We are pleased to announce our keynote speakers for OR 2018!

Opening Keynote – Casey Fiesler, JD, Ph.D.

Casey Fiesler is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Information Science at University of Colorado Boulder. A social computing researcher and legal scholar, she holds a Ph.D. in Human-Centered Computing from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a JD from Vanderbilt University Law School. Fiesler studies governance in socio-technical systems, with an emphasis on copyright in online communities, technology ethics, and social norms.

Fiesler previously interned for Creative Commons, and is a member of the legal committee for the Organization for Transformative Works, which is behind the open source fanfiction site Archive of Our Own. A portion of her research is current funded under the large National Science Foundation PERVADE project, dedicated to empirical studies of research ethics for pervasive human data.

Growing Their Own: Building an Archive and a Community for Fanfiction

Archive of Our Own, a fanfiction repository with millions of users and works, was developed entirely by the community it serves, with a focus on representing the values of that community in its design and policies. Its history is rooted in needs for preservation, advocacy, and empowerment.  This talk traces the growth and features of the archive, including grassroots development, design that promotes openness and inclusivity, and the benefits and challenges of maintaining a team of volunteers. Archive or Our Own is a unique example of a repository that has had a transformational effect on a community of content creators, and represents a design philosophy that could benefit other platforms as well.

Closing Keynote – Asaf Bartov

Asaf Bartov is a senior program officer at the Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit operating Wikipedia around the world.  His work focuses on capacity building with emerging volunteer communities all over the world, with particular emphasis on India, sub-Saharan Africa, Brazil, and eastern Europe.  While his academic background is in Greek and Latin language and literature, he has a strong professional background in software development, and an abiding volunteer interest in digital libraries. He is the founder, chief technologist, and chief editor of Project Ben-Yehuda, an award-winning volunteer-run digital library of public domain Hebrew works.  He is also a structured and linked data enthusiast, and previously served as an invited expert on the W3C’s Library Linked Data Incubator Group.  He frequently teaches introductory classes on Wikidata, the Wikimedia Foundation’s linked open data project, and on querying Wikidata with the SPARQL language.


The free culture movement and traditional memory institutions – frenemies or love story waiting to happen?  The Wikimedia movement, in particular, has been partnering with memory institutions (“GLAMs”) for about a decade, with impressive outcomes for all sides, and above all for the general public.  Progress has been much slower in emerging communities and the Global South.  

The talk will offer some insights from the speaker’s own experience as a free culture librarian, explore some of the less-obvious challenges and contexts for free culture partnerships in emerging communities (e.g. systemic bias), highlight some best practices, and conclude with reflections on how can the rest of us help open repositories in emerging communities.