Licensed for reuse? Citing open-access sources in Wikipedia articles
peter.suber's bookmarks 2016-01-18
"[The fact that most research articles are paywalled] has placed Wikipedia in an awkward position with respect to its verifiability policy: "all material in Wikipedia mainspace, including everything in articles, lists and captions, must be verifiable [so that] people reading and editing the encyclopedia can check that the information comes from a reliable source." Combined with the policy on identifying reliable sources, the paywall dilemma faced by editors and readers becomes clearer: "many Wikipedia articles rely on scholarly material. When available, academic and peer-reviewed publications, scholarly monographs, and textbooks are usually the most reliable sources." Not only this, none of the academic journals most cited on the English Wikipedia are open access (PLOS ONE breaks the drought at No. 22 on that list).
While WP:PAYWALL advises: "Do not reject sources just because they are hard or costly to access". Commenting on a draft proposal that Wikipedia articles should preferentially cite open-access literature, one editor wrote that "verifiability isn't an option if people are expected to pay in excess of $20 to view a single article ... over closed- or toll-access resources of equivalent scholarly quality". That draft proposal—started in 2007 when the English Wikipedia was half its current age—died quietly like so many.
But what if we could just mark references as being open, rather than preferentially citing them over closed ones? WikiProject Open Access is currently exploring the options, and the Workgroup on Open Access Metadata and Indicators (OAMI) at the National Information Standards Organization has been working on a set of recommendations for how to provide information about the use and re-use rights of scholarly articles...."