Wikipedia:The Wikipedia Library/OA

The Wikipedia Library
Supporting Open Access

The Wikipedia Library supports open access. It's one of our five critical goals, in fact. To understand why we still collaborate with traditional publishers, see our helpful explanation. Those collaborations are complementary to advancing towards a fuller, more open future for knowledge.

Open access (OA) is the right and freedom to read research, generally online, and ideally with the ability to reuse it without restraint. Gratis OA is that freedom to read, and Libre OA is the full freedom to read and reuse. The full freedom, as defined in the Budapest Open Access Initiative (BOIA) includes:

"free availability on the public internet, permitting any users to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of these articles, crawl them for indexing, pass them as data to software, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without financial, legal, or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself. The only constraint on reproduction and distribution, and the only role for copyright in this domain, should be to give authors control over the integrity of their work and the right to be properly acknowledged and cited."

The Wikipedia Library is an open research hub serving the Wikimedia community of contributors. We are interested in all projects and partnerships that help editors do better research. While we have been successful in receiving donations to paywalled (closed access) resources from publishers like Elsevier and JSTOR, we support the broader move towards open access. For more information about why our strategy focuses on paid partnerships, see our explanation. We recognize that a modern library should help editors find and use open access resources, because they are increasing in number and quality, and because they provide an optimal experience for readers of the encyclopedia when they try to access and verify the sources used on Wikipedia. This page is about ways in which you, and we, can keep the world moving not just towards open knowledge but towards open access to the research that underlies it.

Find OA resources

Locate sources in OA directories and repositories

Use major OA portals and publishers

Raise awareness about access programs for developing nations

  • AGORA Access to Global Online Research on Agriculture program: website
  • ARDI Access to Research for Development and Innovation: website
  • OARE Open Access to Research in the Environment: website
  • Research4Life: website
  • TEEAL The Essential Electronic Agricultural Library: website

What you can do

Participate in OA initiatives

Join a network of supporters

This user is interested in open access to research literature.

Place {{User:UBX/open access}} on your userpage
Category:Wikipedians interested in open access

Tag it when you see it

Join and support OA organizations

Attend OA conferences and events

  • OAD Directory of 2018 events

Learn about OA


Principles and declarations


Promote major OA mandates

University Policies

  • Berkeley
  • MIT
  • Duke
  • University of California
  • Harvard
  • UCSF
  • Princeton
  • Stanford Graduate School of Education
  • University of Bath

Government, Major Funding Body, and Other Open Access Policies

  • UK
  • US NIH
  • Gates Foundation
  • Wellcome Trust
  • Registry of Open Access Repositories Mandatory Archiving Policies

What The Wikipedia Library can do

We want editors to have the best possible, highest quality and most relevant sources for their work, which should be cited as such. The Wikipedia Library partners with paywalled journals and database providers because we have an encyclopedia to write today, yet much of the world's knowledge is locked behind paywalls. The balance is in

Here's our stance on why partnering with paywalled information sources is actually complementary to embracing and advocating for open access:

And here are some ways that The Wikipedia Library can support a broader move towards OA now:

Recognize the importance of OA

  • Broadcast that OA helps editors access reliable sources to improve Wikipedia and deepen the sharing of knowledge to readers, and is thus a natural Wikipedia Library ally
  • Participate in research initiatives that measure the dynamics between Wikipedia and peer-reviewed literature in terms of impact on editors and readers

Provide editors with support in finding and identifying OA

  • Point out the availability of OA within donated publisher resources, such as JSTOR's 6 articles a month free article access
  • Provide links to pre-publication or other open repository versions of published research alongside paywalled journals, where available
  • Provide full citation information alongside links to closed access versions so editors can track down freely available copies
  • When citing non-OA work in the References, a closely related OA work could be a "see also"
  • Include relevant OA sources under "Further Reading"
  • Continue to support OA Signalling and related projects that increase the ability of Wikipedia to take advantage of OA
  • Experiment with tools for readers to find the latest OA research for related Wikipedia entries on emerging topics
  • Promote Open Access Button onwiki
  • Arrange free access for all incoming Wikipedia traffic, or at least an extended preview, or open-access excerpt.

Discuss shifting priorities around OA and verifiability

  • Consider a ceteris paribus (all things being equal) principle that could apply to the selection of OA sources, as offering a verifiability advantage of reader access
  • Explore adopting within the policies and guidelines a recognition that OA contributes to the quality of Wikipedia in terms of verifiability and that OA sources should be encouraged, if not preferred

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