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Exploring the quality of government open data: Comparison study of the UK, the USA and Korea

Myongho Yi (Department of Library and Information Science, Sangmyung University, Seoul, Korea)

The Electronic Library

ISSN: 0264-0473

Article publication date: 11 January 2019

Issue publication date: 15 May 2019

Abstract

Purpose

The use of “open data” can help the public find value in various areas of interests. Many governments have created and published a huge amount of open data; however, people have a hard time using open data because of data quality issues. The UK, the USA and Korea have created and published open data; however, the rate of open data implementation and level of open data impact is very low because of data quality issues like incompatible data formats and incomplete data. This study aims to compare the statuses of data quality from open government sites in the UK, the USA and Korea and also present guidelines for publishing data format and enhancing data completeness.

Design/methodology/approach

This study uses statistical analysis of different data formats and examination of data completeness to explore key issues of data quality in open government data.

Findings

Findings show that the USA and the UK have published more than 50 per cent of open data in level one. Korea has published 52.8 per cent of data in level three. Level one data are not machine-readable; therefore, users have a hard time using them. The level one data are found in portable document format and hyper text markup language (HTML) and are locked up in documents; therefore, machines cannot extract out the data. Findings show that incomplete data are existing in all three governments’ open data.

Originality/value

Governments should investigate data incompleteness of all open data and correct incomplete data of the most used data. Governments can find the most used data easily by monitoring data sets that have been downloaded most frequently over a certain period.

Keywords

Citation

Yi, M. (2019), "Exploring the quality of government open data: Comparison study of the UK, the USA and Korea", The Electronic Library, Vol. 37 No. 1, pp. 35-48. https://doi.org/10.1108/EL-06-2018-0124

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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