January 21, 2022

The World Bank Announces Open Access Policy, CC Licensing, and Launches Open Knowledge Repository

From The World Bank:

[Yesterday,] 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.


The policy will also apply to Bank research published with third party publishers including the institution’s two journals—World Bank Research Observer (WBRO) and World Bank Economic Review (WBER)—which are published by Oxford University Press, but in accordance with the terms of third party publisher agreements. The Bank will respect publishing embargoes, but expects the amount of time it takes for externally published Bank content to be included in its institutional repository to diminish over time.


In support of the new Open Access Policy, the World Bank is adopting a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) copyright license for content published by the Bank, the most accommodating of all licenses offered by Creative Commons. It allows anyone to distribute, reuse, and build upon the Bank’s published work, even commercially, as long as the Bank is given credit for the original creation. The CC BY license helps the Bank to maximize its impact while simultaneously protecting the Bank’s reputation and the integrity of its content.


World Bank content published by third party publishers will be available in the Open Knowledge Repository under a more restrictive Creative Commons license. The new copyright practice goes into effect today.

Open Knowledge Repository

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 — available at openknowledge.worldbank.org  − 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.

The repository will be updated regularly with new publications and research products, as well as with content published prior to 2009. Starting in 2013, the repository will also provide links to datasets associated with research. While the vast majority of the works are published in English, over time translated editions will also be added.

The Open Knowledge Repository is interoperable with other repositories and will support optimal discoverability and re-usability of the content by complying with Dublin Core metadata standards and the Open Archives Initiatives protocol for metadata harvesting.

Read the Complete Announcement

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.



  1. […] and business background publications tucked into their databases. I was pleased to read that it will become open access. Like this:LikeBe the first to like this post. This entry was […]