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Streamlining open access (OA) for World Bank authors

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This blog post is a part of the International Open Access Week blog series

Today’s contributor to our International Open Access Week blog series is Mayya Revzina, Copyright Officer/Rights Manager in ITS Knowledge and Information. Among other things, she works with academic publishers to streamline the process for World Bank authors who publish in non-Bank journals and to enable those articles to be made open access:
The World Bank launched its Open Access Policy in 2012 as part of its Open Development Agenda to enable the widest possible dissemination of its research and knowledge and to increase the users’ ability to discover and use pertinent information. The OA Policy mandated that Bank knowledge products shall be made available to the public under Creative Commons (CC) licenses.

ImageAt that time, the World Bank was the first major Intergovernmental Organization to adopt CC licenses. The Bank incorporated CC BY into its Open Access Policy as the default license for Bank-produced formal publications. This license allows users to freely share, re-use, and distribute World Bank content – even commercially – without prior permission as long as the World Bank is attributed.
Because of the broad range of research areas and specialized fields in which World Bank authors work, they regularly publish their work in non-World Bank journals. Before 2012, these journal articles were hidden behind the publisher’s paywall. In order to allow Bank authors to publish journal articles via the Green Open Access* route, as compliant with the OA Policy, the Bank has concluded institutional OA agreements with fourteen academic publishers since 2012.
The model licensing language used in the agreements and some of the lessons learned were shared with the OA community through the report "Open Access Clauses in Publishers' Licenses: Current State and Lessons Learned" prepared and published by the Confederation of Open Access Repositories (COAR), Open Access Agreements and Licenses Task Force.
Among them were, “The World Bank found it almost impossible to get publishers to agree to make the Author Accepted Manuscript available to the public upon acceptance under CC BY (since publishers are interested in exploiting the content commercially). However, publishers were quite willing to allow access to the working paper version (pre-print or Author Original Manuscript) under CC BY. Therefore, the Bank adopted a two-stage approach whereby they make the pre-print available immediately under CC BY and Author’s Accepted Manuscript following embargo under CC BY-NC-ND.”
We continue to work with publishers to reduce the embargo periods for World Bank-authored manuscripts and to make these available through the World Bank Open Knowledge Repository as soon as possible.
*Green Open Access is a form of OA that allows authors to share their final manuscript with the public by depositing it in the author’s website and/or institutional repository or website. There is no open access fee for authors or subscription or pay-per-view fees to users.


Elisa Liberatori Prati

Chief Archivist, World Bank Group and and the Director of the Knowledge & Information Services Department in the Information & Technology Solutions (ITS) vice-presidency

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