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WRI’s Open Data Commitment

WRI believes that sound policies and informed decisions require the free flow of information. To that end, we commit to making our data and the results of our research freely available for all to use.

WRI strives to make our data and the results of our research open to anyone, enabling users to create their own products, conduct their own analyses, and draw their own conclusions. To support this vision, WRI commits to three key principles of open data:

  1. Data should be licensed openly for free, allowing anyone to use, share, and adapt our work.
  2. Data should be easily accessible and downloadable, thoroughly described, machine-readable, and maintained over time, to enable reuse.
  3. Data should be complete and primary, such that others are able to test and examine our work.

Data not found on datasets.wri.org may be requested at data@wri.org. For questions or concerns, please contact Carolyn Savoldelli at csavoldelli@wri.org.

Why Open Data?

We understand the value of open data. Every day, we rely on data and research created by others to conduct our work. We also believe that open data inspires participation and innovation, and increases our reach in providing governments, businesses, and people the necessary tools to make informed decisions. Finally, we believe that our work stands up under scrutiny, and allowing others to see the data behind our analyses ensures that it does.

WRI has a long history of publicly sharing data, from our earliest hard copy data tables in the original World Resources Report to the continued work of The Access Initiative promoting the right to information. We are now challenging ourselves to expand the scope and comprehensiveness of our data sharing.

How will we get there?

WRI is taking six steps to meet our open data commitment:

  1. We have adopted the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License as our standard license for publications and data, and the MIT License as our standard license for source code.
  2. We will publish data via an open data portal, and ensure our data are documented, archived, and machine-readable.
  3. Authors are required to submit primary data along with manuscripts for publication.
  4. We require research and data funded by WRI sub-grants to be released under a Creative Commons or equivalent license.
  5. We will fulfill any requests for data in a timely manner, and keep a public record of responses. Data or information products not found on datasets.wri.org may be requested at data@wri.org.
  6. We encourage data partners, governments, and other NGOs to adopt the same principles, and to share their own data and research openly, to advance the public good.

What doesn’t fall under this commitment?

WRI’s open data commitment applies to all data created or collected for WRI’s research, publications, and other knowledge products, with three important exceptions:

  1. When WRI is legally obligated to not disclose data or proprietary information, we will not.
  2. When the disclosure may threaten the personal privacy of individuals, data should be anonymized or redacted prior to publication.
  3. When a publication has not yet been reviewed or published, the decision to share the publication’s supporting data is left to the discretion of the author.

WRI analyses and applications may draw on data that is created and owned by others. In this case, WRI does not control access to the data. Instead, we encourage the original source to release the data openly, and we provide contact information for the original source.

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