Good Practice in ‘Open Sourcing’ Data as an Enabler of Innovation (Guideline)

Type of product being suggested:
Title of product being suggested:
Good Practice in ‘Open Sourcing’ Data as an Enabler of Innovation
Date of suggestion:
Reason for suggestion:
Providing railway data ‘open source’ with the appropriate protections is a low-cost way of stimulating innovation leading to improved customer experience.
Sponsored by RISSB Standing Committee:
The scope of the project

The production of a standard in accordance with RISSB’s accredited development process.

The scope of the document

The document will provide good practice in the provision of open data. It will link to state/federal Governmental policy and take a whole information life-cycle view. The document will cover:

  • The definition of ‘open data’ and the case for providing it.
  • Principles of open data (egs when data should be open by default, appropriate protections, prioritisation of high value data, accessibility, usability/format, level of granularity, timeliness, trustworthiness/authoritativeness, costs, user/customer feedback).
  • Basic procedure for release of data including documentation.
  • Possible open sourcing architectures (eg establishing software to software interfaces) including integration of multiple data sources.
  • Governance around open sourcing data (approvals, stakeholder consultation, monitoring trends and adapting to user’s/customer’s needs, decision making, handling disputes/conflicts).
Hazard identification:
This project is being proposed within RISSB’s ‘innovation’ remit and as such it is not intended to address safety hazards


  • ‘Outsources’ innovation;
  • Leads to better customer service;
  • Facilitates greater understanding of an organisation’s own data and the potential of that data;
  • Supports evidence-based policy making and policy research;
  • Enables data sharing between companies / agencies / jurisdictions;
  • Advances community engagement;
  • Promotes openness, transparency and accountability; and
  • Contributes to the digital economy, and promotes the development of new business and industries that can make use of data;