Download this Paper Open PDF in Browser

Evaluating the Impact of Open Data Websites

15 Pages Posted: 13 Sep 2011  

Eleonore Fournier-Tombs

University of Toronto

Date Written: September 12, 2011


Over the past few years, the steady increase in the number of government open data websites has led to a call for appropriate evaluation tools. While some (Noveck, 2009) have expressed optimism as to the potential of government open data, others (Coglianese, 2009; Hindman, 2009) have been more hesitant. This paper therefore aims to answer the following question: how does one evaluate the success of open data websites in reaching democratic objectives? In doing so, it explores past academic studies and examines the researcher’s experience with interpretive inquiry. Using as an example, it argues that survey-based research, a common tool in information systems analysis, may not be suited to open data websites. Instead, it suggests a content analysis methodology, which hopes to inform future research on the subject.

Keywords: open data, open government, content analysis, interpretive methods

Suggested Citation

Fournier-Tombs, Eleonore, Evaluating the Impact of Open Data Websites (September 12, 2011). Available at SSRN: or

Eleonore Fournier-Tombs (Contact Author)

University of Toronto ( email )

Department of Statistical Sciences
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3G8


Paper statistics

Abstract Views