85459 - Open Access and Digital Ethics (1) (LM)

Academic Year 2023/2024

  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Digital Humanities and Digital Knowledge (cod. 9224)

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, the student knows the open access methodology and movement with particular regard to the scientific and cultural material; the foundations of the digital rights as emerging from the international, European and national regulations; the ethics principles in the digital environment; open government, open data, big data, IoT policies and digital agendas at international and European level, including the connected regulations and case-law; the standards and the core vocabularies in Europe for open data. The student is able to analyse regulations and case-law connected with the knowledge society and to manage the data and information according with the international, European, national legal framework and digital agendas; he/she is able to design solutions of data management with interdisciplinary approach including privacy-by-design and digital ethics principles; he/she is able to plan open data projects for public administrations and private sector compliance with the legal issues; he/she is able to propose metadata models according to the existing core vocabularies and best practices at international, European, national level.

Course contents

The course discusses the following topics:

1. Open Government Data: theoretical principles, fundamentals, digital agendas, government policies, international White papers, open government ecosystem.

2. Open Government Data technical principles: open formats, metadata, European core vocabularies, SPARQL end-point.

3. Open Government Data management: staff organization, data processing management, civil society engagement, social and economic value of open data, benchmarking.

4. Open Government Data legal aspects: data protection regulation and privacy-by-design, licensing of open data, public law principles, competition law and data sovereignty, Codice dell'Amministrazione Digitale and Public Sector Information Directive, Amministrazione Trasparente and FOIA. Case-Law analysis.

5. Open Data lifecycle: identification, analysis, curation, modelling, publication, monitoring and matainance, evaluation, enrichment.

6. Open Government Data ethical issues.




  1. G8 Open Data Charter and Technical
    <https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/open-data-charter/g8-open-data-charter-and-technical-annex >
  2. World Bank for Sustainable Develoopment
    <http://pubdocs.worldbank.org/en/741081441230716917/Open-Data-for-Sustainable-development-PN-FINAL-ONLINE-September1.pdf >
  3. E-Government Survey UNDESA 2016
    <https://publicadministration.un.org/egovkb/en-us/reports/un-e-government-survey-2016 >
  4. Linee guida nazionali per la valorizzazione del patrimonio informativo pubblico. Ver. 2018
    <https://www.agid.gov.it/it/agenzia/stampa-e-comunicazione/notizie/2017/08/03/open-data-online-linee-guida-valorizzazione-del-patrimonio-informativo-pubblico >
  5. Linee guida FOIA
    <https://www.anticorruzione.it/portal/rest/jcr/repository/collaboration/Digital%20Assets/anacdocs/Attivita/Atti/determinazioni/2016/1309/del.1309.2016.det.LNfoia.pdf >
  6. Linee guida in materia di trattamento di dati personali, contenuti anche in atti e documenti amministrativi, effettuato per finalità di pubblicità e trasparenza sul web da soggetti pubblici e da altri enti obbligati
    <https://www.garanteprivacy.it/garante/document?ID=3488002 >
  7. European Open Data Portal Traning material <https://www.europeandataportal.eu/it/resources/more-training-materials >

  8. PSI Directive EU 2019/1024 <https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/en/TXT/PDF/?uri=OJ:L:2019:172:FULL&from=en>

Web References

Teaching methods

The course is composed of classroom lessons, exercises in the laboratory, and the implementation of a team project. The project concerns an Cultural Heritage open government data application using the most recent Semantic Web techniques, Linked Open Data Ontologies, visualization tools for rendering open data.

Due to the COVID-19 emergency the lectures are provided in presence and also online using TEAMS platform. The first week the lectures are only online.

Assessment methods

The student’s grasp of the material tested through a final exam consisting in a team project including: a) a written open government data report concerning a specific scenario of dataset. This report includes legal, ethics, organizational, technical analysis; b) technical part that includes dataset, RDF modelling using a LOD ontology, visualization or SPARQL end-point.

During the course a list of project-topics a matrix of evaluation criteria will be provided to the class. This material will be published also in: https://virtuale.unibo.it/

The project must be delivered at least 15 days before the exam session. The project is discussed by oral exams.

The individual assessment is focussed on assessing the following criteria:

1. correctness of the hypothesis;

2. completeness of the legal, ethics, technical analysis;

3. metadata in LOD using existing stadards;

4. visualization of the results;

5. argumentation of the hypothesis, of the methodology and of the results.

Originality of the team project, and more importantly on the contribution to the project by each individual student are fundamental element of the evaluation.

Teaching tools

In the resources section of this website—which can also be reached at https://virtuale.unibo.it/course/—students will find materials useful to further investigate the issues and topics treated in the course.

Office hours

See the website of Monica Palmirani


Quality education Reduced inequalities Sustainable cities Partnerships for the goals

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.