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Submissions/Academic Freedom, Internet Freedom and Wiki Freedom

From Wikimania 2010 • Gdańsk, Poland • July 9-11, 2010


This is an open submission for Wikimania 2010.


It has been suggested that this submission could be co-presented with Submissions/Academic Freedom, Net Freedom and Wiki Freedom.

Title of the submission
Academic Freedom, Internet Freedom and Wiki Freedom
Type of submission (workshop, tutorial, panel, presentation)
Author of the submission
LI Zhengrong
E-mail address or username (if username, please confirm email address in Special:Preferences)
Country of origin
Affiliation, if any (organization, company etc.)
Beijing Normal University
Personal homepage or blog
Abstract (please use no less than 300 words to describe your proposal)

1. “Wiki Freedom”

Academic freedom is the foundation of university education, learning and ideas. Wikipedia realizes the spirit of academic freedom to the greatest extent. Academic freedom can be illustrated as “learning is freedom per se.” Academic freedom → Academic = freedom However, in the institutionalized human society, threats still exist in academic freedom. For example: In Germany (1811) which first advocated “academic freedom” in modern times, from 1930’s to the early times of 1940’s, “academic freedom” did not exist at all. My experience: There are two biggest enemies of academic freedom, one is organization and the other one is the authority in an organization. Learning in a university may be free. The entrance of a university may also be free. However, as an organization, not every individual can enter it freely. How about Wiki? I like Wikipedia. First, and most importantly, it is free-of-charge and liberal. Of course, I believe in the authority of Encyclopaedia Britannica. However, whenever I surf the webpage of Encyclopaedia Britannica, I have to imprecate its settings of sign-in name and password. It can be fully used only if you pay. When such business model, which has been adopted in paper prints by publishers, is used in the operation of the non-paper internet, it seriously violates the directions of the functions of the internet. And Wikipedia is the real encyclopaedia in the internet era.

Another threat is the authority in an organization, especially that in a university. In 2007, the 3rd International Wikimedia Conference was successfully held in Taipei. Prior to the conference, it was once suggested that the event be held at Taipei University. Subsequently, the event was confirmed to be held at Jiantan Overseas Youth Activity Centre in Shih-lin, Taipei. I do not know the reason for the relocation, but I am definitely aware that Taipei University was alert about Wikipedia in the academic perspective.

There is an unwritten unified attitude of Taipei University: if the information in a student’s thesis originates from Wikipedia, regardless of the Wiki’s language, it will totally be considered “violating the academic norm”.

The fundamental basis of the “hidden rules” in Taipei University is that “wiki” is susceptible to free changes, and it is not written by an authority. Who is the authority? Of course, it is the authority in universities or other academic institutions, or even non-academic institutions in the mainland China. Is an authority really an authority? No. With unceasing criticism in the academic field, there is never an eternal authority. Moreover, “acquiring academic freedom boldly is the most effective way of acquiring mature intelligence for an individual. Yet, it is the most effective channel of discovering the truth for the entire human race.” This is an article illustrating “academic freedom” in Encyclopaedia Britannica. However, regrettably, Encyclopaedia Britannica online does not provide such kind of freedom at all. Contrarily, Wikipedia, Chinese Wikipedia and Wikipedia of all other languages genuinely ensure the realization of academic freedom. The above discussions and all other facts of Wikipedia have already demonstrated the extraordinary functions of this encyclopaedia. I describe these functions as seven major concepts. Perhaps they can be considered the seven major principles of Wikipedia:

1. “Wiki freedom” 2. “Wiki possibilities” 3. “Wiki university” or “Wiki academy of sciences” 4. “Wiki academic alliance” 5. “Wiki links” 6. “Wiki in the civil community” 7. “Wiki trust”

1. “Wiki freedom”: Academic freedom, freedom of thought, internet freedom and Wiki freedom are a brand-new era of encyclopaedia. 2. “Wiki possibilities” Wiki is the most possible and the strongest historical realization of the “freedom of speech and publication campaign”. A principle adopted in a renowned encyclopaedia edited by Denis Diderot is unofficial scientificalness. 3. “Wiki university” or “Wiki academy of sciences”: Wikipedia is gradually becoming a university of freedom. Every article in Wikipedia can undertake extensive spread-out. 4. “Wiki academic alliance”: With the internet, all freemen in the world can illustrate the same “article” in Wikipedia across the national borders. This is unprecedented in lexicography. Very often, there are tens of languages illustrating the same article. Wikipedia genuinely realizes the international view of globalization. 5. “Wiki links”: Wiki is a bridge. Its links assure users the “scientific” support needed. “Links” is the most creative magic weapon of the internet in the internet era. “Links” will be the pioneer, builder and realizer of the new traffic age in the world.

“Wiki links” techniques

6. “Wiki in the civil community’: “Learning in the civil community”. Its meaning is that the sciences in the civil community are the principles of freedom. They are neither bounded by official constraints nor by any authority. Wiki sustains the greatest creativity and independence. 7. “Wiki trust”: According to my understanding, “Wiki trust” has been generated among a vast majority. The statement, “let’s google”, refers to a mere collection of information. Yet, the phrase, “let’s check Wiki” out, is a kind of trust in knowledge among the civilians. The above are the seven kinds of academic energy of Wikipedia. I consider that the seven major functions of Wiki is one of the most important international issues in the 21st century.

Track (People and Community/Knowledge and Collaboration/Infrastructure)
Knowledge and Collaboration
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  1. Kocio 01:35, 4 June 2010 (UTC)[reply]