Journal of Data and Information Science ›› 2021, Vol. 6 ›› Issue (1): 139-153.doi: 10.2478/jdis-2021-0010

• Research Papers • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Government Data Openness and Coverage. How do They Affect Trust in European Countries?

Nicolás Gonzálvez-Gallego(), Laura Nieto-Torrejón   

  1. San Antonio Catholic University of Murcia, Faculty of Law and Business Administration, Avda. de los Jerónimos, 135 , Murcia 30107, Spain
  • Received:2020-08-12 Online:2021-02-20 Published:2021-01-20
  • Contact: Nicolás Gonzálvez-Gallego


Purpose: This paper aims to assess if the extent of openness and the coverage of data sets released by European governments have a significant impact on citizen trust in public institutions.
Design/methodology/approach: Data for openness and coverage have been collected from the Open Data Inventory 2018 (ODIN), by Open Data Watch; institutional trust is built up as a formative construct based on the European Social Survey (ESS), Round 9. The relations between the open government data features and trust have been tested on the basis of structural equation modelling (SEM).
Findings: The paper reveals that as European governments improve data openness, disaggregation, and time coverage, people tend to trust them more. However, the size of the effect is still small and, comparatively, data coverage effect on citizens’ confidence is more than twice than the impact of openness.
Research limitations: This paper analyzes the causal effect of Open Government Data (OGD) features captured in a certain moment of time. In upcoming years, as OGD is implemented and a more consistent effect on people is expected, time series analysis will provide with a deeper insight.
Practical implications: Public officers should continue working in the development of a technological framework that contributes to make OGD truly open. They should improve the added value of the increasing amount of open data currently available in order to boost internal and external innovations valuable both for public agencies and citizens.
Originality/value: In a field of knowledge with little quantitative empirical evidence, this paper provides updated support for the positive effect of OGD strategies and it also points out areas of improvement in terms of the value that citizens can get from OGD coverage and openness.

Key words: Open government data, Open data, Trust, Public policy