An Open Invitation To OpenCon

Nick Shockey | | Social Science Space | August 19, 2014

Last November, 75 students and early career researchers from 35 countries gathered in Berlin to advance campaigns led by the next generation for an open system of academic publishing. The results of their collective effort since have been extraordinary.

In the wake of the meeting, national-level campaigns were launched in Tanzania, Nigeria, and Nepal, with the latter two establishing chapters in nearly all of the medical schools in each country. Students helped to pass open-access policies at institutions such as the University of Cape Town and to integrate open access into the orientation for students at places like the University of Hong Kong. A student-led project called the Open Access Button that launched at the meeting has since mapped over 9,000 individual collisions with paywalls and been covered in Scientific American and The Guardian.

From helping to found Open Access Week in 2007 to now, the next generation of researchers has played an ever-increasing role in transforming scholarly communication. This year’s Open Access Week will celebrate these efforts with the theme Generation Open, and this fall, the Right to Research Coalition and SPARC will launch OpenCon, a new conference to support, connect, and catalyze student and early career researcher-led projects across open access, open education, and open data. The meeting will be held on November 15-17 in Washington, D.C...