Friday, 3 April 2015

Breakout Session C: Changing Culture and Supporting Open Knowledge at the World Bank Group

A presentation by Carlos Rossel from the World Bank Group

The World Bank is a development agency which has two set goals to achieve by 2030:
  • To end extreme poverty
  • To promote shared prosperity by fostering income growth.
 The World Bank is a vital source of financial products and services to developing countries and the world. There has been a growing movement towards transparency as the World Bank is publicly funded. This has lead to its Open Access policy which was adopted in July 2012.
In the Aid Transparency Index 2014 the World Bank was ranked number 7 in those organisations which are very good. However, this is a fall from being number 1 back in 2011. This is due to tougher reporting standards. The World Bank is working to improve their ranking. The World Bank is an open government partnership and has gone from 8 to 65 participating countries.

The World Bank is also a vital source of technical assistance to developing countries around the world, and provides policy advice. Openness drives accountability and accountability drives results. Therefore, the World Bank has become open by default.
  • Open development - making information freely available and searchable, encouraging feedback, information sharing and accountability. Open about what we know, do, how we work, Open Government.
  • Policy framework 
- a Copyright Directive. The work carried out by World Bank employees belongs to the World Bank. A contract needs to be drawn up to state who owns the work in the case of a collaboration. The World Bank is at the moment working on trying to enable employees to start projects without having to wait to sign a contract before commencing.
- a Open Access Directive. Work undertaken for the World Bank is to be put in the OKR (Open Knowledge Repository), with a CC BY licence. Articles would require the use of institutional publisher agreements. Compliance is going up. The World Bank is looking at articles being published in Open Access journals. It plans to create a list of agreed OA journals where employees can publish, and this list would be revised every 6 months
  • Publisher agreements
The World Bank has agreements with 11 publishers, including Elsevier, Taylor and Francis, Wiley, which allow the articles to be available as Green Open Access but the copyright is still with the World Bank. Publishers provide the required metadata. Authors need to know about this, so step-by-step guidelines have been created, along with outreach and training pages on the intranet.

This has a built-in incentive for authors as it provides rich statistics and has a high level of downloads. Its articles are getting cited in publications such as The Financial Times, which is very important for the World Bank as this is what policy makers read. It has been integrated with altmetrics, looking at such sources as blog feeds and tweets. It is showing that the articles are being read and cited in teh regions where the World Bank are trying to move, i,e, the developing countries.
The OKR also includes information on individual authors, such as the number of downloads, and provides external and ORCID links. There is integration with Scopus and Google Scholar, where you can see links to author's citations and actual work (if you have access rights). There are various tools to measure impact.

In 2012 (the year in which the repository was launched) there was a 110% growth in dissemination. Last year there was a 39% increase. Such a large amount of public money has been invested in research, which is no good to anyone if no one can see it. This is why the World Bank thinks OA is so important.

There are site statistics - you can tell in which country something has been downloaded. In order to be more specific the use of IP addresses would need to be used, which is something the World Bank is looking at.

A bi-annual survey is undertaken by the World Bank. This has shown that access to "big data" is not the issue, but access to the tools needed to analyse this data.

A book from Latin America will be published next month. The World Bank will be interviewing the authors to find out what questions need to be asked in order to ascertain whether the book/research has had the expected outcome.

The question was asked how the World Bank approached the transition to an OA policy culturally. Carlos said that it was very much driven by high-level people who were extremely keen to drive the policy forward. It was a very quick transition and so people had to adjust very quickly. Suddenly the World Bank's database went from being accessible only through subscription to being OA, so effectively the resource has been given away! It was an executive decision, i.e. it wasn't discussed by the Board. Even though there were some concerns to begin with in some quarters, there was a very quick uptake by all departments in the World Bank. Becoming OA has actually proved to have had an excellent outcome. Researchers have embraced it as their work is being disseminated widely and their work is being used/acted upon.

There has been a massive organisational re-structure. By talking to regional managers about being "open by default", the information is being passed on to the researchers they manage. The World Bank also held "brown bag lunches", where they could talk to researchers directly about complying with the OA directive and how easy it is to comply. The 11 publishers the World Bank has agreements with make up 80% of total publishers its researchers publish in. If the World Bank employee wants to publish with another publisher (not in the 11) then Carlos negotiates with that publisher and also signs any contract. This policy seems to avoid any problems with researchers publishing with a publisher who does not provide OA and/or requires the copyright to the work.  

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