Towards a Common Definition of Open Data Intermediaries

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The role of open data intermediaries is considered instrumental in the supply and use of open data. There are various definitions of open data intermediaries in the literature and some of them are quite different from each other. These definitions
can benefit from harmonization so knowledge about open data intermediaries can be developed on top of a shared understanding of what open data intermediaries mean. The objective of this article is to propose a common definition of open data intermediaries. We first carried out a systematic literature review and compiled the definitions of open data intermediaries from the literature. We found that each definition can be broken down into four basic components: (i) Who are the actors of open data intermediaries? (ii) What do they do? (iii) Where are they located in the open data lifecycle? and (iv) Why are they needed? We then conducted another round of data gathering and analysis to substantiate the four basic components. We proposed the following common definition of open data intermediaries: Third-party actors who provide specialized resources
and capabilities to (i) enhance the supply, flow, and/or use of open data and/or (ii) strengthen the relationships among various open data stakeholders.
Original languageEnglish
Article number6
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
JournalDigital Government: Research and Practice
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2022


The authors acknowledge the financial support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 955569.


  • Open data
  • intermediaries
  • infomediaries
  • definition

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