Special Issue: “Co-creation and Participation Fueled by Open Data: Evidence and Impact”


Editors: Gregor Eibl, Anneke Zuiderwijk, Wei Jeng, Mila Gasco-Hernandez


In many countries, President Obama’s executive order on open government data in 2009 and the PSI-directive development in Europe marked the increased attention for open government data.

These policies made open and machine-readable data the new default for government information in the United States and Europe. Likewise, developments in many other countries worldwide boosted research into the benefits, barriers, and challenges of open data.

Different countries justify their efforts to publish open government datasets by various arguments ranging from economic effects to broader societal goals, including anecdotal best practice cases. Some countries mainly refer to value creation concerning public participation and co-creation, including Obama’s executive order from 2009. Others stress that opening government datasets is a double-edged sword with rising costs for publishing to be paid by the tax-payer, diminishing public authorities’ possibilities to sell data to generate profits and shift profits to global companies.

Now, more than ten years after the peak in attention for open data started, the scope of open data research has begun to shift more towards cases of open data implementation, value creation and has slowly shifted towards evidence and impact. However, much of this evidence is anecdotal, and impact research barely addresses the topics of co-creation and public participation fueled by open data.

Special Issue Objectives and Example Topics

This special issue focuses on selected research that contributes to the theme “co-creation and participation fueled by open data: evidence and impact.” In this special issue, we consider that more impact can be realized with open data when multiple actors work together to create, provide, and use open data. Especially when the use of open data crosses domains and research disciplines, this might increase the impact of open data. For example, many global societal problems, such as climate change, migration, mobility, and energy transition, require the collaboration of various disciplines to develop appropriate solutions. By combining data derived from multiple disciplines and combining skills and knowledge from various actors (e.g., researchers, citizens, entrepreneurs, and policymakers), new, innovative insights can be obtained. Other examples of co-creation and participation initiatives fueled by open data are hackathons, innovation contests or joined app development (e.g., Concilio, Molinari, & Morelli, 2017; Juell-Skielse, Hjalmarsson, Johannesson, & Rudmark, 2014; Purwanto, Zuiderwijk, & Janssen, 2019, 2020).

The special issue will address a broad range of topics that should help readers better understand both the generic and specific aspects of evidence and the impacts of co-creation and participation fueled by open data. Within this scope, we invite original research papers and theoretical contributions that advance the field of research. We welcome qualitative and quantitative contributions, particularly such that combine rigor and relevance, including critical perspectives

Topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • Participation and engagement of citizens, companies, and other actors in both open data provision and use;
  • Collaborative forms of open data value creation, involving different actors (government, citizens, companies, NGOs, researchers, etc.);
  • Governance issues for using open data to address societal problems that cross disciplinary boundaries;
  • Quality issues of co-created open data or data collected by citizens;
  • Evaluations, models, and frameworks of the political, social, environmental, or economic impact of open data;
  • Promising directions and pathways for the improvement of public services utilizing open data through co-creation and participation;
  • Evaluations, models, or frameworks addressing the re-usage of open data;
  • Assessments of cross-border or cross-domain generic services based on different open data offers;
  • Best practices, evidence, showcases, and critique of the impact of open data;
  • Benefits and challenges of using open data in public services co-creation processes.

To build an evidence basis for open government data, we invite those interested in the field but unsure whether their work may align with this special issue’s goals to correspond with Anneke Zuiderwijk.


  • February 28, 2021- deadline for submissions
  • April 30, 2021 – results from the first round of reviews & decisions to the authors
  • July 15, 2021 – deadline for resubmissions
  • August 30, 2021 – editorial review & final decision to the authors
  • Finalize special issue in October 2021

Guest Editors

Gregor Eibl (email)

Gregor Eibl is an expert in the field of e-government and open data, with working experience in digitalization of the public sector at the Austrian Federal Chancellery for more than a decade. In this role, he was the main responsible person for the development of the national open government data portal.  In addition, he brings four years of research experience in the topics of open government, e-government and smart government. His  experience includes the coordination of an EU-funded research project, the coordination of national grant projects in the domains of foresight of digitalization impacts, open government strategy evaluation and legal design of the administration. He is co-founder and active member of the Cooperation Open Government Data Austria and acted as a reviewer for funding agencies, journals and conferences. More information here.

Anneke Zuiderwijk (email)

Anneke Zuiderwijk is an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. Her research focuses on theory generation to develop infrastructures and institutional arrangements that incentivize both open data sharing and use behavior by governments, researchers, companies, and citizens. Anneke obtained her PhD with distinction, only awarded to the top 5% of TU Delft PhD candidates. Because of her contributions to scientific research she received the international Digital Governance Junior Scholar Award and was ranked as one of the most influential open data researchers worldwide (see Hossain, Dwivedi & Rana, 2016). Anneke was invited as a keynote speaker for various conferences and events (e.g., the International Conference on ICT-enhanced Social Sciences and Humanities, 2020). More information here.

Wei Jeng (email)

Wei Jeng is an assistant professor at Department of Library and Information Science at National Taiwan University, Taiwan. She completed her LIS PhD studies at University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Jeng’s research explores how people share information, data, and resources in the digital age. Given the increasing need in academic communities to manage a huge amount of data, her long-term research goal is to provide insights on improving research infrastructure for scholars in all disciplines, particularly social sciences, humanities and related scholarly communities. More information here.

Mila Gasco-Hernandez (email)

Mila Gasco-Hernandez holds a MBA and a Ph. D. in public policy evaluation. Nowadays, she is the Associate Research Director of the Center for Technology in Government as well as a Research Associate Professor at the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy, both at the University at Albany – SUNY. Dr. Gasco-Hernandez has considerable consulting experience on the information and knowledge society as well. Her areas of research are mainly related to information and technology in government and, among other, they include digital government, open data and open government, public sector innovation, and smart cities. More information here


Concilio, G., Molinari, F., & Morelli, N. (2017). Empowering Citizens with Open Data by Urban Hackathons. Paper presented at the 7th International Conference for E-Democracy and Open Government (CeDEM), Krems, Austria.

Juell-Skielse, G., Hjalmarsson, A., Johannesson, P., & Rudmark, D. (2014). Is the public motivated to engage in open data innovation? Paper presented at the 13th IFIP International Electronic Government Conference, Dublin, Ireland.

Purwanto, A., Zuiderwijk, A., & Janssen, M. (2019). Citizens’ motivations for engaging in open data hackathons. Paper presented at the International Conference on Electronic Participation.

Purwanto, A., Zuiderwijk, A., & Janssen, M. (2020). Citizen engagement with open government data: Lessons learned from Indonesia’s presidential election. Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy. doi:https://doi.org/10.1108/TG-06-2019-0051