Submissions/Free as in Free: Strategies for Advancing Open Access on Wikipedia

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This is an accepted submission for Wikimania 2015.

Submission no.
Title of the submission
Free as in Free: Strategies for Advancing Open Access on Wikipedia
Type of submission (discussion, hot seat, panel, presentation, tutorial, workshop)
Panel Presentation + Discussion
Author of the submission
Nick Shockey, Jake Orlowitz
E-mail address,
nschockey, Ocaasi
SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition), The Wikipedia Library (Wikimedia Foundation)
Personal homepage or blog,
Abstract (at least 300 words to describe your proposal)

Wikipedia is the greatest open knowledge work ever created, but it’s often built upon references that are closed to all but a few. It’s a core policy of Wikipedia that content must be verifiable--backed up by a reliable source--but that doesn’t mean easily verifiable. Particularly for references citing scientific and scholarly work, Wikipedia users often hit publisher paywalls as they click through to read a source. Wikipedia is the 8th largest referrer of traffic to scholarly research (as measured by DOI click throughs), meaning every day Wikipedia points an innumerable number of users to articles they cannot access or verify.

Achieving the mission of sharing knowledge means advancing towards broader open access to it. This presentation will cover a variety of projects and initiatives that push us closer to that goal and put the efforts within the Wikimedia community in the context of the larger Open Access movement.

Topics to be highlighted include:

Introduction (4 minutes)
  • The importance of the accessibility of sources on Wikipedia
  • The parallels between the mission of Wikipedia and the OA movement
  • Update on the global state of the Open Access movement
Four projects (16 minutes)
  • Signalling open access sources on Wikipedia
  • Promoting open access through The Wikipedia Library
  • Wikimedia Foundation OA policy
  • How Wikipedia Zero could disseminate scholarly research without data charges
  • Misc: PLOS topic reviews, open access reader, open research data, OER,
How Wikimedians can get involved (2 minutes)
Discussion (8 minutes)


  • Nick Shockey (moderator), Director of Programs & Engagement, SPARC; Director; Right to Research Coalition
  • Jake Orlowitz, Head of The Wikipedia Library, Wikimedia Foundation
  • Yana Wellinder, Senior Legal Counsel Wikimedia Foundation
  • Daniel Mietchen, Open Access Signalling Project and CrossRef
  • Jorge Vargas, Wikimedia Zero
Legal & Free Culture
Length of session (if other than 30 minutes, specify how long)
60 or 90
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?
Yes (to both)
Slides or further information (optional)
Special requests

Interested attendees

If you are interested in attending this session, please sign with your username below. This will help reviewers to decide which sessions are of high interest. Sign with a hash and four tildes. (# ~~~~).

  1. This is one of the more important panels proposed because light intervention would bring a huge amount of high-quality content into Wikimedia projects. Blue Rasberry (talk) 00:51, 1 March 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  2. Slowking4 (talk) 01:27, 1 March 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  3. Dario (WMF) (talk) 18:02, 3 March 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  4. --Psubhashish (talk) 08:51, 7 May 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  5. --Roxyuru (talk) 23:57, 20 May 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  6. --アンタナナ 23:27, 22 May 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  7. --Olimar (talk) 20:52, 12 July 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  8. Dashaund (talk) 03:16, 15 July 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  9. Sebastian Sooth (WMDE) (talk) 20:12, 18 July 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  10. Add your username here.