2012

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Of nonsensical numbers: openness score

[Summary: A brief critique of the ‘openness score’] A recent Cabinet Office press release, picked up Kable Government Computing states that: “The average openness score for all departments is 52%”. What’s an openness score I hear you ask? Well, apparently it’s “based on the percentage of the datasets published by each department and its arms-length […]

Data and Trust: Raw data now? Or only after rigorous review?

Data and Trust: Raw data now? Or only after rigorous review?

I’ve just come across a report from Science Wise on an ‘Open Data dialogue’ they held earlier this year. The dialogue brought together 40 demographically diverse members of the UK public to discuss how they felt about the application of open data policies to research data. Whilst the dialogue was centred on research data rather […]

How might open data contribute to good governance?

Below is the pre-print full text of an article of mine forthcoming in the 2012/13 edition of the Commonwealth Governance Handbook. You can find a PDF copy over here. How might open data contribute to good governance? Access to information is increasingly recognised as a fundamental component of good governance. Citizens need access to information […]

Notes on a National Information Infrastructure

Notes on a National Information Infrastructure

In October the Advisory Panel on Public Sector Information (APPSI) released a short discussion paper based on the idea of building a ‘National Information Framework’ to build an ‘information infrastructure’ for the United Kingdom. The idea of an information infrastructure draws upon the metaphor of physical infrastructure – noting that governments play a role planning, […]

Right to Data Code of Practice Consultation

[Summary: notes on another open data consultation response] As if to provide plenty of opportunities for procrastination from working on my PhD, government is providing a constant stream of open data related consultations right now. Next up, a consultation on the Code of Practice to be issued concerning the ‘Right to Data’ introduced by the […]

Opening the National Pupil Database?

Cross posted from my personal blog. [Summary: some preparatory notes for a response to the National Pupil Database consultation] The Department for Education are currently consulting on changing the regulations that govern who can gain access to the National Pupil Database (NPD). The NPD holds detailed data on every student in England, going back over ten […]

Digital landscapes: effective open data takes more than a single CSV

Digital landscapes: effective open data takes more than a single CSV

Notes from data exploration. I’ve been finding myself tinkering with interesting open datasets quite a lot recently – but often never quite getting to writing anything up before I have to move on to other work. So, rather than loose the learning – I’m going to try and keep notes on this blog of some […]

Complexity and complementarity – why more raw material alone won’t neccessarily bring open data driven growth

[Summary: reflections on an open data hack day, complexity, and complements to open data for economic and social impact] “Data is the raw material of the 21st Century”. It’s a claim that has been made in various forms by former US CIO Vivek Kundra (PDF), by large consultancies and tech commentators, and that is regularly […]

Key perspectives on open data research: Boston workshop

As part of the Open Data Research network projects I’m involved in I had the pleasure of participating in a workshop at Harvard a few weeks back, where Felipe Heusser had brought together a stellar panel involving Archon Fung, David Eaves, Susan Crawford and Yochai Benkler to explore key perspectives on open data research. Their […]

Three new #opendata papers

Just in time for the Open Knowledge Festival in Helsinki we’ve added one new paper, and two new field notes to the Open Data Special Issue of the Journal of Community Informatics. Simon McGinnes and Kasturi Muthu Elandy in their article Unintended Behavioural Consequences of Publishing Performance Data: Is More Always Better? question the mechanisms by […]

Open Data in Developing Countries


The focus of my work is currently on the Exploring the Emerging Impacts of Open Data in Developing Countries (ODDC) project with the Web Foundation.

MSc – Open Data & Democracy

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