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About this guidebook

This guidebook helps people design and run projects that involve the collaborative maintenance of data


The ODI’s innovation programme launched in July 2017 to advance knowledge and expertise in how data can shape the next generation of services, and create economic growth. The funds for it were awarded through Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency, in a three-year programme, running to March 2020 with a funding profile of £2m each year.

The programme consists of a number of projects which are all aimed at advancing our understanding of the opportunities data can bring and some of the pitfalls to avoid. They are intended to enable the UK to build on its established strengths in data and data analytics, break new ground in creating value from data across industry, and ensure that the UK remains at the forefront of data innovation globally.

This guidebook was produced as part of a project exploring collaborative approaches to collecting and stewarding datasets. Collaborative maintenance can help to share the costs of data collection and management across public and private sector organisations, supporting the creation of sustainable, trustworthy data infrastructure

In our project we:

We used the insights from this research to produce guidance on this website and create a collection of design patterns to support those in developing new projects and improving existing services.

The website is openly licensed and we invite contributions from the community.


This guidebook is the end result of the hard work and enthusiasm of the following team of people:

  • Caley Dewhurst
  • Leigh Dodds
  • Sonia Duarte
  • Rebecca Ghani
  • Vicky Hallam
  • Myriam Roderick
  • Rachel Wilson

In addition we would like to thank:

  • Kind for creating an excellent design and publishing framework for the website
  • Joanne Dobie for her copy-editing skills
  • Andy Mabbett for providing us with training and insight on OpenStreetMap and Wikidata
  • The people who consented to be interviewed for the project so that we could share their insights
  • The communities and projects that welcomed us contributing to their databases, catalogue our records and spot some hyenas

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