Wikipedia:WikiProject Open Access/Signalling OA-ness

Sept 05, 2013
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Wikipedia is seeking advice "on a system to signal the openness of references cited on Wikipedia." I have the same problem (but handle it differently). Every one of my posts has a reference; I make it a point to link only to openly accessible content - my links take you straight to the content, not to a login screen or subscription page. Wikipedia is less picky - and indeed, their policy of requiring a published reference almost guarantees that most of their sources will be offline or unavailable. What to do? Because clicking on a reference only to be greeted with a subscription screen is really annoying. So it would be nice to have a way to show whether a resource is openly accessible or not. A simple 'copy;left' or Creative Commons symbol won't do, because a lot of openly accessible resources aren't licensed that way. Personally, I like the open and closed access buttons and  respectively.


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