- Will I receive a confirmation email?
- Can I save a draft of my application?
- How do I access my draft application? What if I lost my link?
- What if I already applied and want to be considered for a specific sponsored scholarship?
- I applied last year and it says there is already a draft application saved in the system. Is that normal?
- What if I need to correct information in my application after I submit it?
- What if I miss the application deadline?
- How will my application be reviewed?
- What criteria will be considered in rating applications?
- Will I receive feedback on my application?
- What software is used to run the application process?
- Will OpenCon release de-identified application data?
- Why do we have to ask for personal information to ensure compliance with US laws?
- How do I register?
- What expenses are covered by scholarships?
- How do I book my scholarship travel?
- Can I request a special itinerary or different travel dates?
- What if my plans change after my scholarship travel is booked?
- How do I reserve my scholarship accommodations?
- What are the passport requirements to enter Germany?
- Do I need a visa in order to travel to Germany?
- Can I be reimbursed for my visa application fee?
- When will I be notified of my invite or funding status?
- How do I get a private room at the hotel?
- What is the conference hotel and cost?
- I need to update my registration, what do I do?
- I need more funding to attend, what do I do
- Will you provide a customized logo for my event?
- Is there a deadline for organizing satellite events?
- What do we have to do to be an official satellite event?
- Can we obtain local sponsorship?
- Can I come to the main event and host a satellite event later?
- Could we charge for tickets?
- Who is eligible to host a satellite event?
- Can multiple groups co-host a satellite event?
- What language can you host an event in?
- What does it cost to host an event?
- What financial support is there?
- Will videos be subtitled?
- What are the responsibilities of a host?
- About OpenCon
You can apply for OpenCon 2018 at https://apply.opencon2018.org. Applications will remain open until July 13th at 11:59pm U.S. Pacific Time (UTC -7).
If you are located at an institution that is sponsoring a participant to attend, please check with the sponsor for more information about your local application process or deadline.
Application decisions will be delivered by email by August 31. The email you receive will inform you whether you have been invited to attend OpenCon, and the level of scholarship funding you have been awarded, if any.
We have posted a page here where you can check to see if notifications have been issued.
Why is there an application process for OpenCon?
OpenCon has an application process, rather than general registration, because a large number of participants will be offered full or partial travel scholarships to cover the cost of travel and accommodation for the meeting. We understand that students and early career researchers often do not have easy access to travel funding, and we want to bring together the leading young advocates for Open Access, Open Education, and Open Data from around the world, regardless of their ability to pay for travel.
The significant amount of travel support given to participants is only possible through the generous support of our sponsors.
Who is eligible to attend OpenCon as a participant?
OpenCon's target audience is students of all levels, early career researchers, and young professionals in fields related to scholarly and scientific research (e.g. librarians, publishers, advocates, etc).
Students, early career researchers, and young professionals from all countries are welcome to attend OpenCon.
I'm under 18, can I attend OpenCon?
No, Sorry! Applicants must be eighteen years of age or older to attend OpenCon.
Who qualifies as early career?
Early career is a flexible term and generally means someone within about 10 years of the beginning of their professional career (i.e. after graduating with their terminal degree).
Yes, invited participants will include a spectrum of experience levels and involvement in Open issues. Part of the objective of OpenCon is to equip participants with the skills and inspiration necessary to start new campaigns, projects, and initiatives. Just make sure your application clearly addresses why you are interested in these issues, what your ideas are for getting involved, and what you plan to do after OpenCon if you attend.
Can I be told why I was rejected in previous years?
Unfortunately due to the number of applications we will receive, we are unable to provide specific feedback on your application. We encourage everyone to bear in mind that the application process is highly competitive, and we unfortunately will have to turn away many engaged and passionate applicants.
How do I submit an abstract or presentation for the meeting?
We don't accept abstracts for presentation at OpenCon, we'll invite you to speak based of your application or the Organizing Comimttee's recommendation.
Is it helpful to send my CV?
No, due to the volume of applications we can't accept CVs.
I don't speak English well, can I take part?
Unfortunately, good English skills are extremely helpful for full participation in OpenCon. However, satellites can be hosted in any language, and we're trying to start community calls in other languages.
Yes! OpenCon is a unique meeting in that the organizers will provide full or partial travel scholarships to a large number of the participants at the meeting. In past meetings, the majority of participants received full or partial scholarships.
The application process will be competitive, so in addition to applying for a general travel scholarship, we also encourage applicants to consider asking their institutions to secure one of our remaining sponsored scholarships.
What do scholarships cover?
Scholarship funding is available for the following expenses:
- Roundtrip ticket (air, train or bus) to Toronto, Canada from the departure city indicated in your application
- Accommodation during the nights of the conference (shared room with participant of the same sex)
- Participation fee that covers registration and most meals
- Visa application fee (if needed)
If you are invited and are awarded a scholarship, your invitation will specify which of the above expenses are included. Please note that scholarships will not cover travel to and from the airport, meals that are not provided at the conference, insurance, or other incidental expenses. Note that due to the number of scholarships we will be granting, we cannot process any reimbursements from receipts. Therefore scholarship funding will only apply for travel and accommodation booked through OpenCon's travel agent.
Please note that attendance at OpenCon is by application only, and you should not arrange for travel until and unless you receive an invitation. If you are awarded a travel scholarship, you will be contacted by OpenCon's travel agent to arrange your travel. Travel and hotel reservations must be made by OpenCon to be eligible for scholarship funding.
Please do not make travel arrangements before application decisions are issued by August 31. No exceptions will be made on the basis of pre-existing travel plans.
I will need a visa to travel to Canada. Will the organizers help me get one?
Yes! We will provide invited participants needing a visa with an invitation letter and information on how to apply for a visitor visa. However, you will still be responsible for submitting your own visa application and arranging an appointment at the embassy nearest you. Travel scholarships are conditional upon successfully obtaining a visa, if needed.
Thanks to generous support from our sponsors, OpenCon is able to provide scholarships for the registration cost of most invited students and early career professionals. If you do not apply for a scholarship or are invited without one, there will be a modest participation fee of $300 that covers direct costs, including the venue and most meals. If you are invited to the conference, your invitation email will include instructions on how to submit payment for this fee.
Also note that we do offer a limited number of sponsorship opportunities that include free registration at the conference.
Yes. Automated confirmation messages are sent as soon as you submit your application. If you submitted your application and believe you did not receive a confirmation email, search your trash or spam folders for a message from firstname.lastname@example.org. If you still believe you have not received a confirmation email, please contact us. If you have already contacted us and have not received a reply, please check the email address you provided for errors, as we may not be able to reach you.
Yes. Our application system allows you to save a draft of your application, then come back and complete it later. In the application form, there is a button at the bottom of the page that says "Save for Later." Simply click this button, and you will be sent a secure link where you can resume the application later. You can request a reminder of this link by visiting the application form and entering your email address. Saved drafts not submitted by the application deadline of July 13 will be considered final.
When you first saved your draft, you were provided with a secure link where you can access your draft. If you did not save this link, you can retrieve it automatically online. Return to the application form and enter your email address. Click "Start Application" and a box will pop up. Click "Access Draft" and we will send you an email containing the link. Be sure to enter the exact email address you provided when you saved the draft, so our system can identify you. If you are still unable to access your draft, please contact us using the box below.
What if I already applied and want to be considered for a specific sponsored scholarship?
If you submitted an application during our general application process (before July 13) but would also like to apply for a scholarship sponsored by a specific institution or organization, please do not re-submit your application. Contact us using the help button to the right with the name of the sponsored scholarship and the email address you specified in your application, and we will update your file. Submitting a duplicate application could delay processing.
I applied last year and it says there is already a draft application saved in the system. Is that normal?
Yes! If you applied for OpenCon in a previous year, we automatically created a draft application using some of last year’s data. To access the draft, visit the application form and enter the email address you provided in your previous application. Click "Start Application," and a box will pop up. Click the "Access Draft" button and we will email you a secure link to your draft. If this doesn't work, it is likely you used a different email address. Either try again or simply proceed with filling out the blank application form.
If you are applying for a scholarship sponsored by your institution and are unable to access your draft, please contact us using the form below. This sometimes happens if your application didn't get properly tagged. Please be sure to provide the name of the scholarship and the email address associated with your draft application, and we will fix it right away.
Once you submit your application, all information is considered final. Submitted applications are immediately referred to the OpenCon Application Review Team. You will receive a copy of the data you submitted in your confirmation email, and if you notice significant errors, you may contact us to request a correction. However, because of the volume of applications we receive, we cannot guarantee that corrections will be made.
Unfortunately we can't accept applications after the deadline, so be sure to apply by July 13 at 11:59pm U.S. Pacific Time (UTC -7). Also be sure to check out other ways to get involved, including satellite events, a live webcast, and community activities.
Applications are reviewed by the OpenCon Application Review Team, which is comprised of more than 100 alumni of previous OpenCon annual meetings and other leaders in the OpenCon community. The most highly rated applications are referred to the OpenCon Organizing Committee for final review. The Organizing Committee will issue invitations and travel scholarship notifications by August 31.
Applications will be considered based on their merits, and we will look for the most qualified and engaged students and early career professionals to attend. The three primary qualities we will be looking for are:
Interest in OpenCon’s issue areas
Demonstrated previous engagement, concrete ideas for future projects, and/or a plan to contribute meaningfully to a current initiative
Likelihood to take meaningful action after OpenCon
Unfortunately due to the number of applications we will receive, we are unable to provide specific feedback on your application. We encourage everyone to bear in mind that the application process is highly competitive, and we unfortunately will have to turn away many engaged and passionate applicants. This is one of the reasons why we prioritized Satellite Events this year, which provide the opportunity for local leaders to convene meetings around OpenCon’s issue areas in their communities. Click here for more information on satellite events.
OpenCon has developed custom software to manage the application collection and review process, led by OpenCon alumnus Jan Gondol. At the conclusion of the application and review process, the code will be released as free and open source software under a MIT License. You can find the code from 2015, 2016, and 2017 in GitHub.
Since SPARC (which organizes OpenCon) is based in the United States, we have to ensure compliance with US laws. In particular, we must comply with laws that disallow people or organizations based in the United States from providing anything of monetary value to individuals or corporations on a prohibited list. This does not require submitting this information to the US government. Our parent organization uses a tool that automatically compares personal details against a list of those individuals and corporations that are prohibited from doing business in the United States. This check should take 3-5 days. While we don’t expect any OpenCon participants will be prevented from attending because of this compliance check, we must perform it and ensure compliance before providing a scholarship to attend.
How do I register?
Please refer to your invitation e-mail for a link to the registration form and link to submit payment for the $300 conference fee (if applicable).
Please note that the conference is by invitation only, and general registration is not available.
What expenses are covered by scholarships?
Your invitation will specify what expenses your scholarship includes. Full scholarships (including institution-sponsored scholarships) include a roundtrip air, train, or bus ticket, shared accommodation during the nights of the conference, and conference registration (including most meals). If you are awarded a partial scholarship, your invitation will specify which expenses are included. Travel scholarships are limited to these expenses, and do not include incidentals.
Scholarships DO cover:
- Roundtrip air, train, or bus ticket from the city you indicated in your application
- Accommodation at the conference hotel (shared room with a participant of the same sex, private rooms available at an additional cost)
- Conference participation costs (includes registration, breakfast, lunch, refreshments, and conference-related travel in Berlin)
Scholarships DO NOT cover:
- Transportation to and from the airport (or train/bus station)
- Meals outside the conference, including dinner
- Travel insurance
- Visa application fees (unless explicitly granted in your invitation)
- Any other expenses
We estimate total incidental costs for those traveling to OpenCon should be less than USD 100.
We are aiming to provide dinners where possible, however this depends on securing more sponsorship.
How do I book my scholarship travel?
If your invitation e-mail specifies that you have been awarded a travel scholarship, you will be contacted by our travel agent once you complete your registration form. Travel arrangements MUST be booked through our travel agent to be eligible for scholarship funding. DO NOT make your own arrangements, as we will be unable to offer reimbursement.
Can I request a special itinerary or different travel dates?
Your scholarship has been allocated a specific budget based on the typical roundtrip flight cost for the airport you indicated in your application. You may request a different itinerary or alternate travel dates; however, you will be responsible for any differences in fare.
What if my plans change after my scholarship travel is booked?
If your plans change after your travel has been booked, you will be responsible for any change fees or additional costs.
How do I reserve my scholarship accommodations?
If your invitation specifies that you have been awarded a travel scholarship that includes accommodation, you will automatically be booked into a shared room with a member of the same sex. Private rooms are available to scholarship recipients for an additional fee per night. Scholarships only apply for rooms booked by OpenCon in the conference hotel.
What are the passport requirements to attend?
The European Union requires your passport to be valid for six months beyond your intended trip. Please verify that your passport is valid through May 14, 2018 (or later, if you intend to leave later) to ensure you meet this requirement.
Do I need a visa in order to attend?
You can find more information about Canada's visa requirements here.
Invitation letters and instructions for applying for a visa will be sent once you fill out the form linked in your invitation. If you have not received this within 24 hours of filling out the form, please contact Joe@sparcopen.org.
Can I be reimbursed for my visa application fee?
If your invitation specifies that you have been given a scholarship for the visa application fee, yes you will be reimbursed. Instructions for submitting reimbursement will be included in the visa instructions sent to you after you register. Please be aware that international bank transfers are often slow, so reimbursement will not be immediate.
Yes! To maintain the identity of the conference, we will ask satellite events to use the customized OpenCon satellite event logo.
There is no hard deadline, but we encourage organizers to plan ahead and get started early and we can’t guarantee we’ll support events organised at the last minute. Live stream watch parties can be planning quickly, but larger events will take more planning.
You must register your interest on the form at the bottom of the page here, after which point we’ll get in touch. You then submit a short plan to the organizers to be approved in order to become an official event.
Yes - as long as the sponsee is inline with SPARC’s guidelines and OpenCon’s Student and Early Career Researcher organising committee agree. You can request a potential sponsor to be reviewed by contacting Joe[at]righttoresearch.org.
Yes, in fact that’s encouraged! Satellite events should be held within 5 or 6 weeks of the the main meeting, so you’ll need to plan ahead!
If you chose to charge for an event, that is your decision. However, the event is targeted at students and early career researchers - two groups not known for having much money spare! We require ticket prices to be set at a level which only cover the event costs.
Any group which supports OpenCon’s issue areas of Open Access, Open Education, and Open Data can host a satellite event, provided they have an adequate plan and are approved by the OpenCon Organizing Committee.
Yes of course, as long as the groups don’t conflict with the above previous point.
Any! OpenCon is conducted in English (and the content will be streamed/uploaded without any subtitles) however you may have local content in any language you please and we encourage you too!
We don't charge our partners to host events, or for accessing the live-stream. The only costs incurred are those you arrange for your event.
Currently we can't guarantee financial support for events, although we are trying to find ways to directly financially support events. However, we're endeavouring to facilitate extremely low cost, high quality events by providing in direct financial support through high quality resources, content, web infrastructure and more that would normally incur significant cost. You can find our resource for helping to fund satellite events here.
This we'll be trying to find a platform to enable subtitles to be sourced for our videos by the community, however we won't be able to produce these in house.
Hosts are responsible for carrying out their event, including but not exclusive to:
- Designing their program,
- Promoting their event,
- Finding venues,
- Obtaining financial support and partners for there event (where required),
however as detailed on the resources page we will provide support in each of the above (and more) where possible.
OpenCon is organized by the Right to Research Coalition, SPARC, and an Organizing Committee of students and early career researchers from around the world. SPARC is is a global coalition of academic and research libraries committed to making Open the default for research and education. The Right to Research Coalition, a project of SPARC, 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.
Visit our Resources page for more information on Open Access, Open Data, and Open Education.
How do I contact OpenCon?
You can reach us by clicking the blue button on the bottom right corner of this page.