Open access is the practise of making scholarly research freely available to the world. Wikimedia shares a similar mission: to provide "the sum of all human knowledge" free to anyone with the means to access the internet. This shared goal is something that will be explored at Wikimania 2014. We believe that the open access community and the Wikimedia community have a lot to offer each other, and by working together we can help open up the world's knowledge.
We're looking for volunteers, so feel free to add yourself to the main conference volunteers page, or the list of Wikimedians who are open access advocates below. Comments and suggestions are welcome on the discussion page.
To find out more about how Wikimedia is engaging with open access, you can join the Wikimedia mailing list dedicated to open access: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/openaccess. There is also a brief history of Wikimedia engagement with open access here.
See the list of open access events, mostly in London but some further afield. If you know of any events coming up that aren't on the list, please add them!
Open science is the movement to make the scientific process more open and enable wider participation. It includes open access to the research literature, open data, open source code, open peer review, posting preprints, and outreach efforts to encourage everyone with an interest to get involved in scientific research themselves. There have been some open science projects on a massive scale such as The Polymath Project and the citizen science project Galaxy Zoo. Open science principles can also be used on smaller scale projects, for example by utilising open notebooks to record research publicly as it is carried out.
Examples of relevant Wikimedia projects
There are some specific WikiProjects in Wikipedia that are related to open access. WikiProject:Open has recently been created as an umbrella for other open WikiProjects including WikiProject Open Access. Other initiatives include:
- Signalling OA-ness - trying to decide a good way to mark up whether Wikipedia references are open access or not.
- Open Access Media Importer - 'crawls scholarly publication databases ... for supplementary audio and video files and uploads them to Wikimedia Commons if they are available under licenses compatible with such reuse.'
- monthly Open Access Reports as part of the GLAM Newsletter
- Open Access File of the Day
- The Wikipedia Library
Other Wikimedia projects, such as Wikisource, are also relevant.
There is a Wikimedia Commons open access category.
Examples of relevant non-Wikimedia projects
We're starting to compile a list of relevant organisations and people who are influential in the field of open access. Here are some highlights:
- Directory of Open Access Journals
- overview of open science: http://software-carpentry.org/blog/2013/10/the-state-of-open-science.html
This looks interesting: Open Access Wikipedia Challenge from the School of Open.
Open Access Community Liaison
Lawsonstu will serve as liaison between the open access and Wikimedia communities in preparation for Wikimania London. He will make sure that your ideas, comments, questions, suggestions and other forms of feedback reach the right people in the right time.
A message from Stuart Lawson
"Open access publishing is about providing the output of research free at point of use. Under the traditional academic publishing model, which had remained largely unchanged for several hundred years, academics and researchers would do all the intellectual work of a journal - producing content, editing, and peer review - and then publishers would turn it into a print publication and distribute and sell it. The largest purchasers of these journals were academic libraries. In effect, this meant institutions were paying for research twice: once paying the researchers’ salaries and the cost of their work, and again to have access to the published results. The cost of journals has also been rising well above inflation for decades. When journals started publishing online as well as (or instead of) print people began to realise that the old publishing model was unsustainable, and a new model of open access publishing emerged.
I believe that open access is fundamental to allowing Wikipedia to reach its full potential. Being able to verify the information on Wikipedia by following references is intrinsic to its usefulness, and this is not possible if the original research that is referenced is locked behind a paywall.
In the last 12 months there has been a massive shift in policy from the UK's major research funders, RCUK and HEFCE, who are going to mandate that all research they fund must be open access (albeit with embargoes of varying lengths). This has been driven in part by the current government's interest in it, particularly the universities minister David Willets. As much as I vehemently disagree with most of what the Conservatives are doing, high-level government support has been important in promoting the open access agenda.
The open access movement doesn't exactly have 'leaders', but there are some individuals who have made major contributions to get us to stage we're at now. Some of these people I have already made contact with and are interested in being involved in Wikimania."
Open access advocates
All of the people listed below have expressed an interest in being involved in Wikimania 2014.
- Nick Shockey - Director, Right to Research Coalition; Director of Student Advocacy, SPARC
- The R2R Coalition is a group of student associations campaigning for open access. Nick was on the Wikimania 2013 open access panel, and gave a well-received keynote at the Open Educational Resources conference 2013.
- Melissa Hagemann - Senior Program Manager, Open Society Institute; Advisory Board Member, Wikimedia Foundation
- Melissa manages projects on open access and OER (Open Educational Resources) for the Open Society Foundations.
- Cameron Neylon - Director of Advocacy, PLOS
- The Public Library of Science (PLoS) is an open access mega-journal founded in 2003. It's been one of the most important initiatives to show how open access can compete with traditional publishing in terms of quality and prestige. PLOS produces topic pages, the texts of which are then uploaded to Wikipedia. Cameron has a long history of advocating both open access and open science, and also advocates Wikipedia as a platform for public engagement with research.
- www.plos.org @CameronNeylon
- Alma Swan - Director of Advocacy Programmes, SPARC Europe
- Alma is one of the most knowledgeable people there is on open access policy. Has been involved in many different open access initiatives.
- Rupert Gatti and Alessandra Tosi - Open Book Publishers
- Academics who are the founders of Open Book Publishers, an open access monograph publishing company who are using Wikisource to host data to accompany one of their books.
- Martin Eve - Co-founder, Open Library of Humanities
- Martin is lecturer in Literature at the University of Lincoln and a co-founder of the Open Library of Humanities, a new mega-journal (yet to publish) modelled on PLOS but for humanities and social science research. Martin spoke at Wikimedia UK's conference in 2013.
- www.openlibhums.org www.martineve.com @martin_eve @openlibhums
- Joseph McArthur and David Carroll - OA Button
- They're developing a browser-based tool to track every time someone is denied access to a scholarly article (explained in this blog post), and help people find open access versions instead. Are hoping to integrate this with Wikipedia somehow.
- oabutton.wordpress.com/ @OA_Button
- Miller, Rob. Wikipedia Founder Jimmy Wales Responds. Slashdot, July 28, 2004. Retrieved 14 September 2013
- Leung, Mei Yan, 2013. To Wikipedia and beyond – Topic Pages from PLOS Computational Biology. Available at: http://blogs.plos.org/plos/2013/03/to-wikipedia-and-beyond-topic-pages-from-plos-computational-biology-4/ Retrieved 20 September 2013.