Day/Time: Wednesday, May 12, 2:45 PM to 3:45 PM


  • Melissa Seelye, J. Paul Leonard Library, San Francisco State University
  • Matt Martin, J. Paul Leonard Library, San Francisco State University
  • Devone Rodrigues, J. Paul Leonard Library, San Francisco State University
  • Toni Panlilio, J. Paul Leonard Library, San Francisco State University


Awareness of open access continues to increase with the proliferation of mandates and open access options provided by major publishing venues. However, most publishing decisions continue to be driven by concerns about prestige and status. As a result, researchers remain largely unaware of the socio-political dynamics at play in knowledge production and the importance of community-owned alternatives to commercial publishers. This session will demonstrate how the Digital Scholarship Center team of San Francisco State University’s J. Paul Leonard Library has started engaging researchers with these and related issues through Wikipedia edit-a-thons. 

The Library Publishing Forum falls just before the global #1Lib1Ref initiative in May, which will mark the one-year anniversary of the Digital Scholarship Center’s inaugural edit-a-thon. Since that time, the team has launched monthly edit-a-thons that task participants with contributing to Wikipedia articles related to the Black Lives Matter movement or the African diaspora more generally, inspired by the Black Lives Matter WikiProject. Through these events, instructional faculty as well as library faculty and staff have been able to learn how inequities in access to knowledge contribute to and reinforce under-representation and bias in our information resources. They are encouraged to seek out open access sources to add to Wikipedia articles, which affords opportunities to highlight library publishing venues and institutional repositories. 

The session will mirror these events, beginning with an introductory 20-minute presentation on the importance of universal access to knowledge, particularly as it relates to coverage of the Black Lives Matter movement. From there, participants will be given 25 minutes to add an open access citation to a Wikipedia article. No experience with Wikipedia editing is necessary, and facilitators will be present to answer questions as they arise.