Submissions:2014/The Real and Potential Intersections of Open Access and Wikimedia

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Title of the submission
The Real and Potential Intersections of Open Access and Wikimedia
Themes (Proposal Themes - Community, Tech, Outreach, GLAM, Education)
Outreach, GLAM, Education
Type of submission (Presentation Types - Panel, Workshop, Presentation, etc)
Presentation (Curated Talk)
Author of the submission
E-mail address
US state or country of origin
Abstract (at least 300 words to describe your proposal)

The Wikimedia movement and the Open Access (OA) movement have similar philosophies and goals. Wikimedians work to support the creation of freely accessible knowledge and educative content on the Internet and increasingly in offline spaces, while OA activists advocate for no-cost and barrier-free access to peer-reviewed academic material via the Internet. At their bases, both aspire towards free and open access to knowledge for the masses. The linkages between the two movements seem obvious—one seeks to create entirely open repositories for legitimate and verifiable information, and the other hopes to make the authoritative resources necessary for the creation of those databases freely and easily accessible—but many individuals from both communities continue to feel that the potential synergies between the two movements has not been fully realized.

This is not to say that attempts to build connections between the two movements do not exist. On the contrary, explorations of the similarities between the goals and practices of the Open Access movement and the Wikimedia (WM) projects and the potential for interaction and integration have closely accompanied the growth of WM, and OA-related activities have have been intensifying since 2011. However, efforts to strengthen the relationship between OA and WM have been largely piecemeal, and the integration of OA materials into the WM projects has been slow. The current state of interaction between the two movements was eloquently summed up for me by Andrea Zanni, a long-time Wikimedian and Board member of Wikimedia Italia, when he pointed out that despite the efforts of both the OA and Wikimedian communities, OA and WM appear to function largely in parallel: they are moving in the same direction, but do so independently of one another.

Over the last couple of months, I've been looking very closely at the current and potential intersections of the OA and the WM movement in order to get a better idea of some of the barriers that prevent deeper interaction between the two movements and what Wikimedians and OA activists can do to overcome these obstacles. In this presentation, I'd like to discuss some of my findings, with a particular emphasis on the current interconnections between OA and WM and what can be done to further intensify this relationship in the future. My goal is not to provide a full synopsis of all efforts that have been put towards the realization of the full potential for collaboration between the two movements, nor to advise on which activities should or should not be pursued by activists and volunteers in the future. Instead, with Open Scholarship having been declared as one of five themes of the upcoming Wikimania conference in August, the aim for this presentation is to push forward the dialogue between Wikimedians, OA advocates, and the public on how the intersections between OA and WM have been and are being approached and what could be done to carry these efforts forward, and provide some entry points for those people that are interested in getting involved in these efforts and/or supporting the current activities of the OA and Wikimedian communities.

The structure of this proposed presentation would be as follows:

I. Introduction

-Why should we be focused on strengthening the relationship between OA and WM?

II. Current Intersections of OA and WM

-Current OA-related activities that are carried out by Wikimedians

-Brief overview of formal grants/projects that are working to increase the synergy between OA and WM

III. Potential Intersections and Barriers to a More Profound Partnership

IV. What Can Be Done to Overcome these Barriers?

-What can be done within Wikimedia/by Wikimedians

-What can be done by OA activists and by other individuals/groups outside of the Wikimedia universe

Further, if you're interested in learning more about the intersections between WM and OA before this presentation (should it be accepted, that is), I recommend that you check out:

-WikiProject Open Access

-Mietchen, D. 2014. Wikimedia and Open Access: a Rich History of Interactions. Wikimedia Foundation: Wikimedia Blog.

-Willinsky, J. 2007. What Open Access Research Can Do For Wikipedia. First Monday, 12(3).

Length of presentation/talk (see Presentation Types for lengths of different presentation types)
15 minutes
Will you attend WikiConference USA if your submission is not accepted?
Slides or further information (optional)
[will post when prepared]

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