Many thanks to everyone who attended or presented at last week’s Open Access Oxford Week. We’ll be posting reports of all the events, with slides where possible, starting with this one from Monday 4th March:
Martin Poulter, our Wikimedian in Residence, set the scene for the week with an excellent talk on the confluence of the various Open movements (open access to research outputs, open science, open educational resources, open citations, open data and open culture) followed by an introduction to Wikipedia editing.
The idea of ‘knowledge philanthropy’, sharing learning and knowledge freely for the benefit of humanity, underpinned the whole session. He pointed out the unsatisfactory situation where flawed material is available freely on the internet, but to obtain good quality material you have to be ‘part of the club’ to access it.
Open access: the Budapest declaration was the first manifesto for open access to research literature back in 2002, and although many papers are now freely available, problems with reproducibility, the ‘replication crisis’, have prompted initiatives such as ReplicationWiki to improve the transparency of research in social sciences.
Open data: the sharing of top-level data enables the creation of maps, timelines and other interactive visualisations. Martin demonstrated an interactive timeline on Histropedia of Voltaire’s works, created in collaboration with Oxford’s Voltaire Foundation, using openly accessible data, text and images; and Scholia, a tool to handle scientific bibliographic information through Wikidata (http://tools.wmflabs.org/scholia/).
Open citations: this is the biggest group of open data, with many publishers making their bibliographic references freely available, enabling for example timelines to be created on disease outbreaks.
Open science, or open research/open scholarship, encompasses all these elements and more.
Open education: the Cape Town declaration in 2007 was a milestone for the open educational resources movement (OER) which aims to make teaching and learning materials freely available.
Open culture: galleries, libraries and museums making images, text or data freely available, enabling projects such as image restoration, or astrolabe data sharing – Wikidata and other sources collated into a master list, Astrolabe Explorer, with contextual information for education and research.
“It’s amazing how little code you need to make an interactive map.”
Wikipedia – a tool for promoting & sharing research findings
Wikipedia has become the world’s top information website and it can aid public engagement with research by building stronger links within Wikipedia to resources maintained by the academy. Its reputation has improved to the point where topic articles are now being written for and published in Wikipedia, complete with a prominent badge in the Wikipedia references to confirm the article is based on a scholarly article. An example is ‘Circular permutation in proteins’ (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circular_permutation_in_proteins). Wikipedia is a major referrer of DOIs, linking to the original research article and as such, does not substitute research publications, but acts as a bridge to those publications.
Journal-to-Wiki publication is a way of getting a Wikipedia article out of a journal research article, whereby a summary accessible to the lay person can be added to Wikipedia by repurposing journal text and figures (example: Cameron Press Photo Archive article in Wikipedia and journal Vestiges of Record, as explained in Martin’s previous post for us).
Wikipedia (articles/encyclopedia) is the best known member of the Wikimedia family of 12 sister projects sharing in the sum of all knowledge, including Wikimedia Commons (media/images), Wikisource (text/books), Wikidata (secondary data) and Wikishootme (make a map of Wikimedia items using coordinates).
“Open platforms that encourage remixing – specifically the Wikimedia family of projects – are helping us discover overlaps between education, public engagement and research impact.”
The presentation was followed by a hands-on opportunity for participants to learn and practice Wikipedia authoring and editing using the sandbox area. As a result, we hope to see many more mentions and links to Oxford research in Wikipedia in future.
Editing Wikipedia: some guidelines
Martin distributed a Helpful Hints how-to guide, and explained the ground rules of writing for Wikipedia such as avoiding expressing personal opinion, making recommendations to users and false balance. Wikipedia’s aim is to summarise the most reliable sources. Items should be written in such a way that others can check facts. Content should be original and not copyrighted property. Wikipedia content is released under a liberal licence with no commercial use restrictions. Martin demonstrated how to find information about the readership and the editorial history of articles, and the ‘Featured Article’ (FA) indicator of article quality. You can’t post new research findings on Wikipedia but as mentioned above peer-reviewed pieces are welcome, eg Dengue fever article is a Wikipedia clinical review and has a link to the formally published version as well as the FA icon (small bronze star at top right corner of an article).
Martin’s presentation slides, with some images removed for copyright reasons, are on Wikimedia Commons.
Dr Martin Poulter is Wikimedian In Residence at the University of Oxford, based at the Bodleian Libraries. An overview of his work can be found on Wikidata.