The Wikipedia Library supports open access. It's one of our five critical goals, in fact. To understand why we still collaborate with traditional publishers, see our helpful explanation. Those collaborations are complementary to advancing towards a fuller, more open future for knowledge.
Open access (OA) is the right and freedom to read research, generally online, and ideally with the ability to reuse it without restraint. Gratis OA is that freedom to read, and Libre OA is the full freedom to read and reuse. The full freedom, as defined in the Budapest Open Access Initiative (BOIA) includes:
"free availability on the public internet, permitting any users to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of these articles, crawl them for indexing, pass them as data to software, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without financial, legal, or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself. The only constraint on reproduction and distribution, and the only role for copyright in this domain, should be to give authors control over the integrity of their work and the right to be properly acknowledged and cited."
The Wikipedia Library is an open research hub serving the Wikimedia community of contributors. We are interested in all projects and partnerships that help editors do better research. While we have been successful in receiving donations to paywalled (closed access) resources from publishers like Elsevier and JSTOR, we support the broader move towards open access. For more information about why our strategy focuses on paid partnerships, see our explanation. We recognize that a modern library should help editors find and use open access resources, because they are increasing in number and quality, and because they provide an optimal experience for readers of the encyclopedia when they try to access and verify the sources used on Wikipedia. This page is about ways in which you, and we, can keep the world moving not just towards open knowledge but towards open access to the research that underlies it.
We want editors to have the best possible, highest quality and most relevant sources for their work, which should be cited as such. The Wikipedia Library partners with paywalled journals and database providers because we have an encyclopedia to write today, yet much of the world's knowledge is locked behind paywalls. The balance is in realizing that there an opportunity for a move toward open access to be encouraged and supported as it stands in support of Wikipedia in principle and in practice.
Here's our stance on why partnering with paywalled information sources is actually complementary to embracing and advocating for open access: