Submissions/The Future of Libraries and Wikipedia

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This is an accepted submission for Wikimania 2014.

Submission no. 2039
Title of the submission
The Future of Libraries and Wikipedia
Type of submission (discussion, hot seat, panel, presentation, tutorial, workshop)
Presentation with Q&A
Author of the submission
Jake Orlowitz, User:Ocaasi
E-mail address
Country of origin
United States
Affiliation, if any (organisation, company etc.)
The Wikipedia Library
Personal homepage or blog
Abstract (at least 300 words to describe your proposal)

Theoretically and strategically, Libraries and Wikipedia are natural allies. This relationship directly impacts our core activity of research and editing. Libraries are the 'source of sources', and Wikipedia is only as good as its sources. Meanwhile, Wikipedia has the viewership that libraries crave to bring people to their doors to do deeper research. By connecting Libraries and Wikipedia we can complete a virtuous circle of research and dissemination.

The Wikipedia Library started in 2010 as a way to give editors access to the highest quality reliable sources. Since then we've donate nearly 4000 free research accounts to almost 2000 top editors. Partners have included Credo, Questia, HighBeam, JSTOR, and Cochrane, high quality aggregators of reliable sources. Individually, these accounts would have cost editors several hundreds of thousands of dollars.

In the last 6 months we have expanded globally, launching our first local Wikipedia Library satellite with an Arabic Language community. We'll explore how The Wikipedia Library can expand beyond English Wikipedia and English Language sources to serve our broad editor base.

In addition to the access donation programs, the talk will introduce Wikipedia Visiting Scholars, new remote unpaid affiliate positions where top editors are given full researcher status at University Libraries. We will also highlight a partnership with OCLC to build a tool that connects readers directly to full-text references.

The talk will open up with more 'thinking big' ideas and questions that explore the potential areas of intersection and collaboration with libraries and the research community.

  • What if every publisher donated 1000 accounts to the top Wikipedia editors in that subject?
  • What if every library of research institution had an affiliated Wikipedian on staff?
  • What if every reference on Wikipedia had a link to the full-text source next to it?
  • What if every reference on Wikipedia was tagged closed access, free to read, or free to read and reuse?
  • What if we could connect every WikiProject to a top research library's reference desk?
  • What if archival metadata could help expand every stub article and infoboxes?
  • What if subject guides and finding aids were created collaboratively, and hosted by Wikimedia?
  • What if every language community had their own Wikipedia Library?

We'll end with a reflection on the state and nature of open access in our research, and leave time for questions and discussion about what directions for growth and investment we should prioritize and take on next.

GLAM Outreach or Open Scholarship
Length of session (if other than 30 minutes, specify how long)
30 minutes
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?
Slides or further information (optional)
  • The Digital Shift feature article: [1]
  • Presentation for George Mason University (2013): [2]
Special requests

Interested attendees

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  1. Lawsonstu (talk) 21:27, 30 March 2014 (UTC)
  2. OR drohowa (talk) 19:16, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
  3. Johnbod or Wiki at Royal Society John (talk) 15:32, 10 April 2014 (UTC)
  4. --Netha Hussain (talk) 09:46, 12 April 2014 (UTC)
  5. Quiddity (talk) 21:18, 12 April 2014 (UTC)
  6. Micru (talk) 13:39, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
  7. --Another Believer (talk) 18:04, 6 May 2014 (UTC)
  8. Symac (talk) 22:29, 4 June 2014 (UTC)
  9. Discott (talk) 10:31, 2 July 2014 (UTC)
  10. Masssly (talk) 14:28, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
  11. Johnbod (talk) 19:09, 30 July 2014 (UTC)
  12. Mwacha (talk) 17:39, 4 August 2014 (UTC)
  13. --OlafJanssen (talk) 13:01, 5 August 2014 (UTC)
  14. NickK (talk) 23:56, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
  15. Kerismawati (talk) 07:27, 9 August 2014
  16. GillHamilton (talk) 11:27, 9 August 2014 (UTC)