Call for Papers: JeDEM Special Issue on Open Government Data and Open Policies

See the full call here.

Special Issue on Open Government Data and open policies

Special Issue 01/2014: Open Government Data and Policies

Guest Editors

  • Ina Schieferdecker, Fraunhofer FOKUS, Germany
  • Marijn Janssen, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands
  • Tim Davies, University of Southampton, UK
  • Johann Höchtl, Danube University Krems

Editorial Board

  • Marianne Fraefel (Bern University of Applied Sciences)
  • Mila Gasco, ESADE, Spain
  • Alessia Neuroni (Bern University of Applied Sciences)
  • Peter Parycek, Danube University Krems
  • Reinhard Riedl, Bern University of Applied Sciences
  • Anneke Zuiderwijk (Delft University of Technology)

In efforts to increase openness, transparency and participation, governments around the world have drafted Open Government policies and established Open Data as an integral part of modern administration. Open data and public sector information has been held out as a powerful resource to support good governance, improve public services, engage citizens, and stimulate economic growth. The promises have been high, but the results have been modest so far and more and there are more and more critical sounds.  Policies have not resulted in gaining the desired benefits and implementations have been criticized for its technology orientation and neglecting the user perspective. These policies and implementations are now under scrutiny, with important questions to be asked about: whether the results justify the efforts; about how different outcomes from open data can be secured; and who is benefiting from open data in different countries and contexts?

JeDEM Journal for eDemocracy is inviting submissions to the following topics:

  • Ongoing and finished projects using open government data: benefits, opportunities and challenges;
  • Innovation and efficiency use-cases of open data within government;
  • Visualisation, simulation and gamification that seeks to reduce the complexity of open government data;
  • Smart cities, smart regions and the enabling effects of open data
  • Economic aspect of open data: including open data business models
  • Encouraging data usage by commercial and non-profit developers;
  • Policies for stimulating use, institutional arrangements
  • Political and legal aspects of open data, including it’s relationship with Right to Information/Freedom of Information policies;
  • Privacy and open data: tensions between open government data and citizen’s privacy rights;
  • Global perspectives: open data as a phenomenon of developed countries, or a global phenomena? Differences and similarities across countries, cities and regions.
  • The impact of open data on the public sector workplace of the future: personal opinions and a human-face vs. administrative decisions and procedures.
  • Open data shifting boundaries at the intersection of public administration and public sphere: citizens as public agents and civil servants as member of the community
  • Open data infrastructures, ontologies, methods and tools and their impact

Open data is both a social and technical phenomena, and studies are needed that explore the interaction of technology and policy. Many national data portals from Germany and Austria to the USA and the Philippines, already adhere to agreed meta data standards for describing data, and the G8 Open Data Charter has committed members to harmonising meta-data. However, open online data by its nature makes not halt at national or organisational boundaries. To deliver on the European Digital Agenda 2020 vision of digital common market, the UN vision of a post-2015 ‘data revolution’ enabling greater coordination, of the goal of advocacy organisations in joining up data from across countries to track financial flows and to root out corruption, it needs to be easier to join up data across countries. The European Commission has already elaborated a meta data description to help bridge data from different EU member states administrations and to mitigate language barriers of data descriptions, and efforts are ongoing to develop a wide range of open data standards, covering issues from aid and public contracting, to parliamentary records and public transport timetables. This accumulated knowledge is collected by the SharePSI-project and should inform the W3C working group Data on the Web. Increasing open data interoperability is an ongoing and current challenge which administrations worldwide have to deal with.

Therefore this issue of JeDEM is additionally calling for submissions in these areas:

  • Requirements, costs & benefits, as well as evaluation, of existing standardisation efforts: including a focus on metadata, naming schemes, and URI schemes;
  • Procedures for publishing open data, including identification of data, preparation of data, and handover from internal departments to Open Data Portals;
  • Efforts for interoperability of open datasets, including extending existing core vocabularies;
  • The impacts of open data interoperability demands on internal organisational change and processes;
  • The connections or conflicts between technical requirements from developers and other re-users of data, vis-a-vis the data currently supplied through Open Data Portals;
  • Legal standardisation, licensing and liability – and their impact on developer and other third-party re-use of data

Author guidelines

Length of paper: 7,500-12,000 words, all drafts have to be typed double-spaced, the format has to be Word for processing reasons.
JeDEM encourages scientific papers as well as case studies, project descriptions and reflections. More guidelines for authors and Word template can be found here:

Important Dates

Call out: 24 April 2014
Submission deadline: 30 July 2014
Start of peer review: 1 August 2014
End of peer review: 1 September 2014
Editorial Decisions: 15 September 2014
Authors revisions: 20 October 2014
Publishing: 30 October 2014

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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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