Sunday, August 07, 2011

#Wikimedia and original research

At #Wikimania a coherent case is made to allow for original research. Many Wikipedians will frown at the idea but, Wikipedia is not the only project. Other Wikimedia projects do allow for original research.

The case for original research is quite obvious when you realise that many cultures do not have their history, their sources available in a long tradition of written records.

An oral tradition does not mean that the stories, the facts are not available, you just have to ask. Asking in this day and age is easy; telephony has reached almost all parts of the world and, recording the news of the world is technically easy and obvious.

Writing down the stories, the histories, the myths is an old tradition and as a result we know large parts if not all of the bible, fairy tales, music. When such material is reduced to hear say and inadmissible many subjects in Wikipedia are already tainted.

The preservation of an oral tradition, of facts that have been orally passed on can lead to a written preservation. Nowadays the actual discussion can be recorded with or without video. On Meta there is a project on how to deal with oral citations. Have a read and accept that many facts have to be recorded first before they can be cited. Our movement is particularly well placed to go out and learn what is already known. It is one necessary way to honour our mission.
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