Communications of the Association for Information Systems


Over the last decade, cities around the world have embraced the open data movement by launching open data portals. To successfully derive benefits from these initiatives, various individual and organizational actors need to engage with them. These actors undertake activities supporting data publication and dissemination in open data ecosystems. In this paper, we focus on enhancing the IS community’s contribution to the open data movement by conducting a longitudinal, qualitative archival analysis of open data initiatives in three Canadian cities: Edmonton, Toronto, and Montreal. Combining two complementary models of open data and information ecosystems, we explore how actors engage in and across the sustainability, political, and administrative spheres to influence open data initiatives. Our findings suggest most actors operate in a single sphere but that some can operate across two or all three spheres to become ecosystem anchors. Through these sphere-spanning efforts, ecosystem anchors help to shape the way in which open data initiatives evolve. We provide a theoretically grounded explanation of processes in successful open data initiatives and suggest new directions for practice.





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