A couple of weeks ago, we introduced you to OpenCon Live, a full slate of remote events surrounding the main OpenCon conference designed to connect you to the meeting. Thanks to your excellent feedback, we’re developing a set of events and ways to engage designed specifically for OpenCon Live participants. By popular demand, here are five ways that you can participate during OpenCon:
Returning from 2015:
Last year, our OpenCon Live page, complete with high quality webcast and Twitter stream, was a hit with our remote participants. This year it’ll be back, and better than ever.
Not on Twitter? Join us on Whatsapp
Twitter is the best place to experience the buzz of OpenCon. We recommend you sign up and follow #opencon if only for the conference. However, if you’d prefer not to use Twitter, we’ll add you to a Whatsapp group for the event. There is a hard limit on how many people we can add to a group, so please only sign up for this group if you don’t want to participate in the main online discussion through Twitter. Join that here.
Exclusive Presenter Q&A
New this year, we will be doing exclusive Q&A sessions with some of our presenters during the coffee breaks. We’ll collect your questions in a Google Doc and OpenCon Live host, Lauren Collister, will conduct the interview via Facebook Live.
Lunchtime Networking Hangouts
Conference lunches are a great time to connect with fellow conference attendees and make new connections. To bring that to OpenCon Live, we’ll be setting up hangout sessions for different groups during our lunch breaks. Join one that interests you and converse with OpenCon Live participants. Don’t worry, we’ll provide the venue and some questions to get the conversation going!
End of Day Community Calls
We love OpenCon community calls and want to bring them to the conference. At the end of each day of the conference, we’ll get together to discuss the highlights of that day’s conference. What were the greatest quotes of the day? What projects really excite you? What did you learn that you can put into practice? What can we look forward to for the next day? Join us to unwind and chat with your colleagues in OpenCon Live.
Introducing OpenCon Live’s co-host
We’ve already introduced you to Lauren Collister, one of our OpenCon Live hosts. This time we’re happy to announce our co-host, Osman Aldiriri!
"I'm Osman Aldirdiri, and I'll be co-hosting this year's OpenCon Live! I begun my journey with "Open" advocacy four years ago after attending this fascinating conference and getting connected with its exceptional network of supporters and advocates. Today, I am playing an active role in leading groups and organizations in the field like the Right to Research Coalition and the FORCE11 Scholarly Commons Working Group. I am also leading a national advocacy project for openness in Sudan which I was inspired to found following the event. I am sure OpenCon will be with a life changing experience for you as it was for me and I hope that we live up to your expectations in hosting the best event possible."
We’re still working on a few other surprises, so stay tuned! You can find these all on the OpenCon schedule, where you can also sign up to attend.
Last year, OpenCon was able to reach 1500 people from all around the world because of satellite events: local meetings about Open Access, Open Data, and Open Education that are held in partnership with our main global meeting. These events would not be possible without the hard work of our various volunteer hosts. So this year, we want to highlight some of the amazing work that’s been happening to make local discussion, progress, and education about Open issues happen in different continents. We’ll be profiling some of this year’s satellite events (past and upcoming) every month on our blog, as well as the awesome OpenCon community members who are dedicating their time to making this happen.
OpenCon 2016 Campinas, hosted by Andreiwid Corrêa and his team
“I’m an early career professor at Federal Institute of Sao Paulo. My interest in Open issues came 4 years ago when I started my Ph.D. in Open Data. Since then, the interaction with Open community brought a lot of opportunities to advance other Open areas such as Open Education. OpenCon was one of these opportunities! As a professor I encourage my students to think about Open causes and how they can change our lives through the power of collaboration. As a result, I have seen good projects showing up that make the community stronger.”
"OpenCon 2016 Campinas is our satellite event that takes place on October 21. We will run it before the main conference in combination with our National Science and Technology Week. It will be a one-day event focused on Open Education. We have 9 confirmed speakers across a total of 12 activities including a keynote, seminars, workshops and panels exposure. In the early afternoon, we start the event with an informal and relaxed talk about fiction. In the following there are 2 sessions of 3 simultaneous activities each where attendees can choose to take part of. By the end of sessions there are panels exposure where students can show their in-progress works related to Open causes. We’ll start the evening with a keynote about Open Education with a specialist recognized by UNESCO. Afterwards, there is another session with 3 simultaneous activities. We close the event with the awarding of the best panels. OpenCon 2016 Campinas is an effort of a team with 11 people that started in early July. We also count on a number of students that will help on the day of the event. We expect over 200 participants to attend."
To RSVP, read more about OpenCon 2016, or access the program, click here.
OpenCon 2016 Boston, hosted by Anna Newman
“I’m the Open Access Specialist at the Boston University Libraries in Boston, MA, USA. I first became interested in Open issues in library school, and I strongly believe that libraries have a vital role to play in the democratization of access to knowledge.”
“OpenCon 2016 Boston takes as its theme “open in action” (also the theme of this year’s Open Access Week). The event will include a talk by a member of the project team from Open Data to Open Knowledge, Boston’s Knight Foundation-funded initiative to make open government data an accessible public resource; a discussion of information justice; and lightning talks on tools for and approaches to open research, including an introduction to ORCID, how to make your work available in an institutional repository, an open research case study, and an overview of open access mandates for grants.”
To read more about OpenCon 2016 Boston, click here.
OpenCon 2016 Bamenda, hosted by Fon Noel
“I love to call myself a techprenuer: I am enthusiastic about technology and open source. I run a joke website while also developing for a software startup I co-founded. I am personally engaged with the open movement because I want to promote education in Africa, since the philosophy is about making sure everyone in the world has access to high quality educational experiences.”
"This is the first time an OpenCon satellite event will be held in Bamenda, and the concepts behind the program are new to many people here. Because of this, OpenCon 2016 Bamenda will focus on introducing what Open Access, Open Education, Open Data and even Open Source is all about. Our confirmed program so far includes a talk by Awa Kinason Mokom, who will be speaking about “What is Openness? (in technology)”, and we will also be holding a session on how to contribute to the Open movement."
To read more about OpenCon 2016 Bamenda, click here.
OpenCon 2016 Chandigarh, organized by Sailesh Patnaik
“I’m a student from KIIT university (Mechanical Engineering) Bhubaneswar. I am a long term contributor to Wikipedia/Wikimedia movement and contributing to it from 2012 (When I was in Grade 10). During my journey in the Wikipedia movement I got to know about the Open source, Open Access, Open data and Open Knowledge movement and I started volunteering for it. Lack of awareness about the movement in my province encouraged me to participate in the Open movement. After attending OpenCon Kolkata, I started participating in this movement at a large level. Now, I am an ambassador to Open Access India and helping to spread awareness about the movement and forming Open Access India as a registered society.”
"The idea for OpenCon 2016 Chandigrah started when Malayalam Wikimedian Kavya Manohar planned to present a talk about Open Con during Wiki Conference India on August 6: a national conference for Wikimedians to discuss challenges and best practices for Wikimedia and the Open movement. Kavya is an Open source enthusiast from Kerela and she has done a lot of activity in Open Knowledge movement. Our aim was to introduce the global Open Access movement to the Wikimedians.
16 people attended our event, which covered a number of topics, including: Open Access in India and why research and educational resources should be as open as possible, the role of Open Access in research discourse in Wikipedia, and the importance of - and process behind creating - Open Journals in Wikiversity. Hashive (Wikimedia Bangladesh), a long term Wikipedia volunteer and administrator to Bengali Wikipedia and Open enthusiast from Bangladesh, spoke about the Open movement in Bangladesh and how they are planning to form Open Access chapter in Bangladesh and bringing some Government websites into CC license. Maria (Wikimedia Foundation) spoke about the collaboration of Wikimedians and Open Access, the Open Access Editathon happening in collaboration with Wikipedia during Open Access Week, as well as the The Wikipedia Library, where Wikimedians and Open enthusiasts can work collaboratively.
After the event we shared these outcome with Sridhar, a convener of Open Access India. With the help of OAI we will run The Wikipedia Library, and 1Lib1ref project to help various Indic language Wikipedias."
To read more about OpenCon 2016 Chandigarh, and access the program, click here.
See if there's an upcoming satellite event in your area: more of OpenCon's upcoming satellite events are listed here!
Don't see an event happening in your region? It's not too late to host an event yourself! Read more about what is involved with hosting an event here (register at the form of the bottom of the page if you're interested in hosting), and if you have any questions, don't hesitate to e-mail lorraine(at)sparcopen.org for more information.
Hello! My name is Lauren Collister and I’m thrilled to tell you that I’m going to be the host of OpenCon 2016 Live. I bet you already have questions, including the following:
What is OpenCon Live?
OpenCon Live is a full slate of remote events surrounding the OpenCon conference designed to connect you to the conference. People attending OpenCon 2016 in person are expected to learn, build their network, and take action - and we want to enable the same for remote participants. We’re planning to have interactive keynote watching sessions, exclusive Q&A sessions with presenters, collaborative blog posts, and more. Join us for a few hours, or a few days, from wherever you are to become an expert in Open Access, Open Data, and Open Education, build your network, and help advance progress. Read more and RSVP for OpenCon Live.
Why are you posting on this blog way before OpenCon?
We want to hear from you about how you’d like to engage with OpenCon. We have a huge virtual community and we have some ideas about how to bring OpenCon to that community, but this is all about you. Please check out this short survey and let us know the kinds of events you’d be likely to participate in (or not) and share with us your vision for your OpenCon Live experience.
You can also tweet at us @open_con or using the hashtag #opencon to ask questions or share your thoughts at any time.
Who are you, anyway?
That depends on what hat I’m wearing! I am a scholar in the field of Linguistics - I’m either known for writing a dissertation about World of Warcraft or writing pop linguistics articles about emoji and text messaging. Professionally, I’m the Scholarly Communications Librarian at the University of Pittsburgh where I advocate for and facilitate open access, consult on copyright, help faculty and students share their work, and a bunch of other stuff. I’m an OpenCon 2014 alum and I’ve been having fun hosting the OpenCon Early Career Librarian Community Call for the past few months. The OpenCon organizers thought I could use more fun in my life, so I get to be the OpenCon Live host for this year’s conference.
I look forward to getting to know you before and during OpenCon. Say hello by tweeting me @parnopaeus!
With the OpenCon application period over, you might be wondering how you can contribute to making a more open future. One concrete way to do this is to host an OpenCon satellite event. Satellite events are held in partnership with the main global meeting, and typically combine content, themes and ideas from the main meeting with local talks or activities. Anyone is eligible to host a satellite event, and the events themselves can be any size, in any place, at any time! Hosting a satellite is a great way to catalyze local progress on Open Access, Open Data, and Open Education, while also being part of a global discussion on open issues.
Satellite events are the largest part of OpenCon. Last year, amazing people from across the globe hosted 30 satellite events in 20 different countries, reaching 1500 participants in total.
OpenCon 2015 Satellite events in Berlin (left) and Faisalabad (right).
Growing our OpenCon Satellite Community
When we made our first call for hosts in 2014, we had no idea if satellite events would work. Since then, satellite events have become a critical part to building our global community. This year, we want the fight for a more open future to reach even more communities and even more people. We asked ourselves how we could grow our satellite program in four key areas:
Scale: How can we see more satellite events and more participants, in more countries for 2016?
Ease: How can we make the satellite planning process as easy as possible for hosts?
Impact: How can satellite attendees can get the most out of participating?
Catalyse: How can satellite events build community and catalyze progress on Open issues in the long term?
To do this, we are developing some exciting improvements to the support we provide to satellite hosts. Here’s a preview of what to expect in the coming months.
“Off the Shelf” Programming
In past years, OpenCon satellite hosts have often combined content from the main event (e.g. online streams of keynote talks) with local speakers or activities. We realize that not everyone has the time or resources to design their own satellite program, so we’re currently working behind the scenes to create user-friendly, “off-the-shelf” satellite event agendas that hosts will have the option of using. In addition to these ready-made agendas, we’ll be providing hand-outs about Open issues that hosts can distribute at events, as well as releasing guides to hosting unconferences and preparing for institutional-level advocacy days.
Event Promotion Support
We know that finding people to attend your event can sometimes be difficult. This year, we’ll do everything we can to help events reach as many potential attendees as possible. We’ll be keeping track of OpenCon 2016 applicants who live in regions where satellite events are happening, so we can notify them about local opportunities to participate. We’re creating a wider selection of customizable promotional materials. We’ll also be offering website integration with Facebook Events and Eventbrite to help hosts leverage social media to promote their events.
In the next month, we’ll be working to revamp our fundraising resources so that they include templates for budgets, improved step-by-step fundraising guidelines, as well as suggestions on how to organize successful events that can also operate on low cost.
Guidelines for Catalyzing Change
OpenCon satellite events are a great way for people in your local community to learn about Open issues, but they also have the potential to be more! We’ll be providing hosts with tips on how to use their OpenCon satellite event to build strong communities, where participants can work together catalyze institutional or regional-level progress on Open issues in the months that follow.
Travel Scholarships for Satellite Hosts
Hosts make up an integral part of our community. We want to recognize this, and the hard work that goes into planning satellite events—which is why at least two 2016 satellite event hosts will be awarded travel scholarships to attend OpenCon 2017, upon successful completion and reporting of their satellite event.
Interested in hosting a satellite event or learning more?
1. Join our OpenCon Satellite Community Call! We're inviting anyone interested in hosting a satellite event this year to join the call and hear from past hosts, discuss their concerns, and start the process of organizing. If people find the call useful, we’ll be happy to expand this to a regular monthly OpenCon community call!
Our Satellite Community Call will be on Wednesday July 27, 2016 (12pm EDT / 5pm BST / 6pm CEST / 4pm UCT) and anyone is welcome to join. You can RSVP for the call here, and if you can’t make it, you can access the call agenda and notes here.
2. Head to our website to read more about the process for hosts. The bottom of the page also includes a form to register your interest. We’d love to see even more OpenCon satellite events happen this year, and hope that you’ll consider helping grow our community in this way!
We think one of the best ways to advance the Open Access, Open Data, and Open Education movements is to support those in the next generation passionate about making open the default for research and education. In past years, a wide range of participants have attended OpenCon—including students, early career researchers and librarians, representatives from the nonprofit sector, and more. This year’s OpenCon application deadline is fast approaching. In case you’ve been on the fence about applying, we wanted to share a few reasons why you might want to:
You want scholarly information to be shared in an equitable way.
You believe that knowledge and discovery should not be hidden behind a paywall. You want the academic outputs that you and others produce to be freely and immediately accessible to everyone.
(Click to re-tweet image)
You’ve had enough with the current publishing system. You are enthusiastic about exploring new, transparent ways research can be conducted.
Maybe you're frustrated that research quality is evaluated by impact factor, not individual merit. Or maybe you're simply tired of how long it takes for others to read about your research. If you're eager to explore new ways research can be conducted and disseminated, then OpenCon is the place for you! In past years, we’ve highlighted alternatives to the traditional peer review system, discussed novel metrics for evaluating researchers and open notebook science, held workshops around mining facts from academic literature, spotlighted platforms for data sharing and citation, and more!
(Click to re-tweet image)
You’re interested in adopting open practices to advance your career.
At OpenCon, participants have gotten tips on how to be open as an early career researcher, and have learned how to communicate openness effectively, as well as how to use open to advance their careers.
(Click to re-tweet image)
You’re frustrated about access to education.
You understand that the cost of learning materials poses a serious barrier to education, and you want to do something about it. OpenCon has featured talks about Open Education policies, as well as workshops on advocating for OER on campus. OpenCon alumni have gone on to address this issue by launching an open textbook campaign at Simon Fraser University, their home institution.
‘OpenCon was the best conference I have ever been to. The presentations, speeches, and workshops as well as all the connections I made at OpenCon educated me about the exciting developments occurring not only in Open Educational Resources, but Open Access and Open Data as well. I left informed and inspired to continue on as an open advocate.’ - Chardaye Bueckert, undergraduate attendee at OpenCon 2014 and OpenCon 2015
You want to collaborate with like-minded individuals to create new initiatives that advance open.
Many new initiatives have been founded by OpenCon alumni with support from the community, including the Open Access Button, Open Access Nepal, Open Access Nigeria, the OOOCanada Research Network, Open Access Sudan, WhyOpenResearch?, the Open Access Academy, Dissem.in, the Open Research Glossary, and many more.
Scholarship is all about collaboration and the sharing of knowledge, and requires that we receive help from - and help - our colleagues. - Jon Tennant, on OpenCon 2014
(Click to re-tweet image)
You are eager to learn from peers about how to advance open in your community.
In past years, our programming has included interactive workshops on advocacy, community building, and grassroots organizing. Participants also receive a half-day of advocacy training, followed by in-person meetings with a wide range of relevant policy makers, including the US Congress and federal agencies, embassies, and key NGOs.
‘There’s also a strong political aspect of OpenCon. Advocacy day is not an accessory to OpenCon, it is crucial: it is not enough to talk or do research about openness, we have to take action, personally and as a group.’ - Iara Vidal, OpenCon 2015 Alumni
(Click to re-tweet image)
You’re working hard to advance open, and you want your work to be recognized.
Applicants whom our community reviewers identify as having made significant contributions to advancing Open Access, Open Data, and Open Education in their community will receive a digital OpenCon certificate recognizing their efforts.
If any of these sound like you, then what are you waiting for? Applications close July 11, so head to opencon2016.org/apply and submit yours today!
OpenCon is more than a conference - it’s also a platform to catalyze action toward a more equitable, open system for sharing the world’s information. OpenCon, especially around our application period, is often a way for new people to start to learn, get involved and join the open community. We think this is critical to the mainstreaming and acceleration of the movement - so we've been asking people to get the word out about OpenCon.
Last week, we received an e-mail from Louvier Kindo detailing how he had spent the day spreading the word about OpenCon on his campus at the University of Douala. We wanted to thank Louvier for his efforts in growing our community, as well as share what he had to say about his experience:
I was out today on campus at the University of Douala, one of the biggest universities in Douala, and one of the biggest in the country.
My day started with the printing of OpenCon posters and producing OpenCon fliers and leaflets. Then, I entered the school campus where I posted the poster on almost all the notice boards of the different faculties of the university.
I equally thought it wise to talk to some students about the conference and its opportunities. After each talk, I handed out the fliers to them and also directed and encouraged them to visit the website on it. Some were happy, while others said they will visit the site to have other clarifications and guarantee which I thought was also a good idea.
I left the campus happy to have reached a good number of students and convinced that with the posters up, many will get to know about. Unfortunately, today was a Saturday and most of the libraries were closed. On the other hand, I have posted the posters and other post on social media and shared it over in some relevant groups and tagged #OpenCon.
It was really fun as you suggested, and I loved it.
We’d love if you could also spread the word about OpenCon to your colleagues and networks! We have a collection of posters, graphics, and sample blurbs for you to use here.
Feel free to let us know if you’ve helped out! We’ll be sure to make a note of the work you’ve done helping build the OpenCon community.
The application period for OpenCon 2016 on November 12-14 in Washington, DC is now open! The application is available at http://www.opencon2016.org/apply and includes the opportunity to apply for a travel scholarship. Applications will close on July 11th 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 two years, most attendees received full or partial scholarships to attend the conference. For this reason, attendance at OpenCon is by application only.
The benefits of applying for OpenCon 2016 extend far beyond attending the Washington, DC meeting. It’s an opportunity to find new collaborators, get connected with scholarships to attend related conferences, and be recognized by the community for the work you do to promote openness in research and education! Applications are reviewed by alumni from the OpenCon community, and those applicants whom community members identify as doing key work to advance Open Access, Open Education, or Open Data will receive public recognition.
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.
Speakers at previous OpenCon conferences have included Jimmy Wales (Co-founder of Wikipedia), Amy Rosenbaum (Director of Legislative Affairs to the President of the United States), Mike Eisen and Pat Brown (Co-founders of PLOS), Julia Reda (Member of the European Parliament), and Phil Bourne (Associate Director for Data Science of the U.S. National Institutes of Health), and more than 15 students and early career academic professionals leading successful initiatives.
While attendance at the main conference in Washington, DC is by application only, everyone is invited to participate freely in the interactive webcast, OpenCon Live. OpenCon is also looking for partners to host local satellite events that combine some of the programming from the main conference with local presentations to advance the conversation around opening up research and education in your community. To express your interest in hosting a satellite event and get more information, visit http://www.opencon2016.org/satellite.
The meeting in Washington, DC serves as the centerpiece of a much larger network to foster initiatives and collaboration among the next generation across OpenCon’s issue areas. Become an active part of the community by joining our discussion list, tuning in for our monthly community calls and webcasts, or hosting an OpenCon satellite event in your community.
Finally, we would appreciate your help in spreading the word about this year's OpenCon application process! You can find a suite of resources to share the call for applications (including template emails, graphics, posters, and more) at http://www.opencon2016.org/sharing_resources.
Apply now, and join the OpenCon community today!
OpenCon is the conference for students and early career academic professionals interested in advancing Open Access, Open Education, and Open Data. 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.