June has been a full month for the Wikisource Vision Development project, with some awesome and some challenging experiences. We have so many things to tell you about that a few of them won’t even fit in this post. If you want further details, please drop us an email.
But let’s get started. First, David and Andrea attended different conferences: David was at LODLAM, a gathering of people interested in LOD (Linked Open Data) and LAM (Libraries, Archives, and Museums), which proved to be a great occasion to find partners and raise awareness about the Wikisource revitalization effort! The audience was very diverse, not only with representatives from cultural institutions, but also from some research centers and private companies. The Open Knowledge Foundation, Europeana, Digital Public Library of America, and other big players had representatives there. David was the only person from the Wikimedia movement, so he ended up representing “all the wiki things,” especially Wikidata.
On the other hand (and on the other side of the Atlantic), Andrea was participating in OAI8, the Open Access conference held every two years at CERN (but he was not the only Wikipedian there)
Open Access is an “open” movement dedicated to scientific and academic literature. It claims that scientific articles and books should be free (as in “free speech”), given that the academic community writes and controls its research for free (as in “free beer”). Why should we not treat academic and scientific knowledge as a “commons“?
Open Access and the Wikimedia movement are a match made in heaven. Both are committed to free access to information and both support free licenses like CC-BY and CC-BY-SA. This is paramount: It is our belief that Wikisource can be a fundamental asset for open access, as an integrated, connected digital library of high-quality, freely licensed books and texts.
To demonstrate this, we now are uploading a CC-BY licensed book on Wikisource: Oral Literature in the Digital Age: Archiving Orality and Connecting with Communities (2013). You are invited to help us with the formatting and you are very welcome to cite it as a source for Wikipedia articles.
Beside these conferences, as true Wikimedians, our work has occurred mostly online ;-) Of course, David could not help but set up several Request For Comments (he likes to ask for community feedback. A lot.) The first RfC is about the new workflow for uploading books when the three Wikisource-related Google Summer of Code projects will be finished. The second one is about sharing bibliographic sources used in all Wikipedias through Wikidata and if a new entity should be created for this information.
But here’s the best, most exciting news. Thomas, our beloved code wizard, explained his strategy for the Wikisource transition to Wikidata, and the Wikidata team approved. The Wikidata development team and Tpt will start working on the transition soon, and it is quite possible that the first phase, centralization of language interwiki links for author pages, will be active this summer.
Last but not least, don’t forget about the ongoing effort to create a Wikisource User Group. The more of us there are, the funner it is.