The Barriers to the Opening of Government Data in the UK – A View From the Bottom

Information Polity, vol. 24, no. 1, pp. 59-74, 2019

32 Pages Posted: 3 May 2019

See all articles by Victoria Wang

Victoria Wang

University of Portsmouth

Mark Button

University of Portsmouth - Institute of Criminal Justice Studies

David Shepherd

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: December 01, 2018

Abstract

This paper explores some of the key barriers to Open Government Data (OGD) that responsible civil servants in the UK face as they try to comply with the UK-led OGD initiative. Empirically, we provide a quantitative analysis of the resources published on the government’s central OGD portal, data.gov.uk, and a unique insight into the publishing of OGD in the UK based on 22 interviews with responsible individuals at the operational level of publishing OGD. Our findings reveal that while the barriers to open government information have been substantially reduced, the barriers to open government data persist. Even the most enthusiastic responsible individuals face considerable obstacles in publishing OGD. Further, a key barrier to OGD in the UK is its impression management strategy based on its informational rather than data orientation. Due to the UK’s pioneering position in the OGD initiative, these findings are relevant to understanding and improving OGD programmes at local, national and international levels. The findings may, subsequently, lead to evidence-based strategies and policies.

Keywords: Open Government Data (OGD), UK government, benefit paradox, privacy, impression management

Suggested Citation

Wang, Victoria and Button, Mark and Shepherd, David, The Barriers to the Opening of Government Data in the UK – A View From the Bottom (December 01, 2018). Information Polity, vol. 24, no. 1, pp. 59-74, 2019, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3363165 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3363165

Victoria Wang (Contact Author)

University of Portsmouth ( email )

Room 5.30
St George's Building
Portsmouth, England PO1 2HY
United Kingdom

Mark Button

University of Portsmouth - Institute of Criminal Justice Studies ( email )

Hampshire PO1 2UP
United Kingdom

David Shepherd

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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