The World Bank has initiated and contributed to many activities in support of Open Access over the years including:
• June 1997 - Launch of Documents and Reports (D&R). Previously known as World Development Sources (WDS), D&R contains more than 240,000 publicly available World Bank documents and enables the sharing of the institution's extensive knowledge base and operational documents.
• April 2010 – Launch of the Open Data Initiative, making World Bank flagship databases and hundreds of other datasets freely available to the public.
• July 2010 – Launch of Access to Information Policy (AI), a landmark shift regarding how and which information the World Bank makes available to the public. By setting the default classification to one of maximum disclosure (with a limited set of exceptions), tens of thousands of previously undisclosed information – including projects under preparation and implementation, analytic and advisory activities, and Board proceedings – are now available to the public through D & R. And there is an App for that too (the World Bank InfoFinder)!
• August 2011 – Launch of Open Finances, presenting publicly-accessible data related to the Bank’s financials available in a social, interactive, visually compelling, and machine-readable format.
• April 2012 – Launch of the Open Knowledge Repository (OKR), the Bank’s official Open Access repository that contains Bank publications since 2000. Prior publications are available to the public through D&R.
• July 2012 – Launch of the Open Access Policy. The policy mandates Bank's publications and their associated research data to be made freely available, with no restrictions on use and reuse. It governs works published or funded by the Bank and works written by Bank staff and published externally.
• July 2012 – Adoption of Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license allowing the public to freely share and adapt Bank publications with proper attribution to the Bank.
• December 2013 – Adoption of the newly-created CC BY 3.0 IGO license for use by intergovernmental organizations to share research, data, and educational materials they produce.
Thanks to the Bank’s Open Access policy and the OKR, the public no longer has to physically go to a building and request permission to search and obtain publications and documents, as was the case in the past. As of today, more than 10.8 million publications have been downloaded from the OKR. This is in addition to the over 11 million publications and documents downloaded from Documents and Reports in the last 10 years.
In addition, the World Bank’s Open Data website was launched in July on an all-new platform with a fast, search-based interface, new data visualizations, and responsive design for a rich experience on mobile devices.
For more information about the various World Bank Group Open Access initiatives and websites, visit http://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/opendevelopment.