An Overview of the Open Knowledge Repository

José De Buerba is the Senior Publishing Officer and Head of Marketing at The World Bank Group Publications. José manages a team responsible for maximizing the dissemination of Bank publications, administering the Bank’s copyright, ensuring compliance with the Bank’s Open Access policy, and developing and maintaining the Open Knowledge Repository (OKR), the Bank’s official Open Access repository. The AIMS Editorial team invited José to share the World Bank’s Open Access experiences in setting up and running the Open Knowledge Repository. We asked him the following questions:-

AIMS: What is the goal of OKR and how does it support the Work Bank Open Access

JB:The goal of the OKR is to be the world’s most complete research and knowledge repository related to international development and to support the Bank’s Open Access activities. In 2012 the World Bank became the first major international organization to fully embrace Open Access by:

These three key items act in unison to optimize the discoverability, accessibility and re-use of World Bank content thereby further promoting a public good, facilitating poverty reduction, and supporting shared prosperity.

AIMS: What has been the impact of OKR and how does it support the World Bank’s Initiative

JB:The World Bank’s Open Access policy and the OKR are in line with developments occurring around the world in many governments, universities, and other institutions. The Bank’s goal is to make its research easily accessible to as wide an audience as possible. Since its launch in April 2012, over 6.3 million publications have been downloaded from the OKR. Over 50% of visits/downloads come from developing countries and 11 of the top 20 visitors to the OKR are from developing countries. By extending and improving access to Bank research, the Bank aims to encourage innovation and allow anyone in the world to build on Bank knowledge to develop solutions to development problems that will ultimately help improve the lives of poor people around the world.

The OKR has garnered considerable attention for the World Bank Group, including being described as “one of the most important hubs for economic scholarship in the world" by Creative Commons, and it was selected by the American Library Association as one of the “Best Free Reference Web Sites of 2013"                                                                                                                                              

The OKR has also enabled the World Bank to increase its efficiency in measuring not only the reach but also the impact of its publishing program. For example, through the Altmetrics badges embedded in thousands of publications in the OKR, the Bank facilitates access to over 42,000 online 'mentions' for its publications in social media, media outlets, blogs, Wikipedia, and policy documents. This allows to better gauge and compare the public interest of any given publication. Also, links to Scopus and Google Scholar shows where publications are being cited in the academic literature which allows to measure the scholarly impact of Bank publications.

AIMS: What future developments are expected or foreseen?

JB: Several developments are currently in the works including:

  • Search optimization which includes a “popularity boosting” and a “query user assistance” that will suggest to users search results based on a word, or partial word.
  • Geographic display of usage statistics.
  • Responsive usage “statlets” that will adapt to the size of the screen.
  • “Ridiculously Responsive Social Sharing Buttons” (RRSSB) to facilitate and increase the sharing of World Bank content via social media channels.
  • Upgrade to DSpace 5.1.

In addition work has started to translate the interface the metadata and the content into Spanish and French (expected to launch in 2016)