Wikimedia Deutschland/2013 annual plan/projects/p17

All 2013 projects | Key theme 3: Establishing free knowledge in society – Goal 4: Cooperations – Change 4.2: Freeing government works

Project description: Digital Openness Benchmark

  • We will set up a new index presenting a clear and comparable overview of the contribution public bodies are making to digital common goods. (P17)

Contact / Project Manager
Professor Leonhard Dobusch (external), Mathias Schindler (internal) (Politics & Society)
Total budget
€7,000 (total project volume: €48,000)
Implementation period
October 2012 – November 2013. We plan to continue the project in the long term.

What is the project about?


The Digital Openness Benchmark is an index that will be created in order to present the contribution of public bodies to digital common goods (such as data, information, knowledge, and infrastructure) in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland in a clear and comparable way. Among other things, this type of ranking creates incentives for governments to make state works freely accessible in order to promote their country as an innovative location.

The index is due to be presented for the first time in November 2013. The long-term plan is to have an annual presentation with an award ceremony every year. The project is being organized in cooperation with the associations Digitale Gesellschaft in Germany (Digital Society), Freie Netze. Freies Wissen in Austria (Free Net. Free Knowledge), and Digitale Allmend in Switzerland (Digital Commons). The Institute of Management at Freie Universität Berlin (Free University) is the university partner and initiator of the project

How will this project help us meet our annual goals?


So far, there has been limited public awareness of groups that are campaigning for better access to government works. In addition, many of these groups restrict their activities to particular fields. We will therefore conduct a broad empirical study on how free access is granted and on the rights to use government works. This is an important step, as it enables Wikimedia Deutschland to point out current restrictions and thus to advocate free access to government works in a way that attracts good publicity.

We will publish a list of best practices in a central location. This list will serve as an information resource for the public and help to show policymakers viable ways of making government works freely available for long-term use.

What are the key milestones along the way and by when should we reach them?

No. When What
1. January 2013 We and our project partners will agree on the survey method and on the final survey matrix.
2. January – May 2013 We will collect data for the first ranking.
3. June – September 2013 We will process the data, produce the ranking, create a website, and develop a self-assessment tool.
4. November 2013 We will present the first Digital Openness Benchmark and beta test the self-assessment tool.