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Open Access and the World Bank

September 06, 2012

Written Genevieve Tung, Recent Biddle Intern.

World-Bank-4 small.jpgIn 2008, Biddle Law Library (and the Biddleblog) showcased the world of Open Access legal publishing and information. According to the Science Commons, which runs the Open Access Law Program, “Open Access” publishing serves readers and researchers by providing free access to scholarship “without undue copyright and licensing restrictions.” The goal is to make knowledge universally accessible.  The Open Access Law program is led by New York Law School Professor Dan Hunter and Michael Carroll, an American University law professor and founding member of Creative Commons, Inc.

Since 2008, the universe of Open Access publications has more than doubled, with over 4500 new titles added in the past four years. Currently, the Directory of Open Access journals includes 153 legal titles, several of which have adopted the Open Access Law Journal Principles, which seek to ensure free and neutral access to legal scholarship.
By making more materials freely accessible on the web, Open Access may make it easier to find information and scholarship across disciplines. Law intersects with almost every area of study, especially public policy and economics. It is noteworthy, then, that in April 2012, the World Bank announced that it would roll out a new Open Access policy for its all of its research and publications, beginning on July 1, 2012. To initiate this new policy, the World Bank launched a new “Open Knowledge Repository,” which makes thousands of Bank documents freely available online. Through this repository, “the World Bank aims to encourage innovation and allow anyone in the world to use Bank knowledge to develop solutions to development problems that will help improve the lives of poor people around the world.”
All Bank-published material will be available under a Creative Commons Attribution copyright license. World Bank materials published by third parties, including the journals World Bank Research Observer and World Bank Economic Review will also be available under slightly more restrictive Creative Commons licenses. Read the full story here, and enjoy the benefits of Open Access!