One of the major policies of Wikipedia is the idea that content should
cite reliable sources. With libraries having good content in short
supply in the country it is not surprising that many editors cite
blogs, non specialist websites or stray news reports and these are
often reverted, particularly on the English Wikipedia.
A suggestion that we need to complement such systems as
(which is doing a great job as far
as scholarly journals in English go) has gathered some interest from
both the A2K project and the India Chapter. Perhaps either of these
bodies could apply for the needed funds and appoint specific
individual editors who would have members to the specific libraries
and act as clearing agents - gathering requests from bonafide editors,
obtaining digital versions of the sources needed and providing them in
a time bound way. This post is just to open out this suggestion for
discussion. Suggestions on quality libraries, research services, costs
and ways in which this ought to operate are welcome.
A model to examine is the German
Google translate to get some sense of what it is)
A few libraries that might be worth examining for India specific content
Non-copyrighted content that is obtained could be contributed to the
Internet Archive http://www.archive.org
while the rest could be
privately archived for the sake of keeping record. Of course all this
would require that checks to see if content is already available on
free and open-access digital libraries, dspace repositories and so on.
In addition editors seeking research material may need to demonstrate
some interest in improving specific Wikipedia articles that they
In addition, perhaps there should be an effort to work with librarians
themselves to see if the can consider pro bono support for Wikipedia
researchers esp. working with Indian language content. Let us not
forget the L and the A in GLAM.