Today we’re opening our call for proposals for sessions at the OpenCon 2015 Unconference. Submissions are open to all OpenCon virtual and in-person participants.
The OpenCon unconference allows participants to take control of the conference. Participants can propose, vote on, and run sessions themselves both in advance and on the day. This arms to enable peer-to-peer learning, collaboration and diverse session types and topics.
Opening up a call for sessions officially begins the unconference, and we hope unconference activities will continue even after OpenCon 2015 ends. Using Sched to organize the unconference will allow session proposers to pitch their session, contact interested people and collect resources for the session. This means that session proposers can—and are even encouraged to—organize sessions after OpenCon is over if their session isn’t selected or they want to continue the discussion. We’ll also be making special efforts to ensure virtual participation is possible throughout the unconference.
We hope in person participants will use the unconference to interact on topics that interest them, teach and learn new skills, and work on projects they care about. Throughout the unconference, short lightning talks will help facilitate sharing between groups and everyone will be encouraged to ensure their session has an outcome people can take away from the day.
Similar to in-person participants, virtual participants can use this time as a spark to set up a hangout on a topic, convene people to work on a project or join activities happening at the venue. If this sounds like your thing, sign up to be a virtual participant at OpenCon.
To purpose, vote and find further details about the unconference including advice for participants see here.
In the run up to OpenCon 2015, we’re holding a series of 4 pre-conference webcasts to update the community on Open Access, Open Data, Open Education and the basics of the EU political system. We’ve invited Amye Kenall, BioMed Central’s Associate Publisher of Open Data initiatives and journals to discuss the state of Open Research Data globally. Amye will discuss what progress has been made toward establishing open as the default for Open Data over the past year touching on social, economic and political aspects.
The webcast will be held on Friday, October 30th, at 1pm EDT, 4pm GMT, 6pm CEST. Join live to ask questions and join the discussion online using #opencon. If you can’t join us, leave your question in the comments now!
If you want to learn more about Open Data before the webcast, we recommend you watch our previous Open Data 101 webcast from last year.
Seasons are starting to change regardless of which hemisphere you’re on, and it was great that the August Open Con Call enjoyed a swath of new faces joining us for the first time. Our ‘news’ section at the start of the call, where we hear general events from the open world, was full of new policy developments (not least of which was the continued momentum of the FASTR legislation in the USA which would require that all federally funded research be made freely accessible online) as well as summaries of useful new publications and blogs (including an editorial from the Nature Publishing Group suggesting that trust in open access publications is increasing).
But the really exciting stuff came in the project updates. Much like the OpenCon Community Call, which was born out of a collaboration formed at OpenCon 2014, theOpen Research Glossary has been developed by OpenCon alumni to demystify the world of Open Access, Open Data and Open Education. The development of SPARC Africa is also taking huge strides; it was clear how passionate callers from all parts of Africa were to use OA to drive the research culture in their continent. We also heard updates from those trying to develop institutional OA policies and others seeking data mining guidance. We also reviewed what conferences are coming up that might be of interest to the community. As always, the call is a great place to bring new ideas or challenges to the table, and get inspiration from peers who might have encountered similar hurdles.
The OpenCon Community Call is made by its participants, and August felt like a real community coming together to listen, share and explore. Come and join us for one of our future Community Calls! We look forward to seeing you there!
You can see the minutes from the call here and a recording is below.
Today, we’re announcing “OpenCon 2015 Live” which will allow anyone to join OpenCon 2015 from anywhere as a virtual participant. You can RSVP to join us at: opencon2015.org/opencon_2015_live
OpenCon 2015 brings together leading student and early career academic professionals from around the world to learn, network and advance Open Access, Open Data and Open Education. Through our network of satellite events, we bring together hundreds more through dozens of events around the world. However, we know that for thousands who apply, attending an event still isn’t possible.
That’s why this year we’re happy announce “OpenCon 2015 Live”, an experiment enabling people to participate virtually in OpenCon 2015 in a meaningful way. People who attend OpenCon 2015 in person are expected to learn, build their network, and take action, and we want to enable the same for virtual participants. We’ll do this in some of the following ways:
Learn: OpenCon 2015 will have world class speakers and a high-quality live stream, enabling attendees to watch sessions in real time. There will also be a virtual pre-conference of webcasts bringing all participants (in-person and virtual) up-to date with the issues.
Network: During OpenCon 2015, we’ll provide a conference line throughout the meeting enabling virtual participants to join others to discuss session topics, ideas and projects. At points during the meeting, we’ll invite speakers and participants from the in-person meeting to join the call.
Act: Virtual participants will be able to take part in OpenCon’s unconference, ask questions, join discussions, and help summarise and write about sessions much like attendees at the meeting.
Upon request, virtual participants are eligible to receive official certificates of participation once feedback on participation is provided.
More details will be released as the meeting approaches and as we get community feedback. This initiative builds on our year round community work, which includes an active discussion list, monthly calls, and monthly webcasts.
Edit: The video mentioned below can be found here
Open Access Week 2015, to be held from October 19th to the 25th, is an important time of year for the Open Access movement. Originally launched by students in 2007, the week has grown from students on a handful of campuses working together into a truly international event. This year, the theme of the week is Open for Collaboration, so what are we doing?
On the OpenCon Community Call, this September 30th at 11am EDT, 3pm GMT, 5pm CEST, join us for a discussion about Open Access Week where we’ll discuss ideas for celebrating the week and answer your questions. You’ll also hear the latest news from the Open Access, Open Data and Open Education world, and updates from the community as usual. Sign up to join the OpenCon community call here. As always, everyone is welcome!
We’ll also release a short video with our top five suggestions for celebrating Open Access Week. Be sure to subscribe to our Youtube channel and check back on the blog so you don’t miss the video.
If you want to get involved in Open Access Week this year (whether you’ve been planning for months or minutes), this is the place to get support from peers and experts. If you don’t want to wait, you can watch our tips for Open Access Week from last year:
Finally, if you have any questions or ideas, leave a comment below and we’ll respond as soon as we can.
July 29th’s OpenCon Community Call was a tale of two conversations – jubilation at big policy developments on the one hand, and grassroots Open Access advocacy troubleshooting in the other.
Exemplifying the pace of change in the Open Access world, there were ‘whoops’ of joy halfway through the call as news came through that the Fair Access to Science and Technology Research (FASTR) Act had passed successfully through a US Senate committee, meaning the passage of the bill into law is one big step closer. FASTR ensures publicly funded research must be made available free online for others to read. It ensures progress made under president Obama’s directive is not lost when his term ends, a milestone for the global movement. This move came with the help of students and grassroots action as part of the #moveFASTR campaign.
At the other end of the spectrum; how do we get our local institutions to develop Open Access policies? One aspect of this discussed in depth was how to develop institutional repositories. The mix of librarians and data management experts on the call were able to highlight the diversity of options, such as linking in with existing institutional repositories versus using Open Source repositories such asePrints orDSpace. TheSHERPA/RoMEO database is also a great resource to help authors work out what they can put in a repository depending on the journal it’s published in – often, a pre-print – that’s an early version of a manuscript – can be put online without breaching copyright.
This article reflects the views of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the Right to Research Coalition or SPARC.