OpenCon 2017: Advancing Open Access, Open Education, and Open Data

Scientific research generates an immense amount of data. It is critical to not only make this data available to research community but also use it to decide on the next experimental question. Not all members of the academic publishing industry are in support of this kind of open access, which means that data remains trapped behind the paywall. The OpenCon conference was started to promote open access, open education, and open data. More than a typical conference, OpenCon is a community, enabling the next generation to advance open access, open education, and open data. OpenCon’s target audience includes students and early career academic professionals and it introduces them to the issues, imparts critical skills, and makes it possible for attendees to push for a more open system of sharing research information.

OpenCon 2017 is organized by the Right to Research Coalition and SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) and will be held in Berlin from November 11-13. Since the cost to attend OpenCon is generally covered by scholarships, attendees have to apply to attend the conference. The objective of OpenCon is to enable attendees and early career academic professionals to advance open systems for research and education. The program will feature two days of keynotes, panels, and interactive workshops. The final day will allow participants to put what they have learned into action. Attendees will begin to advance open access by crafting new campaigns, starting to create new resources, and initiating collaborations that will strengthen the OpenCon community.

By all accounts, the OpenCon conference is a great way to learn and join the community in supporting open access and advancing open education and open data across the globe. Since the academic publishing industry is closely linked to scholarly research for the dissemination of scientific knowledge; this open access movement also affects publishers. OpenCon 2017 (like its predecessors) will have satellite meetings around the world at various points in the year. You could also apply to host a satellite OpenCon meeting. Whether you attend OpenCon 2017 in Berlin or one of OpenCon’s satellite meetings during the year, it is undeniable that OpenCon is a definite investment in young academics to ensure that they advance open access globally.

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