Introducing IOI’s Research Fellows

“With the generous support of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, we are excited to introduce IOI’s first Research Fellows: Anne Britton and Teri Wanderi. They’ll be working with us over the next few months to expand and enhance our research to support and sustain open infrastructure….”

Free for all, or free-for-all? A content analysis of Australian university open access policies | bioRxiv

Abstract:  Recent research demonstrates that Australia lags in providing open access to research outputs. In Australia, while the two major research funding bodies require open access of outputs from projects they fund, these bodies only fund a small proportion of research conducted. The major source of research and experimental development funding in Australian higher education is general university, or institutional, funding, and such funds are not subject to national funder open access policies. Thus, institutional policies and other institutional supports for open access are important in understanding Australia’s OA position. The purpose of this paper is, therefore, to understand the characteristics of Australian institutional open access policies and to explore the extent they represent a coherent and unified approach to delivering and promoting open access in Australia. Open access policies were located using a systematic web search approach and then their contents were analysed. Only half of Australian universities were found to have an open access policy. There was a wide variation in language used, expressed intent of the policy and expectations of researchers. Few policies mention monitoring or compliance and only three mention consequences for non-compliance. While it is understandable that institutions develop their own policies, when language is used which does not reflect national and international understandings, when requirements are not clear and with consequences, policies are unlikely to contribute to understanding of open access, to uptake of the policy, or to ease of transferring understanding and practices between institutions. A more unified approach to open access is recommended.

 

How can governments nudge students to become ebook readers? Evidence from Indonesia | Emerald Insight

Abstract:  Purpose

The purpose of this study is to investigate if and how government intervention can nudge students to become ebook readers.

Design/methodology/approach

A cross-sectional survey research design was adopted for this study. A total of 1,144 students from four middle and high schools in urban and rural areas of Indonesia participated in this study. The results from statistical analyses were further discussed through the lens of the nudge theory.

Findings

This paper founds evidence that government intervention in the form of the Buku Sekolah Elektronik (BSE) policy that has been providing free electronic textbooks for more than a decade can help nudge students to become ebook readers. After controlling for student’s demographic information, this paper founds that their awareness of such a policy is significantly associated with a stronger preference toward ebooks while having no significant effect on their preferences toward printed book format. This paper also founds that mobile device adoption plays an important role where early adopters tend to prefer ebook format, whereas laggards are more associated with printed book format.

Originality/value

Many have studied the benefits of using ebooks in learning, but the literature also shows that most students still prefer reading printed books over ebooks. This is true not only in developing countries where problems with infrastructures can hamper the adoption of ebooks in general but also in developed countries where ebooks are much more prevalent, even among the general population. This paper showed how government interventions have the potency to help tip the scales and nudge students to become ebook readers.

Adopt the ODC Principles – International Open Data Charter

“Open data is a tool to enable better and more responsive government—it isn’t an end in itself. Opening data so that anyone can access, use and share it has enabled citizens to better understand how their government is buying services, running elections, and delivering on its commitments, to name just a few examples.

However, all too often open data implementation has happened in a vacuum and as a result is patchy, isn’t always driven by user demand and often depends on the whims of individual political champions. These are the problems that the ODC seeks to tackle.

The ODC’s goal is to embed the culture and practice of openness in governments and autonomous agencies in ways that are resilient to political change. Adopting the ODC Principles brings the following benefits:

Provides a common framework. The ODC principles are the international best practice for how to do open data well. They ensure consistency and ambition within and across different countries, as well as signalling that a government or an autonomous agency is committed to achieving the highest international standards.
Supports government implementing open data projects. Adopting the ODC principles is a statement that a government or autonomous agency seeks to be open and responsive to its citizens. The ODC can connect officials to expertise and the tools they need to help implement open data projects.
Connects with different sectors to turn high level open data principles into practical action. To date, the ODC has worked with experts on anti-corruption, climate change and agriculture to develop guides for how to use open data to help solve the problems these sectors face.
Champions high level commitments for open data in key international fora. The ODC works with governments, autonomous agencies, and institutions such as the G20 and OECD, to build support and political cover for public officials and provide consistency around open data policies….”

Open Data for Our Shared Future. ODC 2021–2022 Strategy and Work Plan | by Open Data Charter | opendatacharter | Mar, 2021 | Medium

“We at the ODC continue to hope and move toward that shared future, by articulating the norms needed to shift power and abandon the destructive narratives that perpetuate injustices. We already recognise that diversity is a super power that goes hand in hand with principles of openness and we hope our shared future acknowledges this as a default. We are taking steps towards this through our work in targeted policy areas: data rights, anti-corruption, pay equity and climate action. Continuing with our 2020–2021 strategy, we have developed an internal work plan for 2021 with focus and with continued collaborations and, we hope, with new alliances. If strength is in numbers, then it is only with our partners that we can carry out our vision of a shared future with open data….”

Feminist Open Government Research

“The Feminist Open Government Initiative is an ambitious attempt to broaden the base of open government support by investing in cutting-edge research from partners in the Global South and a coalition building effort to rally reform champions behind a gender-centric approach to open government. The initiative comprises three core pillars of work conducted by Results for Development (R4D) and the Open Government Partnership (OGP), with support from Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC).

Over the course of the two years, Feminist Open Government Initiative drove considerable gender-informed action across the open government community. The Feminist Open Government Initiative oversaw five research projects covering 11 OGP governments, reviewed multiple OGP action plans with suggestions for how to increase gender perspective, forged new partnerships with key groups like Women Deliver and UNDP, informed the Break the Roles gender and inclusion campaign, and built a coalition of more than 20 governments and partners who have committed to drive this work forward. 

The Feminist Open Government Initiative and Break the Roles built a strong network of gender and open government partners with expertise across core and emerging thematic areas and secured high-level political commitments to continue this agenda into 2020 and beyond. Thank you to researchers from Africa Freedom of Information Centre (AFIC), CARE International, Equal Measures 2030, Técnicas Rudas, Oxfam and for all their hard work in conducting this very important work to help build more inclusive societies….”

Canadians Need Unfettered Access To Government Publications In Face Of COVID-19 – Canadian Association of Research Libraries

“The Canadian Federation of Library Associations (CFLA) and the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) are calling on federal and provincial governments to make official publications more accessible to Canadians by assigning a Creative Commons Attribution Licence (CC BY) to publicly available government information. We see this as a necessary and immediate response to COVID-19 and the appropriate default model for accessing government information….” 

 

States Are Suspending Public Records Access Due to COVID-19 – The Markup

“On March 4, Hawaii had no confirmed cases of COVID-19, but officials had started to take action in anticipation of an outbreak. Gov. David Ige declared a state of emergency, giving him the authority  to “suspend any law that impedes … emergency functions.” By the 16th, the outbreak had arrived: The state had 10 confirmed cases, and Ige began to act on that declaration. 

Among the statutes he suspended was Chapter 92F of something called “the uniform information practices act.” It was easy for a layperson to miss, but the change effectively blocked requests for public records in the state for the duration of the emergency. 

Hawaii is among several jurisdictions around the country that have amended or suspended access to public records as the coronavirus spreads. Governors are taking emergency action in some states, ordering changes to public records compliance during the crisis. Other states and municipalities have made legislative changes to their laws. But government-transparency advocates argue that in a time of crisis, access to public records is even more important. …”

Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE): Coronavirus (COVID-19) response – GOV.UK

“Scientific evidence supporting the government response to COVID-19

The national and global response to the spread of COVID-19 continues to develop quickly and our knowledge of the virus is growing. These statements and accompanying evidence demonstrate how our understanding of COVID-19 has evolved as new data has emerged.

This page will be updated on a regular basis with the latest available evidence provided to SAGE….”

Research to Results: An Analysis of Citizen-Generated Open Data | Data-Smart City Solutions

“Once Meijer and Potjer finished their empirical analysis of the 25 cases, Meijer and Potjer concluded that citizen-generated open data can certainly provide improved information for public governance, but concurrently can also be used to challenge current power structures and city decisions. As a result, Meijer and Potjer posited that the addition of citizen-generated open data to public governance should be viewed as both “collaboration and contestation.”

For example, while citizen-generated open data produces data as a foundation for collaborative governance, it can also strengthen and work with governance by providing new checks and balances based on the data collected. Meijer and Potjer explained that to understand the role of citizens in this new environment of government with social media, is to know that the public governance will include both collaboration and conflict.

Meijer and Potjer’s second conclusion states that citizens engage in the generation of data to both collaborate with their governments and challenge current government positions and policies. There are distinctions between friendly, adversarial and neutral interactions—yet all of these interactions better inform governments on what their citizens are looking for. However, the researchers both concede that the impact of the data is too narrow and still in the exploratory phase.

In the end, despite realizing that citizen-generated open data can also challenge the positions and structure of city government, the greater amount of information and “multi-actor collaboration” utilizing that data does indeed help governments make more accurate data-based decisions for their cities by taking in both suggestions and criticism from the new form of data….”

Consumer interest and preferred formats for disclosure of restaurant inspection results, Minnesota 2019 | Journal of Food Protection

“In recent years, numerous state and local health departments have developed systems to disclose restaurant inspection results to consumers. Public disclosure of restaurant inspection results can reduce transmission of foodborne illness by driving improvements in sanitary conditions. In Minnesota, restaurant inspection results are not readily accessible for consumers to use to make decisions about where to eat. The objective of this study was to assess the consumer interest among Minnesota adults in having better access to restaurant inspection results and to identify preferred formats for disseminating this information. We conducted a survey among 1,188 Minnesota residents aged 18 years or older at the 2019 Minnesota State Fair. Overall, 94.4% of respondents wanted better access to restaurantsâ?? inspection information. More than three-quarters of respondents (77.1%) stated that they would use this information to decide where to eat. Respondents wanted to see inspection results online (71.6%) and at restaurants (62.1%). Increasing public access to inspection results could reinforce efforts by public health agencies and food service operators to improve the safety of foods prepared away from home.”