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API Catalogue Terms of Use

These terms of use explain what you can expect from publishing your API to this Government Catalogue of APIs on GitHub. You will need to agree to all these terms before submitting Github Issues to this repository.

These terms may change from time to time and we will let contributors know when this happens. For major changes you may need to accept these terms of use again, but for minor changes we will assume you agree to the changes unless we hear from you.

Objectives

Government organisations often develop APIs in isolation, which leads to the government solving the same problem multiple times, often in different ways. This is not time or cost efficient for many APIs.

Publishing a list of government APIs on GitHub alphagov (the GDS GitHub pages) will help government organisations:

  • see what APIs are published
  • what technology and data standards those APIs follow
  • whether the APIs or their components are suitable for reuse
  • foster discussions and visibility between departments so development teams can learn from those building APIs

Purpose

The API Catalogue will:

  • increase transparency of what API development is taking place within government
  • encourage organisations to consider reusing APIs built within their own organisation and elsewhere in government
  • help the Government Digital Service (GDS) further set standards, and help government organisations understand where and in what context the standards are being adopted
  • help government map some of its high value data inventories

Remit

The API Catalogue:

  • is limited to those that exist between government organisations, or between government organisations and industry
  • excludes APIs that are provided for use within a single department
  • is for both data and transactional APIs
  • should not compromise your organisation’s security - follow the operations guidance to avoid oversharing information about your API and posting detailed content

Operations

You will:

  • need to have a GOV.UK email address to post details
  • be responsible for submitting Github Issues and publishing details of your APIs to the API Catalogue on GitHub (you will be accepting these Terms on behalf of your organisation when you submit an Issue and will need to have the authority to do so)
  • include only API documentation URLs and links to the base URL of the API in the GitHub repo (do not include individual endpoint or client service information) - this will help prevent resources becoming discoverable and DDOS attacks
  • provide accompanying contact details when publishing your API details - this information should be kept accurate and up to date
  • operate in the interests of the government as a whole and the users of government APIs

Governance

The API Catalogue details will be managed and updated by:

  • the contributing government organisations, who will carry the responsibility for keeping details of their APIs up to date
  • GDS, who will review the API Catalogue regularly, respond to Issues and remove any APIs that do not abide by these Terms
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