Friday, 17 April 2015

Daniel Mietchen - Wikimedia and Scholarly Publications (plenary session, 1st April 2015)

Wikimedia and scholarly publications
Presented by Daniel Mietchen (contractor, National Institutes of Health - Twitter @EvoMRI)

At the start, Daniel pointed out that this talk is interactive and can be edited like everything else on Wikipedia (he gave us the mobile link to see it most easily):
Please feel free to consult that page while reading my further notes.  Daniel then showed us his 'trailer' on the openness of references cited in Wikipedia.  This brought up the topics of re-use, deep linking and tracking citations.

Everyone in the room may have an idea of scholarly communications. Wikimedia has many meanings and manifestations, but in effect Wikimedia doesn't really exist.  The Wikimedia community cares about projects; the Wikimedia foundation keeps the projects going; then there is the suite of Wikimedia projects itself - more than 1000 wikis or communities structured by main interest, language, etc.

What is the interaction between Wikimedia and publishing?  Many Wikimedia projects deal with publishing, though some are quite small and not really relevant to most of us - some useful projects and categories are linked from the Wikipedia page above. There are also Wikimedians in residence at libraries and museums, such as Ally Crockford who is currently employed at the National Library of Scotland.

Daniel is most active in Wikimedia and Open Access.  On his Wikipedia page above, you will find links to useful articles and information on worldwide policies, including the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities. Open access policy on Wikipedia has many differences to typical OA policies by covering not just publications but also associated data, software and multimedia.  It stresses the importance of open licensing, and is itself under open licence.  Licencing is key throughout, though it avoids embargo periods and also allows for limited exceptions.

He pointed out that it is really important to discuss citations in this changing scholarly climate.  He talked about how to cite items like journals in Wikimedia - he links to a Cite-o-Meter for quite a few different types of citations, including those to Wikimedia Commons.  Publishers like CrossRef are also linking back to Wikimedia updates and citations for their journals.

He moved on to the issue of reuse of materials between journals and wiki, giving the example of the Open Access Media Importer - this was initially used just for text but is now moving on to video and audio and deep linking.  This ease of reuse can give a new lease of life to scholarly information.  However, this means that it is easy to propagate misuse; for example, the issue of Springer's misappropriation of Wikimedia content (examples of which he cited) is just “the tip of the iceberg”.

He discussed the role of repositories in this climate.  For example, JATS is the de-facto standard for exchanging journal article content in a machine-readable fashion, used for articles ingested into PubMed Central.  Many publishers not working with PubMed Central are also moving to this standard.  However, there is a problem of inconsistent XML which is a barrier to the reuse of open access content; JATS4R is trying to address this, thus improving the reusability of JATS.

Lastly, he moved through his group of visualisations from his webpage, but didn't show his last video as is tradition at this conferenceThis approaches how scholars can share research with the world as soon as it is recorded, in a way that is integrated with research workflows rather than added on top of them - which he also imagine in a scholarly world with open licenses and public version histories as the default setting.

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