A Platform for Closing the Open Data Feedback Loop Based on Web2.0 Functionality


“One essential characteristic of open data ecosystems is their development through feedback loops, discussions and dynamic data suppliers – user interactions. These user-centric features communicate the users’ needs to the open data community, as well to the public sector organizations responsible for data publication. Addressing these needs by the corresponding public sector organizations, or even by utilising the power of the community as ENGAGE supports, can significantly promote and accelerate innovation. However, such elements appear barely to be part of existing open data practices in the public sector. A survey we conducted has shown that professional open data users find the feedback and discussion on open data infrastructures from their users to their providers as highly useful and important, but they state that they do not know at least one open data infrastructure that provides various types of discussion, and feedback mechanisms.

In this paper we describe and discuss an open data platform, which contributes to filling this gap and also present a usage scenario of it, explaining the sequence of using its functionality. The discussed open data infrastructure combines functionalities that aim to close the feedback loop and to return information to public authorities that can be useful for better government data opening and publication, as well as establishing communication channels between all stakeholders. This may effectively lead to the stimulation and facilitation of value generation from open data, as such functionality positions the user at the centre of the open data publication process.”

URL : A Platform for Closing the Open Data Feedback Loop Based on Web2.0 Functionality

Alternative URL : http://www.jedem.org/article/view/327/270

Costs and Benefits of Data Provision Over…

Costs and Benefits of Data Provision :

“Over the last decade there has been increasing awareness of the potential benefits of more open access to Public Sector Information (PSI) and the findings of publicly funded research. That awareness is based on economic principles and evidence, and it finds expression in policy at institutional, national and international levels.

Public Sector Information (PSI) policies seek to optimise innovation by making data available for use and re-use with minimal barriers in the form of cost or inconvenience. They place three responsibilities on publicly funded agencies: (i) to arrange stewardship and curation of their data; (ii) to make their data readily discoverable and available for use and re-use with minimal restrictions; and (iii) to forgo fees wherever practical.

This report presents case studies exploring the costs and benefits that PSI producing agencies and their users experience in making information freely available, and preliminary estimates of the wider economic impacts of open access to PSI. In doing so, it outlines a possibly method for cost-benefit analysis at the agency level and explores the data requirements for such an analysis – recognising that few agencies will have all of the data required.”

URL : http://ands.org.au/resource/houghton-cost-benefit-study.pdf

Open Data, Open Society. A research project about openness of public data in EU local administration

This report discusses the current and potential role, in a truly open society, of raw Public Sector Information (PSI) that is really open, that is fully accessible and reusable by everybody. The general characteristics of PSI and the conclusions are based on previous studies and on the analysis of
current examples both from the European Union and the rest of the world.

Generation, management and usage of data constituting what is normally called PSI is a very large topic. This report only focuses on some parts of it. First of all, we only look here at really “public” PSI, that is information (from maps to aggregate health data) that is not tied to any single individual and whose publication, therefore, raises no privacy issues.

It is also important to distinguish between actual raw data (basic elements of information like numbers, names, dates, single geographical features like the shape of a lake, addresses…), their results (more or less complex documents, policies, laws…) and the procedures and chains of command followed to generate and use such results, that is to vote or, inside Public Administrations, to take or implement decisions.

So far, discussion and research on Open Data at national level has had relatively more coverage, even if much of the PSI that has the most direct impact on the life of most citizens is the one that is generated, managed and used by local, not central, administrations and end users (citizens, businesses or other organizations). Creation of wealth and jobs can be easier, faster and cheaper to stimulate, especially in times of economic crisis, at the local level. Finally, open access to public data is much more necessary for small businesses that for big corporations, since the latter can afford to pay for access to data anyway (and high prices of data may also protect them from competition from smaller companies).

For all these reasons, the main focus of this report will be on the raw data that constitute “public” PSI as defined above. This is the reason why in this report the terms “raw data” and “PSI” are practically interchangeable. We will also focus on the local dimension of Open PSI, that is raw data
directly produced by, or directly relevant for, local communities (City and Regions), and on their
direct impact on local government and local economy.

Chapters 2 and 3 summarize the importance of data in the modern society and some recent developments on the Open Data front in Europe. Chapter 4 explains why raw PSI should be open, while Chapter 5 shows the potential of such data with a few real world examples from several (mostly EU) countries. Chapter 6 looks at some dangers that should not be ignored when promoting Open Data and Chapter 7 proposes some general practices to follow for getting the most out of them. Some conclusions and the next phases of the project are in Chapter 8.

URL : http://www.dime-eu.org/files/active/0/ODOS_report_1.pdf

Creative Commons and Public Sector Infor…

Creative Commons and Public Sector Information: Flexible tools to support PSI creators and re-users :

“Public sector information (PSI) is meant for wide re-use, but this information will only achieve maximum possible impact if users understand how they may use it. Creative Commons tools, which signify availability for re-use to users and require attribution to the releasing authority, are ideal tools for the sharing of public sector information. There is also increasing interest in open licenses and other tools to share publicly funded information, data, and content, including various kinds of cultural resources, educational materials, and research findings; Creative Commons tools are applicable here and recommended for these purposes too.”

URL : http://www.epsiplus.net/topic_reports/creative_commons_and_public_sector_information_flexible_tools_to_support_psi_creators_and_re_users

Friends or Foes? Creative Commons, Freed…

Friends or Foes? Creative Commons, Freedom of Information Law and the EU Framework for Re-Use of Public Sector Information :

“Public authorities keep vast amounts of information. Freedom of information (‘FOIA’) laws give the public rights of access to much public sector information. The spread of FOIAs across the globe testifies to their importance as instruments for enhancing democratic accountability. But access to public sector information not only serves political purposes. It is also thought to have economic benefits, enabling the development of new information products and services. This is the policy objective behind the EU Directive 2003/98 on the Re-use of Public Sector Information (PSI Directive).

Despite popular belief to the contrary, much public sector information is subject to intellectual property rights. Both access to public sector information for democratic purposes and for economic purposes have implications for how intellectual property rights in information produced by governments are exercised. Rather curiously perhaps, FOIA’s are generally silent on the issue. Nor does the PSI Directive prescribe how public sector bodies should exercise any exlcusive rights in information. This paper explores the role of copyright policy in the light of the objectives and principles of both freedom of information law and the regulatory framework for re-use of public sector information. More specifically, it queries whether open content licenses like Creative Commons are indeed the attractive instrument they appear to be for public sector bodies that seek to enhance transparent access to their information, be it for purposes of democratic accountability or re-use for economic or other uses.”

URL : http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1722189