Open Data and Open Government in the UK: how closely are they related?

Martin De Saulles

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNConference contribution with ISSN or ISBNpeer-review


Over the previous decade a number of initiatives within European Union (EU) Member States, in particular the UK, have attempted to open up access to public sector data for broader economic and social uses. Driving some of these initiatives has been the ambition to increase the transparency of public bodies and, as a result, improve the democratic process. Other initiatives have had an economic agenda that see the opening up of public sector data for commercial exploitation as a way to stimulate economic activity and growth. In the UK, the launch of the website in 2010 combines both these ambitions by making over 8,000 public data sets available for third parties to download and build information services on top of. This paper examines a sample of these data sets as well as some of the applications that have been developed from them and uses a conceptual model developed by Yu and Robinson (2012) in the US. The model provides a basis for determining the technical characteristics of the data (is it adaptable or inert) as well as the primary purpose of the data (is it to improve service delivery or public accountability). Based on the analysis of the sample of data sets from the website, it is concluded that Yu and Robinson’s framework provides a useful basis for separating the technical characteristics of public data from the purposes to which they can be put. Further refinements of the model are suggested that would allow governments to benchmark their public data initiatives against programmes in other countries.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 13th European Conference on eGovernment
Place of PublicationReading, UK
PublisherAcademic Conferences and Publishing International
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781909507241
ISBN (Print)9781909507227
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jun 2013
EventProceedings of the 13th European Conference on eGovernment - University of Insubria, Como, Italy, 13-14 June, 2013
Duration: 13 Jun 2013 → …


ConferenceProceedings of the 13th European Conference on eGovernment
Period13/06/13 → …

Bibliographical note

© 2013 Martin De Saulles


  • egovernment
  • open data
  • open government


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