Open Educational Resources have always held the promise of saving students millions – if not billions – of dollars each year. But is cost savings the only advantage of OER? A growing body of evidence suggests that OER produce learning outcomes that are as good or, in many cases, better than those of proprietary learning materials.
Our next OpenCon Community Webcast will delve into current research on the efficacy of Open Educational Resources and how they compare with traditional textbooks. John Hilton III, an Assistant Professor at Brigham Young University and leading expert on OER efficacy, will be joining us to address this issue. In his presentation, John will answer critical questions including if students using OER get better grades, how students and teachers perceive Open Educational Resources and what it takes for a professor to adopt an Open Textbook.
The webcast will be held on Tuesday, May 5th, at 1pm EDT / 6pm BST / 7pm CEST and last approximately 45 minutes. You can view the webcast at opencon2015.org/community/webcasts or by bookmarking the embedded YouTube link below. You can join the discussion and ask questions on Twitter with the hashtag #opencon. A recording of the presentation will be available online immediately following the webcast at the same URL.
For immediate release: April 7, 2015
Press Contact: Ranit Schmelzer: +1 202 538 1065, firstname.lastname@example.org
Broad Coalition Announces 2nd Conference for Students & Early Career Academic Professionals on Open Access, Open Education and Open Data
OpenCon 2015 to Take Place November 14-16 in Brussels, Belgium
WASHINGTON, DC — Today 11 organizations representing the next generation of scholars, researchers, and academic professionals announced OpenCon 2015: Empowering the Next Generation to Advance Open Access, Open Education and Open Data. Slated for November 14-16 in Brussels, Belgium, the event will bring together students and early career academic professionals from across the world to learn about the issues, develop critical skills, and return home ready to catalyze action toward a more open system for sharing the world’s information — from scholarly and scientific research, to educational materials, to digital data.
Hosted by the Right to Research Coalition and SPARC, OpenCon 2015 builds on the success of the first-ever OpenCon meeting last year which convened 115 students and early career academic professionals from 39 countries in Washington, DC. More than 80% of these participants received full travel scholarships, provided by sponsorships from leading organizations, including the Max Planck Society, eLife, PLOS, and more than 20 universities.
“OpenCon 2015 will expand on a proven formula of bringing together the brightest young leaders across the Open Access, Open Education, and Open Data movements and connecting them with established leaders in each community,” said Nick Shockey, founding Director of the Right to Research Coalition. “OpenCon is equal parts conference and community. The meeting in Brussels will serve as the centerpiece of a much larger network to foster initiatives and collaboration among the next generation across OpenCon’s three issue areas.”
OpenCon 2015’s three day program will begin with two days of conference-style keynotes, panels, and interactive workshops, drawing both on the expertise of leaders in the Open Access, Open Education and Open Data movements and the experience of participants who have already led successful projects.
The third day will take advantage of the location in Brussels by providing a half-day of advocacy training followed by the opportunity for in-person meetings with relevant policy makers, ranging from the European Parliament, European Commission, embassies, and key NGOs. Participants will leave with a deeper understanding of the conference’s three issue areas, stronger skills in organizing local and national projects, and connections with policymakers and prominent leaders across the three issue areas.
Speakers at OpenCon 2014 included the Deputy Assistant to the President of the United States for Legislative Affairs, the Chief Commons Officer of Sage Bionetworks, the Associate Director for Data Science for the U.S. National Institutes of Health, and more than 15 students and early career academic professionals leading successful initiatives. OpenCon 2015 will again feature leading experts. Patrick Brown and Michael Eisen, two of the co-founders of PLOS, are confirmed for a joint keynote at the 2015 meeting.
“For the ‘open’ movements to succeed, we must invest in capacity building for the next generation of librarians, researchers, scholars, and educators,” said Heather Joseph, Executive Director of SPARC (The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition). “OpenCon is dedicated to creating and empowering a global network of young leaders across these issues, and we are eager to partner with others in the community to support and catalyze these efforts.”
OpenCon seeks to convene the most effective student and early career academic professional advocates—regardless of their ability to pay for travel costs. The majority of participants will receive full travel scholarships. Because of this, attendance is by application only, though limited sponsorship opportunities are available to guarantee a fully funded place at the conference. Applications will open on June 1, 2015.
In 2014, more than 1,700 individuals from 125 countries applied to attend the inaugural OpenCon.
“As an organization that represents more than 11 million students across 39 European countries, the European Students’ Union is committed to advancing openness in research and education,” said Erin Nordal, Vice-Chairperson of the European Students’ Union (ESU). “ESU is excited to help organize OpenCon 2015 and ensure the next generation is at the forefront of the conversation around Open Access, Open Education and Open Data—in Europe and beyond.”
This year, an expanded emphasis will be placed on building the community around OpenCon and on satellite events. OpenCon satellite events are independently hosted meetings that mix content from the main conference with live presenters to localize the discussion and bring the energy of an in-person OpenCon event to a larger audience. In 2014, OpenCon satellite events reached hundreds of students and early career academic professionals in nine countries across five continents. A call for partners to host satellite events has now opened and is available at http://www.opencon2015.org/satellite.
OpenCon 2015 is organized by the Right to Research Coalition, SPARC, and a committee of student and early career researcher organizations from around the world. A variety of sponsorship opportunities are available and will be critical to ensuring that dedicated students and early career academic professionals across the globe are able to attend. For more information, see www.opencon2015.org/sponsor.
Applications for OpenCon 2015 will open on June 1st. For more information about the conference and to sign up for updates, visit www.opencon2015.org/updates. You can follow OpenCon on Twitter at @Open_Con or using the hashtag #opencon.
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®, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, is an international alliance of academic and research libraries working to correct imbalances in the scholarly publishing system. Developed by the Association of Research Libraries, SPARC has become a catalyst for change. Its pragmatic focus is to stimulate the emergence of new scholarly communication models that expand the dissemination of scholarly research and reduce financial pressures on libraries. More information can be found at www.sparc.arl.org and on Twitter @SPARC_NA.
Contact Information for Organizing Committee Members
Belgian Medical Students’ Association
Koen Demaegd, National Officer on Research Exchange
nore [at] belgianmsa [dot] com
Slobodan Radicev, governing board member
slobodan.radicev [at] euroscience [dot] org
The European Students’ Union
Erin Nordal, Vice-Chairperson
Erin [at] esu-online [dot] org
The International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA)
Ivana Di Salvo, Liaison officer for
Research and Medical Associations [at] ifmsa [dot] org
Arslan Inayat, National President IFMSA Pakistan*
arslan201 [at] hotmail [dot] com
Max Planck PhDnet
Prateek Mahalwar, Spokesperson
prateek.mahalwar [at] tuebingen.mpg.de
The Open Access Button
Joseph McArthur, Co-lead
Joe [at] righttoresearch [dot] com
Jonathan Gray, Director of Policy and Research
jonathan [dot] gray [at] okfn [dot] org
Open Library of Humanities
Martin Paul Eve, Co-Director
martin [dot] eve [at] openlibhums [dot] org
National Association of Graduate-Professional Students (NAGPS)
Kristofferson Culmer, President & CEO
president [at] nagps [dot] org
Megan Beckett, Instructional Designer and Open Education Advocate
megan [at] siyavula [dot] com
Post-doctoral research fellow, Harvard University*
Assistant Professor, University of Vermont (August 2015)*
meredith_niles [at] hks [dot] harvard [edu]
Iara Vidal Pereira de Souza
PhD student, Brazilian Institute of Information in Science and Technology / Federal University of Rio de Janeiro*
iaravidalps [at] gmail [dot] com
Postdoctoral fellow, Wilfrid Laurier University*
emck31 [at] gmail [dot] com
* Institutions are for affiliation purposes only
This post was originally made on the Right to Research Coalition website, but for archival purposes has been posted here
Announcing OpenCon Community Webcasts!
We’re excited to announce our new OpenCon Community Webcast series, which aims to inform and engage the growing OpenCon community by showcasing an individual, project, or success story each month. Ranging between 30 minutes and an hour, these webcasts will provide a regular opportunity for the OpenCon community to hear from those leading the charge for Open Access, Open Education, and Open Data.
In the run up to OpenCon 2014 we wanted to ensure everyone attending already had a basic, if not very good understanding Open Access, Education and Data.
To make these easier to watch, and compile all the resources associated we’ve combined them all into a bumper blog filled with all the bios, video, slides and more.
At OpenCon 2014 ten student projects and ideas will get the chance to present to a room of their peers, and have their presentations send around the world through the OpenCon 2014 Webcast! Here we will provide a few short details on the projects and how to contact them. We encourage you to get in touch with any project that interests you.
Researchers have the H-index and journals have the impact factor. What do we have to measure open? We need a metric that's just for open - something that researchers can use to broadcast their contribution to open. Imagine sending out your resume with a big, bold number that shows how you’re making data, research, and code available to everyone. By creating the O-Index, we could empower disciplines, departments, and institutions to include open among their standards for hire and tenure. Let’s get together to 1) build a metric, 2) advertise the metric, and 3) make open simple and sexy.
To get in touch contact kes at kes.schroer[at]gmail.com
Scientific social networks for research
My project focus is in social development, technology and education through the empowerment of students and early career researchers. I've documented a few cases and strategies for bridging the gap between scientific documentation and publications and social networks to create a broader audience for research. By demonstrating how to build upon these scholar publications with these cases as well as the strategies and internationalizing scientific findings, it is possible to create a true dynamic web of research, equal, democratic and powerful.
To get in touch contact Renata at raquino[at]gmail.com
Sumatra as an Open Science tool
Sumatra is a free and open software tool supporting reproducibility in computational research, it is an "automated lab notebook". But it can be even more! Currently focused on the management of simulations, Sumatra is destined to develop into a gateway from your research to Open Science platforms. In my Google Summer of Code project I took first steps towards this goal and want to share my perspectives on how to go forward. I believe that in the future, a solution like Sumatra will provide the much needed glue between freely available scientific code and openly accessible research data.
To get in touch contact Felix at felix.hoffmann[at]jupiter.uni-freiburg.de
The Method: a podcast on the state of science
The Method will be a series of 12 podcasts exploring the current state of science. The first 3 episodes will address the issues introduced at OpenCon. The podcast will be an informal discussion aimed at a broad audience. Through personal stories, each episode will share snapshots of how the bigger issues in science impact the day-to-day work of scientists. I would love your help! What are the most important issues in science today? Add your ideas to the state of science map: http://www.mindmeister.com/475426773. Do you have a story about the day-to-day life of a scientist? Send me ideas!
To get in touch contact April Clyburne-Sherin at april.clyburne.sherin[at]gmail.com
Open Data in West Africa Ebola Response
Radio, mobile cell phone data, web applications (such as photo or video sharing), and social media tools are commonly used to facilitate information sharing during complex humanitarian emergencies. However, depending upon the context (ie. Philippines vs. Guinea), the type of media used for situational awareness changes. This presentation will discuss current free and open data initiatives in the West Africa Ebola response, and areas where openness may be able to greater facilitate response.
To get in touch contact Roxanne Moore at Roxanne.Moore[at]emory.edu
PeerLibrary - Facilitating the global conversation on academic literature
In the past, books and scripts were written and read exclusively by scholars and were inaccessible to the general public. With new technologies, such as the printing press, the general public has been able to access, discuss, and help each other understand publications. With closed scholarly collections today, a crucial segment of human knowledge is inaccessible to the general public again. PeerLibrary uses digital technologies to allow access to knowledge in academic publications by facilitating a digital space for a global community of people to collaborate to understand academic resources.
To get in touch contact Mitar at mitar[at]peerlibrary.org
Outlining the perfect scientific society
Many would argue that the academic system is stacked against open, collaborative research. In terms of recognition and reward, it is still first paper, first author that counts. Despite this, an open research culture is emerging. Much has been said about the failure of many publishers and funders to adapt to this culture, but what of societies? As junior researchers in the open research community, what are we looking for in a scientific society? Are current societies meeting our needs?
To get in touch contact Tom at tom.pollard.11[at]ucl.ac.uk
Student Open Access Policies
Why should open access policies and mandates be only for faculty? Graduate students are in a good position to begin their publishing careers in open access! Come hear how Juan Pablo Alperin spearheaded the first ever student open access policy at the Stanford Graduate School of Education. In a few short minutes, Juan will provide an introduction to the strategies and tactics he used to build support for the policy before it was put to a vote, and the steps taken to institutionalize the policy so that students can pass motions at their home institutions.
To get in touch contact Juan at juan[at]alperin.ca
Paperity. The first multidisciplinary aggregator of Open Access journals and papers.
In the beginning of October, Paperity (www.paperity.org) - the first multidisciplinary aggregator of Open Access journals and papers - has been launched. Devised after the most successful OA service today, PubMed Central, it takes the PMC's concept of aggregating journals (not only individual papers) to a higher level and aggregates open literature from across all research fields, not only life sciences like PMC does. Paperity gives readers easy and unconstrained access to vast amounts of literature in one central location and helps authors reach their target audience and disseminate more efficiently. The goal is to include 100% of OA journals in 3 years and ultimately to consolidate academia around open literature.
To get in touch contact Marcin at mwojnarski[at]paperity.org
Student Access to Research Survey
To get in touch contact Ivan at ivan.flis[at]gmail.com
Advancing Research Communication & Scholarship
Advancing Research Communication & Scholarship (ARCS) is a new conference being built by librarians, scientists, humanists, publishers, and technologists to examine scholarly communication in the digital age. By engaging diverse communities of scholarship and practice, ARCS will provide a unique forum for building collaborations and affecting change. Like OpenCon, ARCS will include panel discussions that address key questions, and workshops with specific learning objectives. We want students and early career researchers to be part of the conversation, joining thought leaders and tool builders on panels dedicated to open access, open data, and open educational resources. In the coming weeks we'll be sharing news about funding opportunities to join us in Philadelphia, April 26 – 28, 2015.
To get in touch contact Robin at email@example.com
SPARC and the Right to Research Coalition are pleased to announce a partnership with Creative Commons USA (CC USA) to host OpenCon 2014 at the American University Washington College of Law in Washington, DC. The first two days of the event, November 15th and 16th, will be held at the Washington College of Law with the third day, November 17th, to be held at the US Capitol.
SPARC and the Right to Research Coalition are pleased to announce a partnership with Creative Commons USA (CC USA) to host OpenCon 2014 at the American University Washington College of Law in Washington, DC. The first two days of the event, November 15th and 16th, will be held at the Washington College of Law with the third day, November 17th, to be held at the US Capitol. OpenCon 2014 will bring together students and early career researchers from across the world to learn about the issues, develop critical skills, and return home ready to catalyze action toward a more open system for sharing the world’s information — from scholarly and scientific research, to educational materials, to digital data. More than 1,700 individuals from over 120 countries submitted an application to attend OpenCon during the three-week application period. Creative Commons USA is a fitting partner to provide the venue for the first OpenCon meeting. Creative Commons hosts the licenses that enable Open Access, Open Educational Resources, and Open Data, and as Creative Commons’ American affiliate, CC USA is involved in advocacy to advance OpenCon’s three issue areas nationally within the United States. The facilities at the Washington College of Law will allow a live webcast of the first two days of OpenCon (November 15-16), which will be a traditional conference format of keynotes, panels, and workshops. The third day (November 17) will be an advocacy day and will not be webcast. For more information about OpenCon and to watch the live webcast, please visit www.opencon2014.org. You can sign up for updates on the meeting at www.opencon2014.org/takepart.
OpenCon 2014 will feature leading speakers from across the Open Access, Open Education, and Open Data movements as well as workshops organized by those leading the most interesting projects and campaigns. Additional speakers and workshops will be posted as they are confirmed.