The World Bank announced that it will implement a new Open Access policy for its research outputs and knowledge products, effective July 1, 2012. The new policy builds on recent efforts to increase access to information at the World Bank and to make its research as widely available as possible. As the first phase of this policy, the Bank launched today a new Open Knowledge Repository and adopted a set of Creative Commons copyright licenses.
The new Open Access policy, which will be rolled out in phases in the coming year, formalizes the Bank’s practice of making research and knowledge freely available online. Now anybody is free to use, re-use and redistribute most of the Bank's knowledge products and research outputs for commercial or non-commercial purposes.
While much of the Bank’s research outputs and knowledge products have been available for free on the institution’s web site, and on other channels, the new Open Access policy marks a significant shift in how Bank content is disseminated and shared. For the first time, the Bank will have an aggregated portal to research and knowledge products, where the metadata is curated, the content is discoverable and easily downloaded, and third parties are free to use, reuse, and build on it.
The Open Knowledge Repository, the centerpiece of the policy, is the new home for all of the World Bank’s research outputs and knowledge products.
The Repository currently contains works from 2009-2012 (more than 2,100 books and papers) across a wide range of topics and all regions of the world. This includes the World Development Report, and other annual flagship publications, academic books, practitioner volumes, and the Bank’s publicly disclosed country studies and analytical reports. The repository also contains journal articles from 2007-2010 from the two World Bank journals WBRO and WBER.
To implement the Open Knowledge Repository, World Bank opted for the Open Source DSpace platform. In order to make DSpace fit with a diverse set of requirements, the Bank relied on @mire's technical expertise.
The repository features a full audit trail of all changes to items, changes to the metadata and bitstreams. The rich metadata leveraged from existing sources gets exposed through the Discovery faceted browse and searching system. The Metadata Quality Module was intensively used by World Bank staff to modify metadata after the initial import operations. The technical work, including complex import operations was carried out in a timespan of 4 months.