An Open Invitation to OpenCon


Last November, 75 students and early career researchers from 35 countries gathered in Berlin to advance campaigns led by the next generation for an open system of academic publishing. The results of their collective effort since have been extraordinary.

In the wake of the meeting, national-level campaigns were launched in Tanzania, Nigeria, and Nepal, with the latter two establishing chapters in nearly all of the medical schools in each country. Students helped to pass open-access policies at institutions such as the University of Cape Town and to integrate open access into the orientation for students at places like the University of Hong Kong. A student-led project called the Open Access Button that launched at the meeting has since mapped over 9,000 individual collisions with paywalls and been covered in Scientific American and The Guardian.

LSE Impact logo
This article by Nick Shockey originally appeared on the LSE Impact of Social Sciences blog as “OpenCon to bring together students and early career researchers to advance Open Access, OER, and Open Data” and is reposted under the Creative Commons license (CC BY 3.0).

From helping to found Open Access Week in 2007 to now, the next generation of researchers has played an ever-increasing role in transforming scholarly communication. This year’s Open Access Week will celebrate these efforts with the theme Generation Open, and this fall, the Right to Research Coalition and SPARC will launch OpenCon, a new conference to support, connect, and catalyze student and early career researcher-led projects across open access, open education, and open data. The meeting will be held on November 15-17 in Washington, D.C.

OpenCon will bring together leading young advocates with experts at the forefront of the conference’s three program areas, including:

  • Philip Bourne | Associate director for data science at the U.S. National Institutes of Health;
  • Heather Joseph | Executive director of the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC);
  • Peter Murray-Rust | Reader in molecular informatics at the University of Cambridge; Shuttleworth Fellow;
  • Victoria Stodden | Assistant professor of statistics, Columbia University; and
  • John Wilbanks | Chief commons office, Sage Bionetworks.

Because students and early career researchers often lack access to travel funding, the full cost of attendance for the majority of participants will be covered by travel scholarships provided through the generous support of sponsor organizations, including the Max Planck Society, eLife, Overleaf by writeLaTeX, and many individual universities.

Applications to attend OpenCon are open now and will remain open until midnight PDT on Monday, August 25. All students and early career researchers with an interest in open access, open education and open data are encouraged to apply at www.opencon2014.org/apply.  The application includes the ability to apply for a travel scholarship.

For those unable to attend in person, the conference sessions of OpenCon 2014 will be webcast live at www.opencon2014.org. OpenCon also has an open call for partners to host satellite events that mix programming from the main conference with local presentations to bring the energy of an in-person meeting to other cities around the world. If you’re interested in learning more about hosting a satellite event or watch party, you can find more information at www.opencon2014.org/satellite.

***

Speaking of Open Access Week

SHARE, CHORUS, and Open Access webinar: What you need to know – Tuesday, October 21, 1pm ET

Partly in response to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy’s 2013 directive to make federally funded research openly available to the public, university and library groups partnered to develop the SHared Access Research Ecosystem (SHARE)while publishers, scholarly societies, and service providers came together to create the Clearinghouse for the Open research of the United States (CHORUS). With similar missions and goals, representatives from SHARE, CHORUS, and SAGE will come together to discuss where the groups overlap, where they differ, how they might work together to promote open access, and how individual librarians might get involved with these efforts.

Click here to register.


Nick Shockey

Nick Shockey is the director of the Right to Research Coalition, an international alliance of 77 student organizations — collectively representing nearly seven million students in more than 100 countries — that seek to promote open access through advocacy and education. The Right to Research Coalition is an initiative of SPARC, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition.

Skip to toolbar