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XBRL: an (open) source of enlightenment or disillusion?

Locke, Joanne and Lowe, Alan 2007, XBRL: an (open) source of enlightenment or disillusion?, European accounting review, vol. 16, no. 3, pp. 585-623, doi: 10.1080/09638180701507163.

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Title XBRL: an (open) source of enlightenment or disillusion?
Author(s) Locke, Joanne
Lowe, Alan
Journal name European accounting review
Volume number 16
Issue number 3
Start page 585
End page 623
Total pages 39
Publisher Routledge
Place of publication Abingdon, Eng.
Publication date 2007
ISSN 0963-8180
1468-4497
Summary Extensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) is being adopted byEuropean regulators as a data standard for the exchange of business information. Thispaper examines the approach of XBRL International (XII) to the meta-data standard’sdevelopment and diffusion. We theorise the development of XBRL using conceptsdrawn from a model of successful open source projects. Comparison of the open sourcemodel to XBRL enables us to identify a number of interesting similarities anddifferences. In common with open source projects, the benefits and progress of XBRLhave been overstated and ‘hyped’ by enthusiastic participants. While XBRL is an opendata standard in terms of access to the equivalent of its ‘source code’ we find that thegovernance structure of the XBRL consortium is significantly different to a model opensource approach. The barrier to participation that is created by requiring paidmembership and a focus on transacting business at physical conferences and meetingsis identified as particularly critical. Decisions about the technical structure of XBRL,the regulator-led pattern of adoption and the organisation of XII are discussed. Finallyareas for future research are identified.
Language eng
DOI 10.1080/09638180701507163
Field of Research 150101 Accounting Theory and Standards
1501 Accounting, Auditing And Accountability
Socio Economic Objective 900101 Finance Services
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2007, European Accounting Association
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30085030

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Department of Accounting
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