World Bank Open Access Policy for Formal Publications

Since July 2012, the World Bank will “require open access under copyright licensing from Creative Commons—a non-profit organization whose copyright licenses are designed to accommodate the expanded access to information afforded by the Internet” .The default license to be used will be the CC-BY license, which allows anyone to copy, distribute, adopt, or make commercial use of the work, under the condition of attribution.

Text of the policy from

The World Bank supports the free online communication and exchange of knowledge as the most effective way of ensuring that the fruits of research, economic and sector work, and development practice are made widely available, read, and built upon. It is therefore committed to open access, which, for authors, enables the widest possible dissemination of their findings and, for readers, increases their ability to discover pertinent information. The Open Access Policy for Formal Publications establishes the Bank’s expectations relating to the public accessibility of knowledge resulting from (1) work carried out by Bank staff members as part of their official duties and (2) outside research funded by the Bank. For work carried out by Bank staff, the policy applies to manuscripts and all accompanying data sets (a) that result from research, analysis, economic and sector work, or development practice; (b) that have undergone peer review or have been otherwise vetted and approved for release to the public; and (c) for which internal approval for release is given on or after July 1, 2012. For external research funded by the Bank, for which funding was approved on or after July 1, 2012, the policy applies to the final report provided by the researchers to the funding unit within the Bank. The Bank owns the rights to this work, as stipulated in paragraph 3.2 of the Principles of Staff Employment, unless it has chosen to relinquish those rights. External research funded through trust funds that are administered by the Bank are subject to the rules of the trust fund.

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Cape Town Open Education Declaration (2007)

The Cape Town Declaration is not a definitive statement of open education, but an evolving proposal signed by hundreds of learners, educators, trainers, authors, schools, colleges, universities, publishers, unions, professional societies, policymakers, governments, and foundations.

The declaration makes specific reference to OER by claiming that “openly licensed course materials, lesson plans, textbooks, games, software and other materials that support teaching and learning” should be “licensed to facilitate use, revision, translation, improvement and sharing by anyone”.

It also identifies a need for more robust policies in support of OER:  “governments, school boards, colleges and universities should make open education a high priority. Ideally, taxpayer-funded educational resources should be open educational resources. Accreditation and adoption processes should give preference to open educational resources. Educational resource repositories should actively include and highlight open educational resources within their collections”.

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2012 Paris OER Declaration

This statement of recommendation was passed at The World OER Congress held at UNESCO, Paris on 20-22 June 2012.  It builds on a range of previous international statements (see citation) and sets out the following recommendations for member states:

  • Foster awareness and use of OER
  • Facilitate enabling environments for use of Information and Communications Technologies (ICT)
  • Reinforce the development of strategies and policies on OER
  • Promote the understanding and use of open licensing frameworks
  • Support capacity building for the sustainable development of quality learning materials
  • Foster strategic alliances for OER
  • Encourage the development and adaptation of OER in a variety of languages and cultural contexts
  • Encourage research on OER
  • Facilitate finding, retrieving and sharing of OER
  • Encourage the open licensing of educational materials produced with public funds
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Budapest Open Access Initiative (2002)

Type: Policy | Country: | Locale: | Sector: ,

This statement of principal, strategy and commitment was signed by a range of academics, librarians, foundations, journals and learned societies.  It contains two main strategies for improving open access to peer-reviewed scholarly literature:

  • Tools and assistance for the self-archiving of scholarly works including support for search optimization
  • Helping journals to ensure permanent access to their articles through open access publication (however this is sustained)
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UNESCO Open Access Repository

Type: Policy | Country: | Locale: | Sector: , , ,

UNESCO has announced a new Open Access Repository making more than 300 digital reports, books and articles available to the world under the Creative Commons IGO licenses.  By open licensing its publications, UNESCO not only makes all the knowledge it creates freely and openly available to the world, but it sets an important example for its 195 member (and 9 associate member) nations about the strong policy arguments for releasing publicly funded resources under open licenses.

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USA State Dept expands access to OER in the Middle East and North Africa

Type: Policy | Country: | Locale: | Sector: , ,

A recent media missive by the US State Department sets out the parameters of a knowledge exchange project designed to innovate through OER.

The U.S. Department of State is sponsoring a special exchange program on Open Educational Resources (OER) for education leaders in the Middle East and North Africa. Open Educational Resources are publically available course syllabi and materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools or techniques. OERs support the State Department’s goal of increasing access to education. Participants will use what they learn to increase educational opportunities for underserved youth and promote economic development through education in their home countries.

The fifteen leading educational innovators and policy makers from countries in the Middle East and North Africa will meet with their U.S. counterparts to better understand the OER landscape and to learn from and collaborate with one another. The three-week program promotes the development of a network of OER organizations in the region. Participants from Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestinian Territories, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Tunisia, and Yemen will work with U.S. counterparts at organizations such as the OpenCourseWare Consortium, Hewlett Foundation, and Creative Commons.

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EC: Opening Up Education

Type: Policy | Country: | Locale: | Sector: , , ,

Opening up Education is an action plan to tackle this and other digital problems which are hampering schools and universities from delivering high quality education and the digital skills which 90% of jobs will require by 2020.

Between 50% and 80% of students in EU countries never use digital textbooks, exercise software, broadcasts/podcasts, simulations or learning games. Most teachers at primary and secondary level do not consider themselves as ‘digitally confident’ or able to teach digital skills effectively, and 70% would like more training in using ICTs. Pupils in Latvia, Lithuania and the Czech Republic are the most likely to have internet access at school (more than 90%), twice as much as in Greece and Croatia (around 45%).

Higher education also faces a digital challenge: with the number of EU students set to rise significantly in the next decade, universities need to adapt traditional teaching methods and offer a mix of face-to-face and online learning possibilities, such as MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), which allow individuals to access education anywhere, anytime and through any device. But many universities are not ready for this change.

A joint initiative led by Androulla Vassiliou, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, and Neelie Kroes, Commission Vice-President, responsible for the Digital Agenda, Opening up Education focuses on three main areas:

  • Creating opportunities for organisations, teachers and learners to innovate;
  • Increased use of Open Educational Resources (OER), ensuring that educational materials produced with public funding are available to all; and
  • Better ICT infrastructure and connectivity in schools.

The full roadmap can be consulted at

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Public Library of Science (PLOS) Open Data Policy

Type: Policy | Country: | Locale: | Sector: ,

The PLOS Data Policy which came into effect on 1 March 2014 requires authors to make all data underlying the findings described in their manuscript fully available without restriction (with rare exception). When submitting a manuscript online, authors must provide a Data Availability Statement describing compliance with PLOS’s policy.

The intent of the PLOS Data Policy is to facilitate openness through data availability and transparency. Authors of all research articles submitted to any PLOS journal on or after March 1 are required to include a statement detailing the availability of all data discussed in the manuscript. The data availability statement will be published with the article if accepted.  The policy requires data to be structured in such a way as to facilitate potential reuse and reorganization.

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