Rules & Eligibility


This is a sample Rules & Eligibility page. These guidelines were used for the 2017 Philadelphia OpenDataVote. Please refer to the Guide page for info about how to run your own OpenDataVote.

Organization Eligibility

OpenDataVote is open to 501c(3) organizations based in Philadelphia or regional organizations with service area that significantly overlaps with Philadelphia. However, these organizations may receive votes for their proposed data set from anyone in the world.

Voter Eligibility

Anyone with a valid email address can vote. Voters do not need to live in the Philadelphia region to participate. Each person may vote once per day. We encourage all voters to register at OpenDataPhilly.


The following rules apply to the operation of the contest:

For the nonprofit organization participants:

  • Nonprofit organizations may nominate up to 2 data sets
  • Data set nominations should adhere to the following guidelines:
    • Data sets gathered by the City of Philadelphia, other public authorities or civic-oriented organizations
    • If the data were made public, it would not result in a privacy or security concern (examples of this might include individual medical records, individual human services records or individual criminal history)
    • The data exists but is not yet available to the public – we are interested in data that is currently gathered but is not available, rather than data that perhaps could be gathered but does not currently exist
    • Data sets that will have the potential for a positive social impact if they were available
    • By “data set”, we mean machine-readable, structured data, either downloadable or as a structure data application programming interface (API). For the purposes of this contest, data sets that are currently only available in PDF or MS Word form will be considered “not available”
    • We would like to know how you would use this data if it was available. How will this data help you fulfill your mission?
  • Data set nominations will need to include the following information:
    • Organization Name:
    • Organization URL
    • Contact Person
    • Contact Phone Number
    • Contact Email
    • Data Set to Nominate
    • If this data set were available, how would your organization use it?
    • How would this data set contribute to your organization’s mission?
  • Organizations may encourage people to vote for their project using any means available to them including: outreach, newsletters, email, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc.
  • All nonprofits that enter nominations are encouraged to attend a closing event where the winners will be announced

For the general public:

  • One vote per day per individual person for this contest – if you vote early, you’ll be able to vote more often!!
  • Any attempt to automate the voting process by generating fake email addresses and names will render those votes ineligible and may disqualify the nonprofit organization

Other rules & notes:

  • The Contest Partners will make the final selection of data sets that will be made available for voting
  • The Contest Partners cannot guarantee that the data sets that win prizes will be released by the City
  • While in many cases, software developed at hack-a-thon events will be made available under an open source license, the Contest Partners cannot guarantee this. The availability, release and ownership of a specific software or web site that results from the hack-a-thon events is at the discretion of the individuals developing the software