Digital economy

WPIE workshop on public sector information


The Socioeconomic Effects of Public Sector Information on Digital Networks: Toward a Better Understanding of Different Access and Reuse Policies

see also OECD Recommendation on Public Sector Information
Organised by:

U.S National Committee for CODATA
Board on International Scientific Organizations, U.S. National Academy of Sciences
and the
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development


Date: 4-5 February 2008


Session One: Introduction and opening presentations

Chair: Daniela Battisti, Agency for inward investments and business development, Italy, Chair Working Party on the Information Economy


Welcoming remarks and introductions

Graham Vickery, OECD

Workshop objectives and structure 

Paul Uhlir, U.S. National Academies

The social and economic goals and values of PSI online: EU government perspective

Jim Wretham, OPSI, UK

The social and economic goals and values of PSI online: US government perspective

Nancy Weiss, Institute of Museum and Library Services, US

The value to industry of PSI: the business sector perspective 

Dr. Martin Fornefeld, MICUS Management Consulting, Germany

Achieving fair and open access to PSI for maximum return

Michael Nicholson, PSI Alliance, UK

Open Discussion Moderator: Javier Hernandez-Ros, Head of Unit, Digital Libraries and Public Sector Information, European Commission

Session Two: Different approaches for evaluating the direct and indirect economic and non-economic benefits and costs of PSI access and reuse policies in the online environment

Chair: Antti Eskola, Ministry of Employment and the Economy, Finland


Public Sector Information. Why bother? Measuring European Public Sector Information Resources

Robbin te Velde, Dialogic, NL 

Measuring the economic impact of the PSI Directive in the context of the 2008 review

Chris Corbin, ePSIplus, UK

Different PSI access and use policies and their impact on the social and economic values and impact of this information

Frederika Welle Donker, Delft University of Technology, NL

The price of everything but the value of nothing 

Antoinette Graves, Office of Fair Trading, UK

Enhancing access to government information: Economic theory as it applies to Statistics Canada

Kirsti Nilsen, University of Western Ontario, Canada

General discussion 


Assessing the economic and social benefits of NOAA data online

Rodney F. Weiher, NOAA Chief Economist, US

Exploring the impacts of enhanced access to publicly funded research

John Houghton, Victoria University, Australia

Assessing the impact of Public Sector Geographic Information

Max Craglia, Institute for Environment and Sustainability, JRC, Italy

General discussion 



Session Three: Measuring the economic and social costs and benefits of the PSI: evaluation of the existing approaches and suggestions for future work
Parallel sessions (a) and (b)

Session chairs:
Session (a) Eivind Lorentzen, Ministry of Trade and Industry, Norway
Session (b) Jean-Jacques Sahel, Director, Government and Regulatory Affairs, Europe, Skype

Presenters: Paul F. Uhlir and Raed Sharif (Summary)
Rapporteurs: Juan Carlos de Martin and Tilman Merz

Each session comprised:

  • An overview on different approaches for evaluating the direct and indirect economic and social benefits and costs of access and reuse policies for PSI in the online environment. This drew on the published literature, the OECD study and on recent analytical work.
  • A 90-minute panel discussion addressing questions including:
  1. What are the commonalities and differences among the analytical methods presented in session 2 and in this session?
  2. What are their main strengths and weaknesses, e.g. their accuracy, comprehensiveness, relevance, validity and reliability?
  3. What are the most effective metrics/indicators to assess particular kinds of information/policies? Are there approaches and metrics/indicators that effectively measure the network effects of the use of PSI online?
  4. What still needs to be known about the application of these methods to the evaluation of public information policies in the online environment?
  5. What theoretical frameworks, models and best practices in other areas can be applied to assess different policies of access to and reuse of digital PSI?
  6. What are some future directions and recommendations for the better study and measurement of access to and reuse of PSI online?
  • Following the break, the main points from the panel discussion were summarised by the rapporteurs (Juan Carlos de Martin and Tilman Merz), followed by discussion. This was designed to identify activities that could enhance understanding of the economic value and effects of different approaches to access to and reuse of online digital PSI.

Session Four: Plenary discussion: Wrap-up, conclusions and future work
Chair: Antti Eskola

Rapporteur presentation Session Three (a)  Juan Carlos de Martin, Turin Polytechnic, Italy

Rapporteur presentation Session Three (b) Tilman Merz, consultant


Combined rapporteur summary

Discussion: What do we know and what next? 

Conclusion:  Graham Vickery, OECD /  Paul Uhlir, U.S. NAS


This workshop was also supported by the National Science Foundation and the United States Geological Survey.

For further information, contact graham.vickery


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