Publishing meta data in spreadsheets


We’ve being doing some work on spreadsheet templates to make data mapping more straightforward for new publishers, with a particular focus on lower technical skills.

This will include a “meta” sheet where publisher information can be added, and more descriptions and the use of colours in the main data sheets.

Meta field Description
Publisher: Name of the organisation publishing this data file
Date published: Date the file was published
Licence: State which open license
Title: The title of the file
Standard: 360Giving Standard
Contact: Email contact or website url to direct enquiries about the data
Period: The first and last award date or financial years covered
Description: Whether the file covers all grants awarded within the time period or includes types of grants or programmes.

There are two versions that we have been thinking of providing:

  1. One which includes the same fields as the single “grants” sheet currently provided (download), without the “additional fields”
  2. A more concise version which include required and recommended fields only (download)

There are directives (# hashComments) in the sheets which tell the Data Quality Tool to treat the meta sheet and those “extra” rows as being not part of the data itself, so that it validates correctly.

It would be helpful to get views on this.

  1. Using the template and providing meta data won’t be a mandatory part of publishing, but are you as a publisher likely to do so?
  2. Do the meta data fields above make sense? Are there any more relevant fields that could be added?
  3. Does providing recommended fields only limit the usefulness of the data?
  4. Are the colours, layout and descriptions in the templates helpful? Confusing? Could they be improved?


The fields suggested here are useful and simple. I can’t see there being any issues with providing this information from the Co-op.
It may be usefulfor data users if in the fuller version, publishers could specify codelists that have been used in fields where there are different options.


With version 1.0 of the standard to be finalised, it would also be useful to include a version field in the meta data.


That seems like it would be useful.

I’ve also edited my topic post above to include a direct link to the schema. This could possibly providing the provenance for the version of the schema used?