With Open Access Week behind us and OpenCon just a few days away, we wanted to look to the future of collaboration for our community. OpenCon aims to empower students and early career researchers to advance Open Access, Open Education and Open Data. Currently, we do this by hosting OpenCon, facilitating OpenCon satellite events, and through our community calls, webcasts and discussion list. Today, we’re happy to release a new initiative hoping to bring us closer to achieving this mission: OpenCon Community Collaborate.
OpenCon Community Collaborate accelerates the impact of ideas, individuals, projects and organizations by connecting them and providing a range of support.
Alongside our public work, behind the scenes we support a number of initiatives. When we’re working with individuals and projects looking to make an impact many of the same issues surface. Below, are some of these issues and how we want to alleviate them.
1. A lack of time, or specific skillsets,
During the OpenCon application process, we collect information on literally thousands of students and early career academic professionals who want to advance open research and education. With this data, we’ve cr eated a searchable list of 3000+ individuals that people, projects and organizations can use to find people they need to take their work forwards. The list can be filtered by interest, location and skills while protecting privacy - we’ll then help you reach out to these people.
2. Struggling to find support and resources,
We know the challenges faced in creating initiatives to advance openness, we’ve faced them ourselves, and we work through them with people daily. With this initiative we’re hoping to surface some of the support we can provide to people, and make it easier to request that from us. From strategic guidance, to advise on building websites and getting funding, we’ve done it all and want to help you do the same. We hope that other organizations that can provide assistance to projects looking to push our issues forwards might join us in doing this (get in touch).
We’ve also started to put together a resource list, not about open issues, but about turning ideas into impact, projects into progress. While the internet is certainly already useful for doing this, there are certainly some gems we’ve found that aren’t on the first page of Google. This will be released soon, but you can contribute to the list here.
3. Not being sure how to get involved in impactful projects
For many of the 3000 people mentioned above, and the thousands more who’ve been engaged through OpenCon in the past 18 months, the perfect way to really get engaged in advancing these issues hasn’t come their way (we know, because we’ve read their applications). We’d really like to change that by providing them with diverse, interesting ways to get engaged, not just petition signing and going to events. To do that, we want to build up a directory of ideas, projects, and organizations people can get involved with.
We also hope this list will show just how much fantastic work is being done in the community. So, if even if you’re not interested in getting more people engaged we hope that you’ll sign up!
OpenCon Community Collaborate is still in an early phase of development, and we’re actively looking for feedback, especially constructive criticism. We’re excited about where this initiative could go, and if you are too we’d welcome your support in helping it get there!