The Open Access movement wants to make all scholarly literature, and all publicly funded research, freely available to everyone online. Open Access is a prerequisite for an environment in which Wikimedia projects can flourish. Acknowledging this, Wikimedia has been part of the Open Access movement since 2009 or earlier, raising public awareness and intensifying cooperation with others in the OA movement.

Open Access logo

How to help


Finding guides to OA.


  • If it's not online we can't link it.
  • If it's not in a free license we can't incorporate it.
  • If it isn't digital and shared it may disappear.
  • We want free culture and open content to expand in all fields. That's our end goal, not where the material is; and we all benefit from osmosis.
  • Science needs to pervade the population, then they'll be in the right mindset for reading, writing, collaborating.
  • Ignorance and illiteracy kills us.
  • If research findings flow better, the population will be aware of them and share this increased knowledge with others, including on Wikimedia projects.
  • Access helps those without local schools learn.

Policy wishlist

  • By country
    There are only 20 countries in which at least one research funder has an Open Access policy (see ROARMAP).
    Look at templates and push for one to take effect in your country.
    Spread one success in your country to others.
  • By field
    Write about open publishing
Information is power. You have the power to have impact, to change things, to make them better. (Aaron Swartz)
WP will open up the world. And you will bring your knowledge back to it.
  • By topic
    Alternate metrics
    design and promote alt metrics that include publishing through Wikipedia. Articulate how publishing to WP helps to spread adoption of methods and ideas. Maintain, evaluate, and publish the results of evaluating those metrics.
  • Make OA the default for everyone:
    Target research funders
    get them to require OA publishing to get funding. This affects 80% of all research (by #? by impact?) but much research is funded more by international agencies, not just gov. agencies.
    Sensitize people to WP as an OA signal
    get them to check the reference section on WP articles to measure OA impact.
    Get Wikimedia's public support
    Indicate global support for the effort and alignment of OA and free knowledge. The idea that OA is essential and part of good research.

Examples of OA in use


Jack Andraka (@jackandraka) won the ISEF science fair for his work creating a better test for pancreatic cancer (~10^9 better overall [performance*price] than existing tests). Most of the detailed research he needed beyond Google + Wikipedia knowledge was locked behind paywalls at ~$20-100 per item.

The Right to Research Coalition is a student-run organisation in the US. It plays a meaningful role in getting the US to do the right thing.

The article on Jack Andraka doesn't exist in Kazakh; that could be a good experience to think about the issues involved. Why did that matter to him, what did he achieve?

Wikimedia activities


Promotion of OA


Interaction with other OA promoters


English Wikipedia


Users interested in Open Access, as a topic to write about and as a source for English Wikipedia, have had w:en:WikiProject:Open Access since 2012. Other projects are OABOT and more.



Wikimania 2013 OA panel

Etherpad for notes

Nick Shockey - leads the Right to Research Coalition.

Lane Rasberry - WiR for Consumer Reports.

Lesley Chan - bio informatics journal and related journals. It's a platform basd in Brazil since 1993. He's also assoc. director at U. Toronto Scarborough, teaching and studying how OA could address the N/S imbalance in knowledge production and related development issues: including neglected tropical diseases, food security, and social justice.

Daniel Mietchen - biophysicist; working on semantic data on the web. WM work on science sustainability, outreach to science communities, and collaboration across projects and chapters. WiR on Open Science. (slides)

Aubrey - digital librarian, works with Open Access journals from University of Bologna. Slides

Wikimania 2014


An entire track, see wm2014:Open Scholarship.

See also