Posts Tagged: ‘university’

OAWeek all year long: Wikipedia and Mexican Universities


I coordinate a wanna-be digital academic editorial project. We have not achieved our goals. But we are on our way.

Our aims, do something between Steve E. Jones’s RomanticCircles editionsOrsai’s Blog and That means: High quality editions (enriched by something like TEI markup) PLUS an active role of readers PLUS connected research.
I dream this to be online, free, and written in a delightful, understandable, “shareful” language.


I was breaking my head.

I still am.


But then I remembered Wikipedia.


It certainly does not have all of this requirements but it does have a few. Plus, everybody reads Wikipedia.


So I was planning to send a letter to Jimmy Wales when I suddenly remembered there was a Wiki-something going somewhere in Mexico City, that is, in the epic Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).

That wiki-something is called Wikimedia Foundation in Mexico.

And that thing going on was the Wikipedia Student Club at the Faculty of Philosophy and Letters (as a literal translation of Facultad de Filosofía y Letras… someone help me the translation of this one)

So I mailed them.

And they answered.

Next thing I know, we’re meeting up with my now heroes –Ivan Martinez and Carmen Alcázar- at a Starbucks near UNAM in Mexico City talking nonstop of all the Wikipedia stuff that could be done if we only worked together:

  • An archive with unbelievable images of the incredible Anthropology Museum of Xalapa  in the context of the GLAM-initiative (Wikipedia’s collaboration project with Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums)
  • Promote the public and university libraries as a space of shared research and home of edit-a-thons (workshops where a lot of students work together with librarians and professors in order to edit or create articles in a given subject)
  • And what is more important, making an agreement with Wikipedia would mean that a step would be given in the path to creating intern politics which would help create a kind of scholarship and teaching heading for the creation of open knowledge:
    • What if instead of writing essays that take students two months of hard work for one reader (the professor) a bunch of them worked together with the purpose of creating or translating one Wikipedia article?
    • What if instead of taking photos of the Día de muertos (the feast of the day of the dead) in Naolinco for a photography class and archiving in a personal computer you could share them with the world through Wikimedia Commons?
    • What if the Intercultural University of Veracruz -which is richer than any by the means of its pluricultural constitution (80% of the students come of indigenous communities and 60% still speak their native languages)- what if this University shared the content they produce in the original languages of their students?

There has always been “we” in the “I have a dream” famous speech. And that is what is going to make this project work. I’m sure about it.