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Introducing the Open Knowledge Index

Guo Xu - August 26, 2011 in Open Economics, Sprint / Hackday, WG Economics, Working Groups

The following post is from Guo Xu, Coordinator of the Open Economics Working Group

Despite the increasing efforts in opening data and making information and knowledge accessible to a greater audience, there has not been an explicit way to measure openess in knowledge creation and dissemination. This has made it very difficult to compare country performance as well as tracking one country’s progress over time.

We at the Open Economics Working Group had a first attempt to create an “Open Knowledge Index” to fill this gap. Early this week during a virtual sprint, seven of our members worked together to create the conceptual framework, gather the data and construct a first version for the set of OECD + BRIC countries. Here are the (preliminary) results (a technical explanation of the construction is here):

Not surprisingly, there is a high correlation between a country’s wealth and its rank in providing Open Knowledge (Iceland leads the list). But a large fraction of the variation in the Open Knowledge Index cannot be explained by wealth alone – a good example here is Estonia, still an emerging country but one with the highest internet penetration rates in the world.

As this is only a first version, we would be happy for any comments and feedbacks you may have. We are also looking for more volunteers who might be interested in joining our project – this can be by helping to improve the conceptual part of the index, by gathering data or improving the visualization. If you are interested, please get in touch with our Working Group by signing up and writing to the mailing list.

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