Implementing openness: An international institutional perspective

Sacha Sacha Wunsch–Vincent, Taylor Reynolds, Andrew Wyckoff


The debate on “openness” has tended to focus on standard setting, software copyrights, patent policy and collaborative innovation models – large issues that evoke heated debates that take on a quasi–religious dimension. As these issues start to enter onto the mainstream public policy agenda of many countries, moving these ideas from punditry to policies is not obvious.

But openness also manifests itself in less visible, more tractable issues such as open access to infrastructure, scientific research and use of public data and information — fundamental elements of “cyberinfrastructure.” While perhaps less visible in the public debate, these elements provide lessons on how to implement openness into public policy and outline an ecology for supporting openness. Our experience reveals that it is important to break down the issues into practical elements that bureaucracies can implement, where metrics can be devised that allow dispassionate economic analysis, where divisive issues can be isolated, and where the stakeholders are not so diverse.

Full Text:



A Great Cities Initiative of the University of Illinois at Chicago University Library.

© First Monday, 1995-2019. ISSN 1396-0466.