UK Web Focus (Brian Kelly)

Innovation and best practices for the Web

Developing an Ethical Approach to Using Wikipedia as the Front Matter to all Research

Title: Developing an Ethical Approach to Using Wikipedia as the Front Matter to all Research

Event: Wikipedia Science Conference, Wellcome Trust, 2-3 September 2015


In August 2014 a Wikimania session proposed “Wikipedia as the front matter to all research” and a survey of Links From Wikipedia to Russell Group University Repositories  found 1,100+ Wikipedia links to Russell Group university repositories.

However this can conflict with the “Neutral Point of View” principle. A post which asked “So who’s editing the SNHU Wikipedia page?” illustrated such risks and concluded “You should not edit your institution’s Wikipedia page. It’s a PR debacle waiting to happen

A “Statement on Wikipedia from participating communications firms” included a statement:

Our firms believe that it is in the best interest of our industry, and Wikipedia users at large, that Wikipedia fulfill its mission of developing an accurate and objective online encyclopedia. Therefore, it is wise for communications professionals to follow Wikipedia policies as part of ethical engagement practices.

This session provides opportunities to explore a similar policy statement which could be adopted by UK universities, research councils, publishers and other stakeholders involved in research activities.

Session type:

  • Presentation’ (20 mins + 10 mins questions)
    This format is suitable for reporting on substantial work in the area defined by the conference themes, or taking an overview of work done.
  • Lightning talk/demo‘ (10 mins)
    This format is suitable for, but not limited to; floating ideas, giving personal perspectives, highlighting research that is in progress, demonstrating tools or resources.
  • Panel (at least 3 speakers, 50 mins)
    Each panel will have at least 3 speakers and a moderator. The moderator will be chosen by the conference organisers.


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