The past decade has witnessed a rapid development of open government data practices and academic research. However, there is no systematic survey of existing research to understand the evolution of open government data. Such research can facilitate knowledge transfer within and across domains, and foster learning for countries in the early stages of open government data development. This study quantitively extracted the evolution trajectory of open government data based on the main path analysis method and then analysed the underlying motivations. The results show that open government data research went through four main phases and that the open government data movement has spread towards developing countries and smart cities. Different challenges and issues faced by the researchers in each phase drove the evolution of open government data research. Finally, we discuss future directions of open government data research based on our findings and recent development. There is a tendency to create sustainable open government data and smartness by employing artificial intelligence and creating data marketplaces. Points for practitioners: Open government data efforts have evolved over the years into a global phenomenon. Countries have learned from each other and more and more efforts are focused on innovating with open government data by stimulating co-creation and using other incentives. The way that data are opened should focus on achieving goals like innovation, participation, transparency and accountability. There is a tendency to create sustainable open government data and smartness by employing artificial intelligence and creating data marketplaces.
- bibliometric analysis
- open data smartness and sustainability
- open government
- systematic literature research