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Utility of Open Government Data for PhD students in India

Stuti Saxena (Department of Political Science, Central University of Haryana, Mahendragarh, India)

International Journal of Comparative Education and Development

ISSN: 2396-7404

Article publication date: 8 May 2017




The purpose of this paper is to investigate the utility of Open Government Data (OGD) from the perspective of the PhD students in India.


Semi-structured interviews are conducted with 68 PhD students in India to solicit their perspectives regarding the utility of OGD for them. Convenience and snowball sampling was used for contacting the PhD students and the study was conducted among students of North India who are from public and private universities.


While some PhD students tap OGD for their research work, others use OGD as informational tools for broadening their general knowledge. There are also some PhD students who do not use OGD at all. There are challenges associated with OGD usage by the PhD students. For instance, the outdated and incomplete data available on the government websites prevent their optimum use. Likewise, information available on the government websites needs to be revised on a regular basis for proper utilization in research.

Research limitations/implications

The study approached PhD students for seeking their perspectives about OGD utility and further research is required with a large number of respondents. Nevertheless, the study leaves social and practical implications because while the study leaves insights for more involvement of PhD students in tapping OGD for their research, it also leaves recommendations for the policy-makers to take a pro-active stance by providing data sets regularly and accurately for improving government efficiency in public service delivery.


Hitherto, conceptual and theory-driven research on OGD has been undertaken and case study-based research works have been conducted to assess the challenges and prospects of OGD implementation in Western settings. Furthermore, prior research has solicited perspectives from stakeholders like public officials, politicians or citizens to investigate the difficulties in OGD use and policy-implementation. Identifying the research gaps in extant literature with respect to the aforesaid dimensions, this is the first study where the perspectives of Indian PhD students have been recorded in terms of the utility of OGD in research and other purposes.



Saxena, S. (2017), "Utility of Open Government Data for PhD students in India", International Journal of Comparative Education and Development, Vol. 19 No. 2/3, pp. 122-131.



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