FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Ranit Schmelzer
May 28, 2014 202.538.1065
WASHINGTON, DC — Today 11 organizations representing the next generation of scholars and researchers announced OpenCon 2014: the Student and Early Career Researcher Conference on Open Access, Open Education and Open Data. Slated for November 15-17 in Washington, DC, the event 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.
“From Nigeria to Norway, the next generation is beginning to take ownership of the system of scholarly communication which they will inherit,” said Nick Shockey, founding Director of the Right to Research Coalition. “OpenCon 2014 will support and accelerate this rapidly growing movement of students and early career researchers advocating for openness in research literature, education, and data.”
The first event of its kind, OpenCon 2014 builds on the success of the Berlin 11 Satellite Conference for Students and Early Stage Researchers, which brought together more than 70 participants from 35 countries to engage on Open Access to scientific and scholarly research. The interest, energy, and passion from the student and researcher participants and the Open Access movement leaders who attended made a clear case for expanding the event in size and duration, and to broaden the scope to related areas of the Openness movement.
“To be successful, our community must put the next generation at the core of what we do to promote openness in research outputs,” said Heather Joseph, Executive Director of SPARC (The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition). “We are eager to partner with others in the community to support and catalyze student and early career researcher involvement across the Open Access, Open Education, and Open Data movements through the OpenCon meeting.”
OpenCon 2014’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 Washington DC location by providing a half-day of advocacy training followed by the opportunity for in-person meetings with relevant policymakers, ranging from members of the U.S. Congress to representatives from national 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.
“Open Access to educational materials and the results of research is critically important to medical students’ ability to get a research-based education and to put that education into practice after graduation,” said Joško Miše, President of the International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations. “Around the world, our members have led efforts on these topics, from changing policy at the institutional and national levels to country-wide awareness raising efforts.”
OpenCon 2014 is organized by the Right to Research Coalition, SPARC (The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition), 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 researchers across the globe are able to attend. For more information, see righttoresearch.org/act/opencon/sponsor.
The event will take place back to back with the 2014 Open Education Conference, a large international meeting that will convene leaders from the Open Education movement in Washington, DC on November 19-21.
Applications for OpenCon 2014 will open in August. For more information about the conference and to sign up for updates, visit righttoresearch.org/act/opencon. You can also follow OpenCon 2014 on Twitter at @Open_Con.
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 supported by 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.arl.org/sparc and on Twitter @SPARC_NA.
Contacts for organizing committee members
The American Medical Student Association
Britani Kessler, President
pres [at] amsa [dot] org
Asia-Pacific Alliance of Postgraduate Student Associations
Jianzhen Liu, Director of International Liaison
Jaysonzliu [at] gmail [dot] com
Siyang Xu, Convener of General Assembly
Caymanhsu [at] gmail [dot] com