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17 April 2012, 12:42

World Bank signs up to Open Access

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World Bank logo The World Bank, based in Washington DC, will make some of its future publications Open Access (OA), making them freely accessible online. The financial institution, a target of frequent criticism by anti-globalisation groups, has announced that documents will be published under the liberal CC BY 2.0 Creative Commons licence. This allows users to disseminate and edit the works for commercial use, so long as they are attributed.

This approach will also be applied to research published by the World Bank in conjunction with external third-party publishers, including the institution's two journals published by the Oxford University Press: World Bank Research Observer and World Bank Economic Review. However, these are likely to be published under the more restrictive CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 licence, under which the publisher retains more rights. All publications will be centrally archived in a special Open Knowledge Repository and will be searchable.

Much of the research material commissioned by the World Bank is already available for free online. The new policy aims to clarify the purposes for which such publications may be used. The bank is also creating a portal to maintain metadata and to provide a single point of access to all information.

(Stefan Krempl / crve)

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