Open Government

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Open Government encourages transparency and accountability by providing the public with information on the state’s activities.

The Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) supports the Government of Canada’s Open Government initiatives.

Once implemented, these measures will provide Canadians with more information about their government’s activities. For researchers, this means access to information that would otherwise be unobtainable.

The government’s approach is based on three elements, notably:

  • Open Data, which gives the public access to government datasets
  • Open Information, which proactively discloses government information
  • Open Dialogue, which aims to expand public engagement in government web consultations

The Open Data initiative is of particular importance to CARL, given our members’ role in preserving and distributing information and knowledge for both research and learning.

The importance of Open Data

Open Data makes machine readable data provided by government freely available to anyone, thus fuelling research and innovation beyond the initial value of the original data. Governments produce vast amounts of data to support service delivery in areas such as health, environment, agriculture and natural resources, much of which may have enduring value for new enquiry.

The Open Data initiative was launched as a pilot-project during the spring of 2011. Its objective is to bring together datasets from across the government

CARL members applaud the advances made in the Open Data initiative and encourage the government to continue in this direction. We encourage all government organizations to participate in this initiative.