2.5 Papers

Course subject(s) 2: Opening and Using Government Data

Benefits, Adoption Barriers and Myths of Open Data and Open Government
Authors: Marijn Janssen, Yannis Charalabidis, Anneke Zuiderwijk

Several benefits and barriers of Open Government have already been described in the videos in module 1 and 2. This paper provides a comprehensive overview of the key benefits and  adoption barriers of Open Government and open data.

In addition, it reflects on the gap between the promises and barriers of open data, and identifies myths of Open Government and open data. The outcomes show that a gap exists between the promised benefits and barriers. They furthermore suggest that a conceptually simplistic view is often adopted with regard to open data, one which automatically correlates the publicizing of data with use and benefits.

The negative effects of open government data: investigating the dark side of open data
Authors: Marijn Janssen, Anneke Zuiderwijk

Video 2.3 showed that it is not always easy for government agencies to open their data to the public, and various aspects need to be considered. Videos 2.2 and 2.4 also showed that users can have issues with governmental data, for instance with finding the opened data or with an non-user-friendly format in which the data is published. This paper looks into the dark side of open government data, and examines sixteen categories of its potential negative effects. A key conclusion is that a context and dataset dependent decision-making model needs to be made, weighing the benefits of open data on the one hand (e.g. creating transparency, the possibility to strengthen economic growth), and the risks and disadvantages of open data (e.g. violating privacy and possible misuse and misinterpretation of data) on the other hand. While reports and research appears to assume that the benefits of open data dominate open data’s negative consequences, each dataset requires the consideration of various potential negative effects, as well as a trade-off of the potential benefits and disadvantages.

Socio-technical impediments of open data
Author: Anneke Zuiderwijk, Marijn Janssen, Sunil Choenni, Ronald Meijer, Roexsana Sheikh Alibaks

In videos 2.1-2.4, various aspects of Open Government Data (OGD) are discussed, including definitions, processes, portals and considerations for opening and using governmental data. Despite the high expectations, the use of OGD can be challenging. This paper offers insight in socio-technical barriers for the use of open data. Based on a literature overview, workshops and interviews, it describes 118 barriers in ten categories: 1) availability and access, 2) find ability, 3) usability, 4) understand ability, 5) quality, 6) linking and combining data, 7) comparability and compatibility, 8) metadata, 9) interaction with the data provider, and 10) opening and uploading. A key conclusion of the authors is that open data policies provide scant attention to the user perspective, whereas users are the ones generating value from open data. Many barriers exist, yet they will likely change over time. New policies and infrastructures may solve many of the current barriers, and due to new and higher expectations new impediments might arise over time.

Creative Commons License
Open Government by TU Delft OpenCourseWare is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at https://ocw.tudelft.nl/courses/open-government/.
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