Civic engagement analysis of select open data portals
Governments and non-profit institutions increasingly are publishing data on the Internet in databases known as open data portals. The data is freely available, accessible, and used by citizens and application developers. However, there is little research about the relationship between open data portal characteristics and their effect on civic engagement. In addition to an overview of open data portals, user behavior, and civic applications, this report analyzes portal-level panel data across 36 months and 14 portals to estimate the effects of portal characteristics on civic engagement. Results show that portals with frequently updated data experience more civic engagement. These empirical findings validate the open data principle of timeliness, and are important for policy- makers designing open data policies to maximize the potential for users to add value to open data.