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Virtual Sets Offer Customized Harvesting from the World Bank Open Knowledge Repository Built on DSpace

From Jose de Buerba, Manager, Marketing and Communications, Publishing and Knowledge

The World Bank Open Knowledge Repository (OKR) – the World Bank’s official open access repository for its research outputs and knowledge products – now makes it possible for any OAI-PMH-compliant repository to harvest specific publications or thematic sets of content across multiple collections within the OKR. This is done through “virtual sets” based on pre-defined search queries and/or filters. The virtual sets not only save repository managers time in harvesting the OKR content, but also save time spent on curation by ensuring that the items harvested meet their desired criteria.

“Most repositories only allow harvesting of the full repository or at the collection level. Rather than having to sift through to find relevant content after it’s been ingested, the virtual sets remove that step, making the process much more manageable and efficient for IR managers, ” said Tom Breineder, OKR Product Manager. The World Bank and @mire – the DSpace service provider supporting the development of the OKR – are exploring the possibility of making the code for virtual sets freely available to the DSpace community.

Queries for virtual sets in the OKR may be as broad as “Health in Africa” or “Climate Change” or as narrow as “Agribusiness in Tanzania” and “Microfinance in Bangladesh”. Six sample virtual sets have been created and are now available for other repositories to begin ingesting at sets are maintained by OKR administrators. To request a new virtual set, repository managers may contact

In addition, as per OAI-PMH protocols, metadata can be harvested for the entire OKR, a collection, or for a specific publication. Harvesting syntax, instructions, and examples are available at

“We hope this new development will encourage repository managers to harvest metadata from OKR, so their users can quickly search, discover, and access World Bank publications within their own repositories,” said Carlos Rossel, World Bank Publisher.

For more information please contact Jose de Buerba, Manager - Marketing and Communications, World Bank Publications (

About the World Bank Open Knowledge Repository (

The World Bank is the largest single source of development knowledge. Through the World Bank Open Knowledge Repository (OKR) (, the World Bank collects, disseminates, and permanently preserves its intellectual output in digital form. It also increase the range of people who can discover and access Bank content—from governments and civil society organizations (CSOs), to students and the general public.

The OKR is built on DSpace and is interoperable with other repositories. It supports optimal discoverability and re-usability of the content. All OKR metadata is exposed through the OAI-PMH (Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting) protocol. By extending and improving access to World Bank research, the World Bank aims to encourage innovation and allow anyone in the world to use Bank knowledge to develop solutions to development problems that will help improve the lives of those living in poverty. Since its launch, more than 3 million publications have been downloaded from the OKR, and nearly half of its users are in developing countries.

Submitted by Carol Minton Morris on Fri, 2014-05-16 09:30