University of Texas at Arlington

Scholarly Communication

News blog

OA Week Explores Wikipedia

by Samantha Dodd November 14, 2017 0 comments
Wikipedia Logo

Open Access Week, a global event now entering its tenth year, is an opportunity for the academic and research community to continue to learn about the potential benefits of Open Access, to share what they’ve learned with colleagues, and to help inspire wider participation in helping to make Open Access a new norm in scholarship and research.

With that in mind, it only made since to take a closer look at Wikipedia, the fifth most visited website in the world, whose fundamental principles include free content that anyone can use, edit, and distribute, neutrality, and collective engagement. The long held belief among educators is that Wikipedia is unreliable, a poor choice for student’s to use in their quest for knowledge. And yet, as we all know, it is the starting point for the vast majority of them.

During Open Access week UTA libraries hosted two events to explore the possibilities and potential of Wikipedia as a resources. The first event featured a presentation by a former Wikipedian-in-Residence, Michael Barera of Texas A&M Commerce, who presented “A Walk through the Wikiverse.” Michael’s presentation can be viewed online: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1JvOH27jAj5r8qpLOzVUuU3H9sjVpcDLBOwHTnU6vqAQ/edit?usp=sharing

The second part of the day featured a panel of faculty and librarians from across the Dallas-Fort Worth area. It was an opportunity to hear from those who are actively engaging with Wikipedia in their classrooms. Our guests shared their own personal experiences with Wikipedia, how they developed their activities/assignments, and discussed the results and responses to their work. The panel and the Q&A can be viewed online through the library’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/UTALibrary