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Content types on the ONS website User requests


We currently publish two types of user requests on the ONS website. These are user-requested data and freedom of information requests.

User-requested data

Our users can request additional breakdowns of data that are already in the public domain. These are published as user requested data (URD) pages. These pages contain a summary of the data and its breakdowns, an XLS or CSV file download, and any links to related content.

URDs can be used to publish:

  • further breakdowns of data that have already been published
  • lower-level data of existing higher-level datasets, providing they are not disclosive
  • linked or combined data from different sources that are already in the public domain
  • commissioned tables that are based on existing data and have been directly requested by stakeholders

URDs should not:

  • be used to publish new data that are being released into the public domain for the first time; always use a bulletin or an announced dataset for releasing new data
  • be used to release data quickly where there is an urgent need to publish data for users; we can announce and release new data using a dataset page in as little as two hours
  • duplicate data already published on the website
  • be used to publish data that the ONS has identified internally as being of public interest; use an announced dataset instead

URD pages should not be used to publish new data for the first time. Only use a URD to publish additional detail or breakdowns of data that are already in the public domain and were requested by users.

You can view the list of all existing user-requested data (opens in a new tab) 

Freedom of information requests

The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act provides the right for members of the public to ask public sector organisations for information or data they hold. Any member of the public can request these data.

Our responses to these requests are published in the Transparency and governance (opens in a new tab)  subsection of the About us (opens in a new tab)  area on the website.

These pages use specific templates, with the user’s request published under “You asked” and our response under “We said”. Many responses provide links to content that is already published on the website. They can also include tables from previously published bulletins and articles.

Any downloads associated with the request can be added on the right-hand side as a PDF, Word or XLS file.