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.
After the OpenCon 2014 satellite event in London, two early career researchers, Jon Tennant and Ross Mounce, realised that it’s still too difficult for many people new to Open Access and Open Data to understand key terms which the community uses. Lingo, jargon, terminology, whatever you call it, an internal vocabulary often provides barriers to discussions that the ‘open’ community is having, and we feel a responsibility to make these discussions easier to understand.
Enter the Open Research Glossary. Jon and Ross spent an evening in the pub (where else...) putting together a first draft of this document, then released it to the community. Quickly others, seeing the potential value, began to contribute, and soon they’d put together a comprehensive glossary for open research.
Initially released as a PDF, we’ve been working with Jon and Ross to provide the glossary in a variety of other formats and ensure it’s discoverable, useful, and updatable. We’ve released the latest iteration on the Right to Research Coalition website and invite the community to join us in adding new content and keeping the glossary up to date.
Announcing the Humanities & Social Science Takeover of the OpenCon Community Webcasts in August and September
Over the coming months, we’ll be turning the attention of our OpenCon webcasts toward the Humanities and Social Sciences. We’re happy to announce two upcoming webcasts: one in August on the role of Open Data in the Social Sciences, and one in September on the launch of the first fee-free Open Access mega-journal and publishing platform for the Humanities.
On Friday, August 14th, at 10am PDT/1pm EDT/5pm GMT/7pm CEST, Temina Madon, Executive Director of the Centre for Effective Global Action, will outline why Open Data is critical to the Social Sciences. She helped launch the Berkeley Initiative for Transparency in the Social Sciences (BITSS), which supports opportunities and tools for students and early career researchers to engage in more open, transparent, reproducible science. She will also discuss the Transparency and Openness Promotion Guidelines, a new set of standards for academic journals.
On Tuesday, September 15th, at 9am PDT/12pm EDT/4pm GMT/6pm CEST, we’ll be joined by Martin Eve and Caroline Edwards for a webcast celebrating the official launch of the Open Library of the Humanities (OLH). Both accomplished scholars, Martin Eve and Caroline Edwards are lecturers at Birkbeck, University of London and serve as editors for the lluvium, an open access journal dedicated to 21st-century literature. They’ll speak about the launch of the OLH, including their innovative model for sustaining a mega-journal in the Humanities, and discuss the role of Open Access in the humanities more broadly.
You can view both webcasts at opencon2015.org/community_webcasts, on this page or through the embedded YouTube links above. You can join the discussion and ask questions on Twitter with the hashtag #opencon. Recordings of each presentation will be available online immediately following the webcast at the same URLs. To ensure you don’t miss out on future online events and discussion, join the OpenCon discussion group below or add us to your calendar.
If you have suggestions for what you’d like to see on future OpenCon webcasts, please don’t hesitate to get in touch over Twitter by tweeting @open_con or via email to Joe[at]righttoresearch.org.
The response to the call for applications to attend OpenCon 2015 has been tremendous, surpassing all of our expectations on both the quantity and quality of applicants. We’ve been working around the clock to review them all. More than 50 alumni from last year’s meeting volunteered their time to ensure each application received multiple reviews from people who know the conference best, and the reviews were conducted through a custom-built, open-source platform that was developed by an OpenCon alumnus.
Despite our best efforts to conduct reviews as quickly as possible, we must extend our review process by 3 days through the end of this week. We deeply appreciate the time each person put into their application, and we feel a responsibility to ensure our review is equally thoughtful. All OpenCon 2015 applicants will be notified of the decision on their acceptance and scholarship by the end of the day (EDT) this Friday, July 24th.
Due to the number of applicants, we aren’t able to answer individual requests about an application’s status; however, we are working as quickly as possible and will notify everyone by this Friday. Thanks again for taking the time to apply—you’re part of an incredible group, and we can’t wait to see what you’re capable of.