Imagine a Wikipedia where everyone can verify their sources
Wikipedia is a first stop for researchers, students and those looking for reliable information. Let's make it even better!
Just go to oabot.org and you can add a free-to-read link alongside a closed access, paywalled citation.
Early in 2017 #1lib1ref engaged librarians in the process of adding just one reference to Wikipedia. Every citation to a reliable source is a benefit to Wikipedia readers worldwide. Now, we want to make as many of these references possible Open Access. Open Access, in its broadest sense, is a term to describe academic publications that are freely available to everyone.
When you check a reference to the article, make sure to include the hashtag #OAWiki in the edit summary so that we can track participation.
Running in fall to coincide with Open Access Week, the #OAWiki campaign is supported by The Wikipedia Library. We work closely with a number of local library networks to promote the campaign. Check out who is participating and add your organization.
As part of the campaign local libraries of all types and sizes are hosting activities to promote the campaign: check them out! If you would like to host an event, check The Coffee Hour Kit for ideas and tools!
If you need help at any time, connect with other librarians or post a message to the OAWiki Talk page.
Want to learn more about Open Access? Check out our open access resources page.
How to Participate
There are two options: Use the OABot tool to confirm if sources are Open Access or you can research citations on your own.
The OABot is a tool that displays links on Wikipedia which are closed access and suggests an open version to add to the citation. The OABot does a lot of the work for you, but it needs human review to actually make an edit.
Click HERE to use the OABot (You will need a Wikipedia account, create one for free HERE.)
You will be asked to verify four components:
- If the original citation is closed access, proceed to the next question. If not, click SKIP to get a new article.
- If the new citation is open access, proceed to the next question. If not, click SKIP to get a new article.
- If both citations (closed access and open access) are the same article, proceed to the next question. Otherwise SKIP.
- If the new citation is likely copyright compliant*** then go ahead and LINK. *** Check OA and Copyright Issues for explanation.
If you would like to check citations without using the bot, follow these four steps:
- Find an article with a reference. There are many ways to do this. Here are some strategies.
- Identify a reference in a Wikipedia article by clicking on the superscript number associated with the reference in the text
- Click on the highlighted blue link, if it is present
- Does the link open to the full source? If yes, it is highly likely this is an openly available source
- Continue to the next reference in the document
- Add the project hashtag #OAWiki in the edit summary
- Share your edit on social media.
Why Should I Participate?
- Because anyone can edit Wikipedia, the Wikipedia community has developed a core strategy to ensure the quality of information in its articles: including footnotes to reliable sources to allow Wikipedia readers to "verify" the information. OA adds an essential layer to the information creation process by providing transparency to knowledge creation. In the OAWiki project, contributors like you evaluate whether a source is OA, and if not, it allows contributors to search if there is an OA source available. This strategy helps the global volunteer community effectively work towards meeting Wikipedia's vision: creating "the sum of all human knowledge."
- Citations are only as good as their sources. OA allows users to back-track to the source and confirm the validity of the citation. It brings transparency and reliability to the process. When a user sees that the citation is OA, the user knows they can follow the claim back to its source. And, it also allows equal access to transparent knowledge for everyone.
- Concerned about copyright issues? See this page
210,000 articles on English Wikipedia have no references at all. Imagine if every librarian in the world took 15 minutes to add an OA citation! Wikipedia would greatly increase knowledge accessibility for all.
On our "Connect Page" we have contact information for library leaders in your area, who can help you learn more about editing and how to support your library's engagement with Wikipedia.