Publicly and easily available ADB research could help the student grow that idea into a project to fight poverty, promote inclusive growth, or reduce the effects of climate change in Asia and the Pacific.
As things currently stand, this graduate student in Nepal, or indeed any graduate student in one of our developing member countries, could download research for free from our corporate website. But are there any more convenient ways to empower young Asian students with knowledge? Recent studies indicate that researchers actually prefer databases and search engines that only index and present results for academic content.
Enter open access.
This could facilitate further innovations in development for Asia and the Pacific. Taking the open access principle a step further, we also decided to adopt the most liberal licenses for use and reuse of our copyrighted content in our Open Access Repository
Now we are truly where our target audiences want us to be. We are part of a knowledge network of over 3,000 open access repositories worldwide that all use the same technical standards and follow the same rules for sharing their information to facilitate exchanges of ideas and knowledge. This push is in line with ADB’s institutional commitment to remove any need for payment or permission to access, read, download, use, or distribute our publications. All of these will also be indexed by Google Scholar, one of the most popular search engines for academic research. Anyone can access and use our research, with proper attribution of course.
This is a paradigm shift in the way ADB shares its knowledge, and there simply seem to be no downsides.
Development organizations that have adopted open access in recent years have seen their work used and cited much more than before. Downloads of World Bank publications tripled in the first six months to 180,000 per month, and the current average is over 300,000 downloads per month. We hope to achieve similar results.
The OAR clearly shows not only download and view statistics but also altmetrics, which allow authors to actually see the influence and impact of their work through nontraditional metrics like how many times a study was discussed on social media, mentioned in the news, or even saved as a bookmark in a web browser.
Likewise, we want to put our publications in the hands of those who are seriously looking for solutions to development problems. Our development expertise will have more influence and impact after being cited and built upon by others. The OAR now contains more than 2,000 documents from the current archive, and will eventually include the complete back catalog of over 5,000 publications dating back to 1966.
Removing all barriers to accessing our research will ultimately benefit the people of Asia and the Pacific. It is a giant leap forward for ADB and its knowledge work, and I’m proud to be a part of it.