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Communications of the Association for Information Systems





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Researchers, governments, and funding agencies are calling on research disciplines to embrace open data - data that is publicly accessible and usable beyond the original authors. The premise is that research efforts can draw and generate several benefits from open data, as such data might provide further insight, enabling the replication and extension of current knowledge in different contexts. These potential benefits, coupled with a global push towards open data policies, brings open data into the agenda of research disciplines – including Information Systems (IS). This paper responds to these developments as follows. We outline themes in the ongoing discussion around open data in the IS discipline. The themes fall into two clusters: (1) The motivation for open data includes themes of mandated sharing, benefits to the research process, extending the life of research data, and career impact; (2) The implementation of open data includes themes of governance, socio-technical system, standards, data quality, and ethical considerations. In this paper, we outline the findings from a pre-ICIS 2016 workshop on the topic of open data. The workshop discussion confirmed themes and identified issues that require attention in terms of the approaches that are currently utilized by IS researchers. The IS discipline offers a unique knowledge base, tools, and methods that can advance open data across disciplines. Based on our findings, we provide suggestions on how IS researchers can drive the open data conversation. Further, we provide advice for the adoption and establishment of procedures and guidelines for the archival, evaluation, and use of open data.


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