data.gov.uk, Find open data. We’d love to know your thoughts. There’s a feedback link at the top of every page.