[Open-access] [open-science] OKF at Open Repositories 2014

Daniel Mietchen daniel.mietchen at googlemail.com
Fri Dec 6 18:37:04 UTC 2013

On Fri, Dec 6, 2013 at 6:30 PM, Heather Morrison
<Heather.Morrison at uottawa.ca> wrote:
> hi Daniel,
> I argue that transitioning scholarly works to Wikimedia tools on a blanket
> basis is premature.
I agree, that's why any attempts in this direction have carefully
selected their targets: my bot, for instance, only targets audio and
video files under CC BY or CC0 that are available from PubMed Central.

> Before this can happen, many questions need to be
> resolved. For example, is Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons etc. prepared to
> accept the full range of licensing options and to accommodate the kind of
> attribution required by scholars?
I don't see any prospect of any Wikimedia project allowing licenses
that restrict reuse beyond CC BY-SA. Nor any reason why they should.

> To state the obvious, Wikipedia's tradition of anonymity of authors is not
> compatible with the scholarly tradition of anonymity.
So what? You certainly can use your real name in both traditions.

> The same is true of
> Wikipedia-style derivatives: anonymous editing by whoever is a very
> different tradition from the scholarly norms of citation.
So what? Scholarly norms have yet to come to grips with versioned
documents but I think that closer inspection and practical experience
tends to shift the balance in favour of public version histories. And
while the large corpus of information available from Wikipedia
certainly includes plagiarism, my experience is that copyright issues
are being dealt with rather professionally in most cases, once they
have been identified.

> Is Wikipedia
> planning to change its policy to accommodate scholarly authors?
The policies are evolving too, but not currently in the ways you outline above.

> Has anyone done research asking what scholars think of others taking their
> work and submitting it to Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons, etc., without asking
> further permission? I'm pretty sure that not even authors who deliberately
> use CC-BY licenses have really thought through what people might do with
> their works and whether they think this is okay or not.
Few academics care about (and are aware of the implications of) the
agreements they sign on licensing or copyright transfer. But maybe
they will start thinking about that if they see their name on a list
of papers reported via the OA button or a video from one of their
papers embedded in a Wikipedia.

> For example, it is
> only because I am a former Wikipedia editor that I can state with confidence
> that I consider it a poor use of my time to write works that can be readily
> changed by anyone else.
Many will share your opinion. But I think it is possible to configure
Wiki(p/m)edia engagement in a way that it is useful to the
contributors, even if they are scholars.

> Didn't PLoS have an experiment with one of their journals involving
> automatic deposit of articles in Wikipedia? How is that going?
Slowly but steadily forward. The current state is at


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