An altmetric attention advantage for open access books in the humanities and social sciences | SpringerLink

Abstract:  The last decade has seen two significant phenomena emerge in research communication: the rise of open access (OA) publishing, and the easy availability of evidence of online sharing in the form of altmetrics. There has been limited examination of the effect of OA on online sharing for journal articles, and little for books. This paper examines the altmetrics of a set of 32,222 books (of which 5% are OA) and a set of 220,527 chapters (of which 7% are OA) indexed by the scholarly database Dimensions in the Social Sciences and Humanities. Both OA books and chapters have significantly higher use on social networks, higher coverage in the mass media and blogs, and evidence of higher rates of social impact in policy documents. OA chapters have higher rates of coverage on Wikipedia than their non-OA equivalents, and are more likely to be shared on Mendeley. Even within the Humanities and Social Sciences, disciplinary differences in altmetric activity are evident. The effect is confirmed for chapters, although sampling issues prevent the strong conclusion that OA facilitates extra attention at the whole book level, the apparent OA altmetrics advantage suggests that the move towards OA is increasing social sharing and broader impact.

 

Scholars reflect on Wikipedia’s 20 years of crowdsourced knowledge | Books, Et Al.

“In 2005—not long after the founding of Wikipedia by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger in early 2001—academic experts commissioned to compare 42 articles published in Encyclopaedia Britannica and Wikipedia relating to science found an average of three errors in the Britannica entries and four in Wikipedia, suggesting a comparable level of accuracy (1). Yet in 2007, Michael Gorman, former president of the American Library Association, argued scornfully that “A professor who encourages the use of Wikipedia is the intellectual equivalent of a dietician who recommends a steady diet of Big Macs with everything” (2). Gorman’s article reflected the widespread skepticism at the time about the reliability of an encyclopedia that anyone can edit.

Today, Wikipedia is the world’s leading encyclopedia. Every month, 1.5 billion unique devices worldwide access it 15 billion times, with more than 6000 page views per second. Meanwhile, Encyclopaedia Britannica—last printed in 2010—is now “all but dead” online, according to scholar Heather Ford in her essay in Wikipedia @ 20.

The book’s 22 essays are wide-ranging, often intellectually engaging, and, in parts, stylishly written. Its 34 contributors include, fittingly, academics and nonacademics based in many countries, although predominantly in the United States. Its U.S.-based editors, Joseph Reagle and Jackie Koerner, are (respectively) a professor of communication studies and a qualitative research analyst for online communities who also acts as the community health consultant for the Wikimedia community….”

Scholars reflect on Wikipedia’s 20 years of crowdsourced knowledge | Books, Et Al.

“In 2005—not long after the founding of Wikipedia by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger in early 2001—academic experts commissioned to compare 42 articles published in Encyclopaedia Britannica and Wikipedia relating to science found an average of three errors in the Britannica entries and four in Wikipedia, suggesting a comparable level of accuracy (1). Yet in 2007, Michael Gorman, former president of the American Library Association, argued scornfully that “A professor who encourages the use of Wikipedia is the intellectual equivalent of a dietician who recommends a steady diet of Big Macs with everything” (2). Gorman’s article reflected the widespread skepticism at the time about the reliability of an encyclopedia that anyone can edit.

Today, Wikipedia is the world’s leading encyclopedia. Every month, 1.5 billion unique devices worldwide access it 15 billion times, with more than 6000 page views per second. Meanwhile, Encyclopaedia Britannica—last printed in 2010—is now “all but dead” online, according to scholar Heather Ford in her essay in Wikipedia @ 20.

The book’s 22 essays are wide-ranging, often intellectually engaging, and, in parts, stylishly written. Its 34 contributors include, fittingly, academics and nonacademics based in many countries, although predominantly in the United States. Its U.S.-based editors, Joseph Reagle and Jackie Koerner, are (respectively) a professor of communication studies and a qualitative research analyst for online communities who also acts as the community health consultant for the Wikimedia community….”

The World Health Organization and Wikimedia Foundation expand access to trusted information about COVID-19 on Wikipedia

“The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Wikimedia Foundation, the nonprofit that administers Wikipedia, announced today a collaboration to expand the public’s access to the latest and most reliable information about COVID-19. 

The collaboration will make trusted, public health information available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license at a time when countries face continuing resurgences of COVID-19 and social stability increasingly depends on the public’s shared understanding of the facts. 

Through the collaboration, people everywhere will be able to access and share WHO infographics, videos, and other public health assets on Wikimedia Commons, a digital library of free images and other multimedia. 

With these new freely-licensed resources, Wikipedia’s more than 250,000 volunteer editors can also build on and expand the site’s COVID-19 coverage, which currently offers more than 5,200 coronavirus-related articles in 175 languages. This WHO content will also be translated across national and regional languages through Wikipedia’s vast network of global volunteers.”

The Wikipedia research conundrum: Is it citable?

“A total of 99 participants mentioned Wikipedia’s contribution model, and 70 thought this characteristic was undesirable. As mentioned above, one might think that those who mention the open model, and especially those who mention it as a bad thing, would be less likely to consider Wikipedia a helpful resource. As it turns out, this is not the case.

More than 50% of the students who mentioned Wikipedia’s contribution model still selected it as helpful. This number is not significantly different from the 54% among those who did not mention the fact that anyone is free to edit the resource. Even those who viewed the authorship model negatively do not appear to differ in any statistically significant way in their general likelihood to select Wikipedia as helpful. Quite simply, our results do not provide any evidence that paying attention to the open contribution model of Wikipedia impacts the way that people evaluate its helpfulness….”

Wikipedia and the End of Open Collaboration?

“Wikipedia’s incredible success masks a more complex story. In fact, not even Wikipedia has been able to maintain a stable community of volunteers over the past two decades. Figure 1 shows the number of “active” contributors to eight of the largest language versions of Wikipedia over time. The top left panel shows English Wikipedia’s explosive contributor growth through March 2007 and its transition into a long, slow period of decline. The other panels show similar patterns across the seven largest Wikipedia language versions measured by contributor base. Readership and other uses of Wikipedia have increased steadily over the period shown. As scholars of open collaboration and as concerned contributors to, and users of, Wikipedia, these dynamics have been the center of much of our research over the last decade.

Although the death of Wikipedia has been foretold many times, the dynamics playing out in the graphs above imply that long-term decline in contributors may be undermining the project from within in important ways. As the contributor bases of most of the large Wikipedia language versions shrink over time, fewer editors means reduced capacity to cover new topics and to maintain high quality content. What future do these projects have? What explains the patterns illustrated in Figure 1? What should Wikipedia and proponents of open collaborations and knowledge do? …”

Job Application for Director of Product, Anti-Disinformation at Wikimedia Foundation

“The Wikimedia Foundation is looking for a Director of Product Management to design and implement our anti-disinformation program.  This unique position will have a global impact on preventing Disinformation through Wikipedia and our other Wikimedia projects.  You will gain a deep understanding of the ways in which our communities have fought disinformation for the last two decades and how this content is used globally.  You will work cross-functionality with Legal, Security, Research and other teams at the Foundation and imagine and design solutions that enable our communities to achieve our Vision: a world in which every single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge….”

Wikimedia Foundation Form 990 for FY 2018-2019 now on-wiki

“At the end of our fiscal year 2018-2019, our revenue exceeded our expenses by US $28.5 million, which increased our operating reserve to $166.5 million, or the equivalent of 17-18 months of expenses per the fiscal year 2019-2020 annual plan <https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation_Medium-term_plan_2019/Annual_Plan_2019-2020>. As reported under our prior Form 990, we have been maintaining the operating reserve at 17-18 months. Our goal is to have sufficient reserve funds to conservatively provide at least 12-18 months of operating expenses in order to mitigate against unforeseen risk, secure operational stability, and ensure the overall financial health of the organization. This principle is consistent with many other financially stable, non-profit organizations that are rated by Charity Navigator <https://www.charitynavigator.org/>. With a stable and secure reserve, we have the ability to fund specific Wikimedia Movement investment opportunities that may arise….”