Open Data and Its Usability: An Empirical View from the Citizen's Perspective

December 06, 2016 by Vishanth Weerakkody, Zahir Irani, Kawal Kapoor, Uthayasankar Sivarajah, Yogesh K. Dwivedi

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Government legislation and calls for greater levels of oversight and transparency are leading public bodies to publish their raw datasets online. Policy makers and elected officials anticipate that the accessibility of open data through online Government portals for citizens will enable public engagement in policy making through increased levels of fact based content elicited from open data. The usability and benefits of such open data are being argued as contributing positively towards public sector reforms, which are under extreme pressures driven by extended periods of austerity. However, there is very limited scholarly studies that have attempted to empirically evaluate the performance of government open data websites and the acceptance and use of these data from a citizen perspective. Given this research void, an adjusted diffusion of innovation model based on Rogers’ diffusion of innovations theory (DOI) is proposed and used in this paper to empirically determine the predictors influencing the use of public sector open data. A good understanding of these predictors affecting the acceptance and use of open data will likely assist policy makers and public administrations in determining the policy instruments that can increase the acceptance and use of open data through an active promotion campaign to engage-contribute-use.