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What do we know from the literature on public e-services?.

  • Communication


Public e-services are a broad and growing research field in which scholars and practitioners from different domains are involved. However, the increasing attention devoted to public e-services only partially captures the extreme variety of aspects and implications of the diffusion of information and communication technologies at all levels of public administrations. The paper aims to develop a meta-analysis of the literature on the delivery, diffusion, adoption and impact of public e-services and examines current research trends in terms of differences in methodologies, approaches and key indicators across five service platforms: eGovernment, eEducation, eHealth, Infomobility and eProcurement. We examined 751 articles appeared in 2000-2010 in the top international academic journals listed in the Social Science Citation Index (SSCI) of the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI), as classified in the following fields: Communication, Economics, Education, Environmental Studies, Geography, Health Policy & Services, Information Science & Library Science, Law, Management, Planning & Development, Public Administration, Transportation and Urban Studies. We highlight a significant heterogeneity in scientific production across service domains, countries covered by empirical analyses, indicators used, and affiliation of authors. We also show an increasing diffusion of quantitative methods applied to different research fields which still appears to be constrained by data limitations. The overall picture emerging from the analysis is one characterized by largely unexplored service domains as well as scarcely analyzed issues both across and within individual service platforms (e.g. front vs. back office issues). Thus many research opportunities seem to emerge and need to be exploited from different disciplinary perspectives in this field of analysis.

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