ADB Adopts Open Access for its Development Research

News Release | 12 February 2015

MANILA, PHILIPPINES – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has made all its economic and development research on Asia and the Pacific available under open access, a principle that promotes unrestricted online access to scholarly research so that it can be more widely distributed and used.

ADB’s open access initiative combines the creation and launch of a new open access website with the adoption of more liberal terms of use for ADB copyrighted knowledge products. Open access removes the need for any form of payment or permission to gain access, read, download, use, or distribute an ADB publication.

“ADB is at the forefront of development thinking and practice in Asia and the Pacific and everyone—from a graduate student studying in Azerbaijan to a government official in Fiji—should be empowered with the right to access and use our knowledge and expertise as they wish,” said Bindu N. Lohani, ADB Vice-President for Knowledge Management and Sustainable Development. “Open access removes all barriers to accessing our research.”

The open access website was launched today with more than 2,000 publications from ADB’s current publications and archive. It will eventually include the complete back catalog of ADB research—well over 5,000 publications—dating back to 1966, the year ADB was established.

Scholarly research is traditionally published in commercial academic journals that often require an expensive paid subscription to access it and strict terms of use to reproduce it. Open access is based on the principle that publically-funded research should be circulated as widely as possible so that the knowledge can be built upon, which may lead to innovative ways of thinking.

“The graduate student in Azerbaijan may have the next great idea in development,” said Mr. Lohani. “We must ensure that she or he has unrestricted access to the information and research needed to help produce that great idea.”

ADB joins other multilateral development banks, like the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank, as one of the first international financial institutions to embrace the principle of unfettered online access to research.

The new website conforms to standards already used by more than 3,000 open access repositories worldwide. These standards aim to facilitate the exchange of information between institutional and university repositories. They will also make it easier for ADB research to be indexed on academic search engines, such as Google Scholar.

ADB’s Open Access Repository can be found at https://openaccess.adb.org

ADB, based in Manila, dedicates itself to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members—48 from the Asia-Pacific region.