As Australia slowly reopens, GLAM organisations and universities celebrated and exchanged knowledge as part of Open Access week 2021.
Run by Open Access Australasia, the week featured panels and events from Monday 25 October until Friday 29 October 2021. Wikimedia Australia recently joined Open Access Australasia as a member offering a response to the Proposal for a National Open Access Strategy in Australia.
Themed It Matters How We Open Knowledge: Building Structural Equity, the discussions focused on using open science to combat global challenges, openness through a First Nations lens, the benefits and barriers to OERs, what open means for different disciplines, accessibility, and non-technical communication, as well as hacking OA, shaking up research assessment and how different parts of the open knowledge ecosystem interacts.
Speakers included Wikimedian Dr Thomas Shafee, an evolutionary biochemist with an interest in science communication, who works to bridge the academia-Wikipedia divide in his roles as editor at PLOS Genetics and Editor in Chief of WikiJournal of Science.
Also featured was Wikimedia Australia's Associate Professor Toby Hudson, who discussed the value of growing research by nurturing the open knowledge ecosystem with Australia's Chief Scientist Dr Cathy Foley as well as Andrew Jaspan and Prue Torrance. You can watch the panel discussion here.
Hudson, who is a University of Sydney chemist made the case that scientific misrepresentation during the pandemic had underlined the need for “more radical transparency” than the peer review process normally allowed.
“We need to be linking back to our sources, but those sources need to be available for proper critique. They need to be open – to write, to read, to audit, to critique and to change or update,” he said.
Hudson who is a prolific Wikimedian, working particularly on Wikidata, also highlighted how mainstream media, who draws on undisclosed sources or studies that are not openly available, can lead to confusion or mistrust from their readers.