Wikimedian in Residence on Open Science/Year 2
This project ran from July 2011 till July 2013. Its activities are being continued under the umbrella of WikiProject Open Access.
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This page hosts a copy of the grant proposal that had been submitted by the Open Knowledge Foundation Germany to the Open Society Foundations (OSF) as the basis for year 2 of the Wikimedian in Residence on Open Science project. The grant was approved in July 2012.
“So, until proper OA is more widely available for all, perhaps Wikipedia–for better or worse–is the new Global Open Access.” Nigel Chaffey
The main theme of the first year was participating in activities of both the OA and the Wikimedia communities, bringing in the perspective of the other side, and to support joint activities. Most notable amongst these were the start of WikiProject Open Access (which bundles on-wiki activities related to the topic and currently receives over 100 page views per day), keynotes at Open Access Tage 2011, Academic Publishing in Europe 2012 and Open Access in Poland 2012 as well as the launch of the Topic Pages initiative at PLoS Computational Biology, in which review articles are being drafted and reviewed according to both journal and Wikipedia guidelines and, upon formal publication in the journal, continue a second life on the English Wikipedia.
On a more detailed level, work in the framework of the project also included (1) assessment and improvement of coverage of OA and related matters on Wikimedia projects, (2) facilitating the reuse of suitably licensed scholarly materials from OA sources on Wikimedia projects, (3) featuring such content on the main pages of Wikimedia projects, (4) labeling OA materials as such when cited or reused, (5) development of policies regarding open access and open data pertaining to research supported by the Wikimedia Foundation, (6) preparation of WMF responses to public consultations on matters of OA (including the Access2Research petition), (7) covering OA-related topics in the Wikimedia communication channels (e.g. Signpost May 14 and June 11, or monthly Open Access reports as part of This Month in GLAM), (8) attending OA or Wikimedia events and giving talks there, (9) engaging in software development at the wiki/ OA interface, or using OA as a test case for testing wiki tools, (10) exploring the potential for partnerships on the side of Wikimedia with academic publishers or with the OER community.
The mere existence of WikiProject Open Access, or of past OA activities under the other initiatives mentioned above does not guarantee effective functioning in the future - this needs continued community engagement, for which such a residency project is ideally suited. We thus propose to extend its duration. We also propose to extend its scope beyond English, as this would increase the exposure of both the Wikimedia community and of passive users of Wikimedia projects to OA matters and materials.
Wikimedia as the most popular provider of Open Knowledge and as a global multilingual platform is uniquely positioned within the OA world to champion reuse, and the residency provides important support for that. There is a growing number of Wikimedia outreach initiatives around the globe to institutions within the scope of OA outreach, which could provide new ways for OA to reach where it hasn’t reached yet: many of these institutions run academic journals or repositories themselves, typically not yet in an OA fashion. Their partnering with Wikimedia can thus help in building institution-internal support for open licensing and openness more generally.
OA provides particular opportunities for communicating research in the developing world, including to policy makers, and Wikipedia can play a crucial role in that: The Wikipedia Zero project allows users of a number of mobile service providers worldwide to access Wikipedia without incurring data charges - yet another reason to embrace Wikipedia and to engage with it to share scientific knowledge by way of initiatives like PLoS Computational Biology’s Topic Pages. In regions with no reliable connectivity to the Web, offline versions of Wikipedia can be deployed.
What is missing in the picture painted so far are languages other than English, and interaction between the different language communities on matters of OA. For the second year of the project, the main aim is thus to broaden community involvement with OA matters by setting up functional equivalents of the English Wikipedia’s WikiProject Open Access in three other Wikipedias with over 500,000 articles. Since the Wikimedia, OA and OKF communities in many countries overlap quite significantly with each other as well as with those engaged in OER or with Creative Commons, the project could have the welcome side effect to strengthen the ties between these communities.