The application period for OpenCon 2018 on November 2-4 in Toronto is now open! The application is available at https://www.opencon2018.org/apply and includes the opportunity to apply for a travel scholarship. Applications will close on July 13th at 11:59pm U.S. Pacific Time.
OpenCon seeks to bring together effective, engaged students and early career academic professionals from around the world to advance Open Access, Open Education, and Open Data—regardless of their ability to pay for travel costs. In OpenCon’s first four years, most invited attendees who required financial support to attend have received scholarships. For this reason, attendance at OpenCon is by application only. The application process is central to allocating the limited spaces for attendees and scholarship funding equitably. Applications are reviewed by alumni from previous years, and our international organizing committee makes final decisions on acceptances and scholarships.
The benefits of applying for OpenCon 2018 extend far beyond attending the meeting in Toronto this November. It’s an opportunity to find new collaborators, get connected with scholarships to attend related conferences, and actively participate in a larger community of Open advocates year-round.
Students and early career academic professionals of all experience levels are encouraged to apply. We want to support those who have ideas for new projects and initiatives in addition to those who are already leading them. The most important criteria is an interest in advancing Open Access, Open Education, and Open Data and a commitment to taking action. You can learn more about the types of projects and impact OpenCon community members are working on to advance Open through our community report.
OpenCon’s flagship global meeting helps drive culture change toward open by bringing together the most energetic, engaged students and early career academic professionals. Participants learn about Open Access, Open Education, and Open Data, develop critical skills, find collaborators, and catalyze action toward a more open system for sharing the world’s information—from scholarly and scientific research, to educational materials, to digital research data. OpenCon 2018’s three-day program will begin with two days of panels and interactive workshops that place an emphasis on highlighting diverse, early career voices from every continent. The third day will feature an all-day “Do-A-Thon,” where participants have the opportunity to craft new campaigns, lay the foundations for new resources, and form collaborations that will continue long after the November conference is over.
While attendance at the main conference in Toronto is by application only, everyone is invited to participate freely in the interactive webcast, OpenCon 2018 Live, and work to advance Open through OpenCon’s unique Do-A-Thon. OpenCon is also looking for partners to host satellite events—meetings that combine themes from the global conference with local presentations, workshops, and discussions to advance the conversation around Open in your local community. In 2017, there were 34 OpenCon satellite events in twenty countries—all thanks to their incredible hosts, who included students, scientists, librarians, researchers, and advocates from around the world who are working hard to increase action around Open Access, Open Data, and Open Education. To express interest in hosting your own satellite event and get more information, please visit https://www.opencon2018.org/satellite.
The meeting in Toronto serves as the centerpiece of a much larger network to foster initiatives and collaboration among the next generation across OpenCon’s issue areas. We hope that you can become an active part of the community tuning in for our monthly community calls, or hosting an OpenCon satellite event in your region.
Apply now, and join the OpenCon community today!
OpenCon is a platform for catalyzing culture change toward openness in research and education, at scale and in context. OpenCon’s programs work to develop, activate, and connect a global community of next generation leaders who are driving the culture shift toward open locally, nationally, and internationally. OpenCon creates this community through its flagship global meeting, satellite events hosted around the world, and regular community calls. OpenCon is hosted by SPARC and the Right to Research Coalition.
SPARC, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, is a global coalition committed to making Open the default for research and education. SPARC empowers people to solve big problems and make new discoveries through the adoption of policies and practices that advance Open Access, Open Data, and Open Education. Learn more at sparcopen.org.
The Right to Research Coalition is an international alliance of graduate and undergraduate student organizations, which collectively represent nearly 7 million students in over 100 countries around the world, that advocate for and educate students about open methods of scholarly publishing. The Right to Research Coalition is a project of SPARC.
SPARC and the Right to Research Coalition, in partnership with York University, Ryerson University, and the University of Toronto, are excited to announce that OpenCon 2018—the flagship global meeting of the OpenCon community—will take place on November 2-4 in Toronto, Canada.
Setting the default to open for research and education is fundamentally about people and the decisions they make. The culture of research and education emerges from the countless individual decisions made by millions of researchers and educators each day—at different types of institutions, within different disciplines, and in every country. OpenCon is a platform for catalyzing change in this culture, at scale and in context. OpenCon’s programs work to develop, activate, and connect a global community of next generation leaders who are driving the culture shift toward open locally, nationally, and internationally. OpenCon creates this community through its flagship global meeting, satellite events hosted around the world, and regular community calls.
OpenCon’s flagship global meeting helps drive this culture change by bringing together the most energetic, engaged students and early career academic professionals. Participants learn about Open Access, Open Education, and Open Data, develop critical skills, find collaborators, and catalyze action toward a more open system for sharing the world’s information—from scholarly and scientific research, to educational materials, to digital research data. OpenCon 2018’s three-day program will begin with two days of panels and interactive workshops that place an emphasis on highlighting diverse, early career voices from every continent. The third day will feature an all-day “Do-A-Thon,” where participants have the opportunity to craft new campaigns, lay the foundations for new resources, and form collaborations that will continue long after the November conference is over.
OpenCon strives to ensure that diversity, equity, and inclusion are both foundational to the community’s efforts to open up research and education and priorities for continual improvement. OpenCon seeks to be as globally inclusive as possible and to advocate for a future that is not only open but also equitable and co-designed with diverse stakeholders—especially those from marginalized groups. In 2017, OpenCon released a report on diversity, equity, and inclusion that contains lessons learned, suggestions for conference organizers, and a self-analysis with relevant data. That report can be found at opencon2018.org/dei_report
Attendance at the meeting is by application only, and the majority of past participants have received full or partial travel scholarships. Each year, most participants are first-time attendees and are selected from a pool of thousands of qualified candidates through a community-run review process based on the likelihood that their participation will translate into impact.
Applications to attend OpenCon 2018 in Toronto will open on June 12th. For more information about the conference and to sign up for updates—including a reminder when applications open—visit opencon2017.org/updates.
Organized by the Right to Research Coalition and SPARC, OpenCon 2018 builds on the success of the first four OpenCon conferences, which collectively convened approximately 750 participants from more than 80 countries. In addition, OpenCon’s unique structure has supported more than 100 satellite events, enabling over 7,000 attendees across 38 countries to participate in an in-person OpenCon event. Throughout the year, many of these individuals remain engaged through monthly community calls and their own projects, campaigns, events, and initiatives.
Members of the OpenCon community launch campaigns, create new national-level organizations, and some even switch careers to work in open professionally—in libraries, at foundations, with publishers, and in governments. They’ve built new platforms, influenced international discussions, and, most importantly, made an impact locally. You can learn more about OpenCon’s impact in our community report released last year, available at opencon2017.org/community_report
The OpenCon conference and community are only possible with the support of leading organizations with a strong commitment to support student and early career academic professional involvement across Open Access, Open Education, and Open Data. Sponsorship contributions comprise a majority of the funds used to organize the meeting each year and provide travel scholarships. If your organization is interested in supporting OpenCon, you can find more information and a variety of sponsorship opportunities at opencon2017.org/sponsor.
Applications to attend OpenCon 2018 open June 12th. For more information about the conference and to sign up for updates, visit opencon2017.org/updates. You can follow OpenCon on Twitter at @Open_Con or #opencon.
SPARC®, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, is a global coalition committed to making Open the default for research and education. SPARC empowers people to solve big problems and make new discoveries through the adoption of policies and practices that advance Open Access, Open Data, and Open Education. Learn more at sparcopen.org.
The Right to Research Coalition is an international alliance of graduate and undergraduate student organizations, which collectively represent millions of students in over 100 countries around the world, that advocate for and educate students about open methods of scholarly publishing. The Right to Research Coalition is a project of SPARC.
OpenCon 2017 Campinas was the second edition of our satellite event that took place on October 27. As well as our first meeting, we ran it before the main conference in combination with our National Science and Technology Week. It was a one-day event focused mainly on Open Education. This year, we offered a total of 14 activities—we also ran a poster session with the presentation of over 70 students’ projects.
In the early afternoon, we began the event with an informal talk about Open Education and its opportunities and challenges in the Brazilian context. Two specialists from academia and private sector were invited to take part in this talk. We then hosted two sessions of simultaneous activities where attendees could choose to take part of, such as seminars, workshops, and open meetings. By the end of sessions, students presented their in-progress works in the form of poster. A good number of these works were related to Open causes.
In the early evening we had our special moment with a keynote about Open Education. We closed the event by awarding of the best three posters presents in the event. OpenCon 2017 Campinas was an effort of a team with 13 people that started planning in early July. We also counted on many students that helped on the day of the event as volunteers. The 2017 edition received 300 people during the whole day, a significant increase considering the 2016 edition that got together 250 participants.
You can get more details and see photos from our event at https://www2.cmp.ifsp.edu.br/opencon (in Brazilian Portuguese only).
Andreiwid Corrêa is an early career professor at Federal Institute of Sao Paulo. His interest in Open issues came up when he started his Ph.D. in Open Data. Since then, his interactions with the Open community has brought a lot of opportunities to advance other Open areas such as Open Education. He has hosted two successful satellite events in Campinas, Brazil!
Interested in hosting an OpenCon satellite event in 2018? Visit opencon2017.org/satellite for more information!
A new way to take action with the OpenCon community, from wherever you are
We often say that OpenCon is more than just a conference — it’s also a global community made up of diverse people, all with a shared vision of a more equitable and open system for sharing the world’s scholarly information. It’s a conference and community we’re constantly looking to experiment with. We’re eager to explore new ways that the next generation of scholars, students, librarians, educators, practitioners and advocates can collaborate to advance Open Research and Open Education.
This is why we’re excited to announce that this year, for the first time, Day 3 of OpenCon 2017 will be a do-a-thon: a day of making, trying, designing, prototyping, testing, and learning in the name of advancing Open Research and Education (like a hackathon, but less focused on tech—and more focused on collaboration and problem-solving). You can participate from wherever you are, which is one of the reasons why we’re so excited about the do-a-thon. We’re always looking for ways for OpenCon to be more inclusive and engaging for people who are not physically in the room.
The do-a-thon's focus is on action. You don't need to be a coder or a designer or a “techie” to participate. We’re hoping people will use the day to develop and execute ideas for new campaigns, strategy development, policy changes, resource creation, educating, media-based organizing, and more! We want you to get creative with the approaches you take to create a more open system for sharing the world's information.
So — how do you get involved?
There are three different ways you can participate in the do-a-thon, before, during—and after the day itself:
1. Submit a Project
Have a project idea you want to put into action? Or an existing project that needs support? The do-a-thon is a great opportunity to make a quick mock-up to pitch or test an idea you have to advance Open Research or Open Education. It's also a chance to receive support and contributions from collaborators around the world. Building and strategizing on the day with new collaborators can make it much easier to keep the momentum after the event! Some projects that have already been proposed include:
Collaboratively building an open introductory engineering textbook [Read more]
Translating Software and Data Carpentry open lessons into Spanish [Read more]
And more! See the growing list of projects that have been proposed here.
You can learn more about how to submit a project at: http://doathon.opencon2017.org/project. Once you submit, we’ll email you tips and tools to make the most of the do-a-thon.
2. Submit a Challenge
If you don't have a project idea, that's totally OK! We're also looking for participants to ask big questions about Open Research and Open Education. And so — people will also have the option of submitting challenges for folks to work on together on tackling during the do-a-thon. Some questions your fellow participants already started to put forward include:
How might we make Open Educational Resources more easily editable to better serve local contexts? [Read more]
How might we ensure that early career academic professionals are meaningfully represented on the boards of organizations working in the OA, OER, Open Data space? [Read more]
And more! See the growing list of challenges that have been proposed here.
You can learn more about how to submit a challenge at: http://doathon.opencon2017.org/challenge. Once you submit, we’ll email you tips and tools to make the most of the do-a-thon.
3. Contribute & Collaborate
We’re also just as excited if you choose to spend the day helping out on projects and challenges other folks have put forward — collaboration is what the do-a-thon is all about! This is also a great way to start to getting involved in advancing Open Research or Open Education. You can find a project or challenge to dive into with our lists of awesome projects, by browsing through projects and challenges in your region or issue area, or by what skills they need help with. Read more about how to best contribute to a project or challenge here.
Participants, both remote and in-person will be able to (and have already!) submit challenges and projects up to and including the day-of the do-a-thon itself. If you have any questions about the do-a-thon or how to get involved, please send an email to lorraine(at)sparcopen(dot)org.
The Electrochemical Society (ECS) is the first scientific society to host an OpenCon satellite event. ECS OpenCon will take place on Sunday, October 1 at the Gaylord National Resort & Conference Center in National Harbor, MD, in conjunction with the 232nd ECS Meeting. The gathering will bring together some of the top advocates in open access and open science to explore issues and topics related to the next generation of research communication.
ECS OpenCon will be the Society’s first, large-scale community event to discuss the future of how research is designed, shared, vetted, and disseminated, with the ultimate goal of making scientific progress faster, more transparent, and more collaborative. And, because ECS advances sciences that are key to the future sustainability of our planet (i.e. renewable energy, biomedicine, clean water, sanitation, communications, transportation, and infrastructure), the Society is committing to openly promoting these discoveries for public benefit. These efforts to push more openness are part of ECS’s Free the Science initiative.
Featuring vocal advocates in the open movement, ECS OpenCon will examine the intersection of advances in research infrastructure, the researcher experience, funder mandates and policies, as well as the global shift that is happening in traditional scholarly communications.
“Shifting towards a more open paradigm, especially in electrochemistry and solid state science, is important for the advancement of our sciences and, quite simply, creating a better world,” says Roque Calvo, ECS executive director. “ECS OpenCon brings together some of the top minds in the open movement to discuss how research communications is changing and the new ways technology is providing access to knowledge for people from around the world.”
Featured speakers and their topics include:
Ashley Farley, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Keynote: “The Importance of Open Science in a Changing Scholarly Communications Paradigm”
Brian Nosek, Center for Open Science
Nick Shockey, SPARC
Meredith Morovati, Dryad
Dina Paltoo, National Institutes of Health
Open and Government
Dan Schwartz, University of Washington
Open and Academia
The event is free and open to ECS meeting attendees and the general public. ECS OpenCon will also be broadcast live via the ECS YouTube channel.
ECS OpenCon is one of two meeting events being held in National Harbor in October demonstrating ECS’s commitment to a shift towards open science and the Free the Science initiative. The ECS Data Sciences Hack Day will be the Society’s first foray into building an electrochemical data sciences and open source community from the ground up. Dataset sharing and open source software have transformed many “big science” areas such as astronomy, particle physics, synchrotron science, protein and genomic sciences, as well as computational sciences. There is a critical need is to build a community of electrochemical data scientists and ECS is taking the first steps to fill that role.
Post en Español
The annual OpenCon global conference convenes the most promising students and early-career academic professionals advancing open access, open data, open educational resources, and many other aspects of open scholarship. However, OpenCon is more than a conference; it is also a growing international community of people who support each other in sharing their work and advocating for transparency that will lead to better research and education worldwide.
Latin American representation in the OpenCon community has been growing since 2014. At OpenCon 2016, we had the largest number of Latin American participants to date and for the first time, were able to hold a conference session entirely in Spanish and Portuguese. We had participants from 10 countries - Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, México, Nicaragua, Perú, and Puerto Rico. The outcome of that session was the formation of an international organizing committee dedicated to establishing a regional satellite meeting - OpenCon Latin America (OpenCon LatAm).
Our first OpenCon LatAm planning session at OpenCon 2016. November 2016, Washington D.C.
Latin America is a leader in open scholarship
Latin America is in a unique position with respect to open scholarship. The region has been a leader in open access, with a high percentage of our journals free for readers and authors, and several countries (Argentina, Brazil, México, and Peru) adopting national level open access policies in the last four years. Our countries have important experiences to share with each other—and the rest of the world—about alternative publication funding models and policy development.
Despite these successes, Latin America continues to face a number of economic, technological, and social challenges to increasing adoption of open scholarship. Our goal with OpenCon LatAm is to bring together students, early-career professionals, faculty, funders, and more, who face these challenges everyday and are ready to brainstorm solutions and advocate for change at the institutional, national, and international levels. We aim to forge new connections between organizations in each of our countries to coordinate global advocacy efforts. In addition, we hope our event will lead to cross-border collaborations that will benefit the science and technology sectors of each country, and raise the visibility of Latin American research.
Support OpenCon 2017 Latin America
OpenCon LatAm will be held October 12-13th, 2017 at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) in Mexico City. Our speakers will include Ana María Cetto (Latindex), Carolina Botero (Fundación Karisma; virtual presenter), Diego Gómez Hoyos (ProCAT Conservation), and many more. You can find our preliminary program and RSVP to attend the event here.
We are looking for international organizations to help us make this meeting a resounding success. Specifically, we are looking for sponsors that can help us provide participants with coffee, food, and maybe even pay for some travel costs, as mosts participants will not have travel funds available through their universities. This latter support will particularly help us to make this a diverse event by bringing speakers from different countries in Latin America. If you cannot support us financially, we are also happy to have other types of support, including helping us spread the word about the event. If you are interested in finding out more, please contact us. Thank you for considering supporting our meeting!
Some of the members of the OpenCon LatAm organizing committee at OpenCon 2016.
Erin McKiernan: email@example.com
Ivonne Lujano Vilchis: firstname.lastname@example.org
OpenCon Organizing Committee: email@example.com
OpenCon Latinoamércia convocará promotores de movimientos de ciencia y educación abierta en toda la región: ¡Apoya sus esfuerzos!
La conferencia anual OpenCon global convoca a los estudiantes más prometedores y profesionales académicos en primeros años de carrera que impulsan el acceso abierto, datos abiertos, recursos educativos abiertos, y muchos otros aspectos de la cultura científica y de educación abierta. Sin embargo, OpenCon es más que una conferencia; también es una creciente comunidad internacional de personas que se apoyan mutuamente en compartir su trabajo y promover la transparencia que conducirá a un mejor sistema de investigación y educación en todo el mundo.
La representación latinoamericana en la comunidad OpenCon ha ido creciendo desde el año 2014. En OpenCon 2016, tuvimos el mayor número de participantes latinoamericanos hasta la fecha y por primera vez pudimos realizar una sesión totalmente en español y portugués. Tuvimos participantes de 10 países: Argentina, Brasil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, México, Nicaragua, Perú y Puerto Rico. El resultado de esa sesión fue la formación de un comité internacional de organización dedicado a promover una reunión satélite regional- OpenCon Latinoamérica (OpenCon LatAm).
América Latina es líder en apertura en investigación y educación
América Latina se encuentra en una posición única con respecto a la investigación y educación abiertas. La región ha sido un líder en acceso abierto, un alto porcentaje de nuestras revistas son gratuitas para lectores y autores, y varios países (Argentina, Brasil, México y Perú) adoptaron políticas de acceso abierto a nivel nacional en los últimos cuatro años. Nuestros países tienen experiencias importantes para compartir unos con otros -y con el resto del mundo- sobre modelos alternativos de financiamiento de publicaciones y desarrollo de políticas.
A pesar de estos éxitos, América Latina sigue afrontando una serie de desafíos económicos, tecnológicos y sociales para aumentar la adopción de un sistema académico y de educación abierta. Nuestra meta con OpenCon LatAm es reunir a estudiantes, profesionales de la carrera temprana, profesores, financiadores y más, que enfrentan estos desafíos todos los días y están listos para hacer una lluvia de ideas de soluciones y abogar por el cambio a nivel institucional, nacional e internacional. Nuestro objetivo es forjar nuevas conexiones entre organizaciones en cada uno de nuestros países para coordinar los esfuerzos mundiales de promoción. Además, esperamos que nuestro evento conduzca a colaboraciones transfronterizas que beneficiarán a los sectores de ciencia y tecnología de cada país y aumentarán la visibilidad de la investigación latinoamericana.
Apoyo para OpenCon 2017 Latinoamérica
OpenCon LatAm se celebrará del 12 al 13 de octubre de 2017 en la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) en la Ciudad de México. Entre nuestros ponentes se encuentran Ana María Cetto (Latindex), Carolina Botero (Fundación Karisma, presentadora virtual), Diego Gómez Hoyos (ProCAT Conservation) y muchos más. Puede encontrar nuestro programa preliminar y RSVP para asistir al evento aquí.
Estamos buscando organizaciones internacionales que nos ayuden a hacer de esta reunión un rotundo éxito. Específicamente, estamos buscando patrocinadores que nos puedan ayudar a proporcionar a los participantes café, comida y tal vez incluso pagar algunos gastos de viaje, ya que muchos de los participantes no tendrán fondos de viaje disponibles a través de sus universidades. Este último apoyo nos ayudará particularmente a hacer de este evento un acontecimiento diverso, con la participación de oradores de diferentes países de América Latina. Si no puede apoyarnos financieramente, también estamos contentos de tener otros tipos de apoyo, incluyendo ayudarnos a difundir la noticia sobre el evento. Si usted está interesado en saber más, póngase en contacto con nosotros. ¡Gracias por considerar apoyar nuestra reunión!
Erin McKiernan: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ivonne Lujano Vilchis: email@example.com
Comité Organizador OpenCon: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Association for the Promotion of Open Science in Haiti and Africa (APSOHA) is a non-profit organization working for the visibility and circulation of knowledge that is produced by local universities and is relevant for local populations. Our strategy is to empower researchers through cognitive justice and and the commons. To do this, we are using the tools of Open Science, Open Access, Open Data and collaborative work; we are also promoting Open Educational Resources, free software and open licences. Our work is embedded in values of openness, sharing, and solidarity. These activities and values that we have been advocating for since the creation of APSOHA are also aligned with OpenCon mission’s.
APSOHA at OpenCon2016
Satellites Events in Cameroon and Niger
Last year, there were two satellite events organized by APSOHA members: one in Cameroon and the other in Niger. OpenCon 2016 Niamey was organized by Hamissou Rhissa Achafert on the theme: " Réflexions autour d'une politique du libre accès à l'information scientifique et technique au Niger ". This was a successful event where the state of Open Access in Niger was analyzed, an Open Access policy for Niger was outlined, and recommendations were made for the adoption of Open Access. During the 9th International Open Access Week, Prudence Nkolo organized OpenCon Yaoundé 2016 on the theme: Quelle action en faveur de l'Open Access au Cameroun?
The Meeting at Washington
Supported by a travel scholarship, I had the privilege to participate in OpenCon 2016 in Washington, DC. The objective of my participation was twofold: first, I wanted to meet people, learn from them and discover what happening everywhere else in the world. On this line, the different presentations proposed to us have been very enriching, thanks to the shared experiences and know-how that each presenter had developed in his context.
Secondly, the opportunity was given to me to share our SOHA experience, with the rest of the participants, and to improve our practices and ideas. I did it by leading two unconference sessions, the first was on the Panafrican-Institutional Repository (PAIR) and the second on Hacking School Textbooks in Cameroon. This meeting allowed me to learn useful lessons for the continuation of APSOHA activities, especially with respect to platforms for the free dissemination of knowledge, best practices of sharing and networking. In short, the lessons I learned at the OpenCon enabled me to overcome certain barriers that I thought were impassable.
Our achievements since OpenCon 2016
From OpenCon to GOSH
Thanks to the remarks, advice and lessons I received at OpenCon 2016, I improved the design of the Parakou Open Access Box and the Pan-African Institutional Repository. It came out a poster that I presented to GOSH 2017 and that is accessible on the platform F1000.
The Pan-African Institutional Repository
The Pan-African Institutional repository, developed in part at OpenCon 2016, will:
Facilitate accessibility of African scientific works;
Allow the generation of publication lists per researcher, for evaluation committees
Offers member universities a showcase for their scientific work without investing in their own archive if they do not wish or cannot
Be interdependent with the open archives of the universities that will decide to invest to create a specific one
Ensure the visibility on the web of all archived work, in a more inclusive "open scientific conversation".
OpenCon provides an appropriate framework for actions in favour of free circulation and dissemination of knowledge, and APSOHA intends to continue to benefit from this framework.
Applications to attend OpenCon 2017 in Berlin this November close on August 1st. Visit opencon2017.org/apply to submit your application today!
Thomas Hervé Mboa Nkoudou is currently the International President of APSOHA, the Association for the Promotion of Open Science in Haiti and Africa. PhD student in public communication at Université Laval, his thesis focuses on the maker mouvement and free culture in sub-Saharan Africa. With a Bachelors Degree in Biochemistry, and a Master in Didactics of sciences, Thomas Mboa is also passionate of Biohacking.