Barriers for Users of Your Open Data

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Research has surveyed barriers regarding the use of open data. It is important that you as a publisher is aware of these barriers, and take actions to mitigate them.

The main barriers are: 1 2 3 4

  • The availability of relevant and good quality data varies, is too low and is not reliable. Commercial businesses cannot base their business on such data.

  • Meta data and data documentation is missing, incomplete and of low quality.

  • The data formats and data structures used are proprietary and incompatible with each other and cause conversion difficulties that are a barrier as users could not acquire the required software. In many cases it is also a challenge to understand the data content.

  • Data is prepared for manual access via the web (e.g. pdf documents or web-pages) and cannot be accessed by software.

  • The variety of licenses is a challenge. There is a risk for an incomplete openness of data if the commercial use of the data is limited by the licenses. The combination of data with different licenses leads to complex situations, regarding rights and licenses over datasets.

In general there is little knowledge on how to cope with the barriers listed above. The OpenDataLab aims to address this lack of knowledge.

References and further reading

  1. Janssen, Marijn, Yannis Charalabidis, and Anneke Zuiderwijk. “Benefits, adoption barriers and myths of open data and open government.” Information systems management 29.4 (2012): 258-268. 

  2. Martin, Sébastien, et al. “Open data: Barriers, risks and opportunities.” Proceedings of the 13th European Conference on eGovernment: ECEG. 2013. 

  3. Martin, Chris. “Barriers to the Open Government Data Agenda: Taking a Multi‐Level Perspective.” Policy & Internet 6.3 (2014): 217-240. 

  4. Toots, Maarja, et al. “Open data as enabler of public service co-creation: exploring the drivers and barriers.” E-Democracy and Open Government (CeDEM), 2017 Conference for. IEEE, 2017. 

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