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Data in Publications

Data in Publications online
Advanced, Beginner


Nowadays, data has become a central component of government publications. But how can this data be presented in a way that allows others to easily access, reuse and reference it?
Formatted as an extendable checklist, this guide compiles tips, examples, resources and visual aids into a handy toolbox which will help you with all of the data-related aspects of your publication: writing about data, creating data visualisations, and preparing and publishing data.

Who is the guide for?
Anyone involved in the process of producing and publishing data and public sector information: researchers, policymakers, communications specialists, data experts, IT specialists, publication coordinators, designers, contractors…

What kinds of publication does this guide target?
Any type of published content that contains or references data: reports, studies and books, assessments, briefs and summaries, press releases, leaflets and brochures… – both in print and online. The data could be a primary source (data produced and analysed specifically for this publication) or a secondary source (third-party data that is used as supporting material).


Structuring your publication
Data, visualisations and text are all important components of your publication. The tips in this section will help you structure these components in a way that makes your publication pleasant to read and allows others to reuse them.
Writing about data
Writing about data and writing text for data visualisations are important but often overlooked skills. This section details some tricks and tips on how to make your copy more reader-friendly.
Creating data visualisations
Data visualisations present insights from data in a visual manner. Good data visualisations can act as centrepieces to your line of reasoning. The tips in this section will help you create understandable, accessible and appealing data visualisations.
Preparing visualisations for publishing
Your visualisations may be reused in studies, shown in presentation slides or shared on social media. This section provides advice on how to prepare visualisations so that they can be found and reused by others.
Preparing data for publishing
Data needs to be carefully prepared before being published. The recommendations in this section guide you through open data practices that help you transform raw data into curated, high-quality and publication-ready datasets.
Publishing the data and the data visualisations with your publication
Releasing your data and data visualisations as individual components makes your work more impactful. The tips in this section will help you publish those components so that they are easy to locate and access for further reuse.