Libraries curating open data sources

One of our main steppingstones in the creation of Digital Social Science Lab (DSSL ) was coffee. We made countless of coffee dates with various people around the Faculty of Social Sciences, Copenhagen University to talk about how they thought the faculty library’s upcoming data lab could be of value to them.

Over the coffee we heard a repeating need (especially from students) for access to data to play and work with. Often they got to know about a program for cleaning, analyzing, visualizing or in anyway handling data but needed some data to try it out on.It’s a very reasonable need: It’s hard to paint a picture if you have the brush but no colors to paint with.

We talked about that and came to the conclusion, that this need was pretty easy to solve: Libraries has been connecting the academic community to content for ages but instead of books or journals on various subjects, these students needed to be connected to some open data. There is plenty of good open data to go around it you know where to look so we decided to make a curated list of open data sources for them.


The list of open data sources has two purposes:

  1. It connects students (and researchers for that matter) that has just explored a new tool for data handling and need some data to try it out on, with a curated list of open datasets of various kind. For many of these it’s not important what the data is about – they need some content so they can work with the tool and get better.
  2. We decided also to focus on open datasets relevant to social sciences, so it also gives students and faculty members a door to valuable resources within their discipline.

The list contains both national and international datasets.

Link to the goodies: Digital Social Science Lab’s list op Open Data Sources

Happy data experimentation!




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