Wikimania 2013 in Hong Kong was the largest real-life gathering of WikiProject Open Access so far, with about one third of its current members attending. Their main contribution to the Wikimania program was a dedicated panel that followed up on a similar one organized at an Open Access meeting in June in Geneva and addressed past, present and potential future interactions between the Open Access and Wikimedia communities. That included, for instance, the idea of an Open Access Button (see below) or that of signalling to Wikipedia readers and editors how openly a cited references is actually available (details). Naturally, Open Access to the scholarly literature was also touched upon in other sessions (e.g. the Science GLAM session or the multimedia roundtable) as well as at WikiSym, which was held in Hong Kong too this year, right before Wikimania.
At the Wikimania closing ceremony, the organizers of next year's Wikimania London announced that outreach to the Open Access community would be one of the central themes of the event. To coordinate activities around that, Stuart Lawson was designated as community liaison, and a project page set up for others to chime in.
Open Access Button
The OA Button is a browser-based tool currently under development which aims to track every time someone is denied access to a scholarly article (explained further in this blog post), and help people find open access versions instead. They are hoping to integrate this with Wikipedia somehow. A hackathon is taking place in London on 7-8 September.
Open Access puts new species on Wikimedia Main Pages
Few newly described species (or taxa more generally, for that matter) receive that much attention from the Wikimedia community – other examples include the frog Paedophryne amauensis (30 Wikipedia languages) or the chameleon Brookesia micra (27) – but those who do have usually been described in open-access journals. Overall, 20 files taken directly or adapted from the original research article about the "olinguito" are available on Commons, of which 14 have been used a total of 112 times. This is the kind of reuse of open-access materials that is central to the Signalling OA-ness initiative mentioned above, as it would not be possible with articles that are simply free to read, or even locked behind a paywall, instead of being available for free under a license that allows for images to be uploaded to (and remain on) Wikimedia Commons.
The following represents a selection of the 592 files files that have been uploaded by the Open Access Media Importer this month, bringing the total to over 13,500. If you can think of wiki pages where these files could be useful, please put them in there or let us know.