Research talk:Committee/Areas of interest/Open-access policy

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Initial remarks[edit]

Daniel, thanks for getting this started. A few general thoughts:

  1. We should consider that journals published by STM publishers usually charge authors an open access fee. Where institutional support is available (see for example Springer's OA partnership with the University of California or the Dutch University Consortium) enforcing an OA policy is straightforward. However, when authors are supposed to pay for rights clearance from their own budget open access is not going to happen unless the author can tap into grants to cover publication fees. More junior researchers won't have access to resources to clear rights and this will affect the circulation of their work and make it hard to enforce an OA policy. This is particularly important as a large part of the social computing/wiki research community is composed by junior researchers.
  2. It might be useful to link the WMF OA policy to SHERPA/RoMEO categories. We could say that under the WMF OA policy when submitting an article to a journal, authors should only consider Green/Blue publisher journals.
  3. An explicit reference to electronic archives in the first version of the policy is indispensable. It doesn't bother me that the wording is too technical as long as it ensures that articles are effectively being published on platforms that form part of the OA ecosystem. All other self-publication strategies (e.g. self-publication of author versions on personal website), do not comply in my opinion with a strict OA policy.
  4. An explicit mention of "reuse" sounds to me a bit redundant in the context of this policy unless we want to stress that the rationale for an OA policy for WMF-supported projects results from the Foundation's general policy about open-licensed content.
  5. The scope of the policy should probably be extended beyond "WMF-funded projects". We agreed during the last RCom meeting that projects that require substantial technical efforts from the Foundation (e.g. to produce data or give access to resources that are not immediately available to researchers) should also fall under this policy.
  6. Specifying format requirements might be unnecessary as nowadays OAI-compliant platforms require that papers be uploaded in an open format.
  7. If we were to include an open data clause, it would be nice to point researchers to a specific platform where all Wikimedia-related datasets would be openly accessible.


I turned your bullet points into numbers, so as to facilitate specific replies.
ad 1) Yes, article charges are indeed a problem, though not only for OA journals. The majority of OA journals does not charge fees but a couple of approaches exist to deal with those who do: institutional support (as you pointed out, which may be on a per-article basis or a flat rate for a whole institution), support from funders (could this even be the WMF?? don't think so, but I suppose most WMF-supported research projects will have other funders as well, and many of these now cover OA publication fees), fee waivers (e.g. PLoS) and so on - how can we rephrase the current text suitably?
ad 2) Yes, that might be useful.
ad 3) Agreed, and I thought I had kept that bit throughout the modifications.
ad 4) What I have in mind here is mostly images and other non-text media. Green OA does not allow them to be reused (e.g. in Wikipedia articles), while Gold does.
ad 5) Yes, "WMF-supported" is better.
ad 6) I am not convinced but will read up.
ad 7) Sure, any suggestions?
-- Daniel Mietchen 16:53, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
3 and 5 fixed. -- Daniel Mietchen 17:02, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

DFCW compliance[edit]

Thanks for continuing to work on this. My inclination would be to require the publication license to be consistent with the Definition of Free Cultural Works. This is a necessary (but not sufficient) precondition for compatibility with Wikimedia content, and I think that we should aim for OA licensing that enables works to be usable in a Wikimedia context.--Eloquence 03:07, 11 November 2010 (UTC)

This would essentially mean to drop Green OA (which focuses on archiving outside the paywall, without provisions for reuse) in favour of Gold OA (which focuses on Open licensing). That would actually be my preference too, and while the scholarly world is not all too ready for that in general, those who deal with Wikipedia and related open projects should be more open to that (provided that point 1 is addressed). DFCW would be one of several such approaches, Open Definition another. -- Daniel Mietchen 14:18, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
Because there's also the issue of what's a "significant support", just to be sure, I add that a research like Research:Dynamics of Online Interactions and Behavior should be required to be OA gold. Nemo 17:52, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
Yes, that project is certainly an important test case for the current draft of the policy. Thanks! -- Daniel Mietchen 22:29, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

The question of translation of research and filling the gap for their applicability[edit]

In general I am fine with what has been said about OA. Rcom has to promote that researcher on/about Wikipedia has some OA outcomes, not doubth about that. But my view is that, I think the discussion is a bit too focus on OA, while the question to me is encouraging researchers on making efforts to transmit and translate the research to Wikimedia terms and to the language of action/aplication of research. That is, to me it is important to encorage OA, but not more important that to encorage researchers to develop outcomes of their researcher (writen materials, presentations, interventions in community discussions etc) that help to "translate" their research results in order that the communities can learn or extract lessons from it. It is unrealistic to expect that many wikipedians will read the academic literature on wikipedia, but they would benefit more from the research if the results of that research circulate in the circles of discussion in wikimedia. In other words, I would encorage also to researchers that they help to fill the gap between their researcher results and their applicability or usefulness for the communities, for example, by writing easy to read and less academic heavy texts, like short resumes, writing posts to mailing list summarizing main findings, suggestion presentations at Wikimedia, adding the input of their researcher where discussions related to it are taking place at the community, etc. --Lilaroja 14:35, 25 February 2011 (UTC)