Since announcing OpenCon 2014: the Student and Early Career Researcher Conference on Open Access, Open Education and Open Data 6 weeks ago, we’ve received an overwhelming amount of interest and support from the community. More than 500 people from well over 75 countries have signed up for updates, many of whom have volunteered to help make the meeting a success. Organisations from across the Open communities have also stepped up to support the meeting with sponsorship, including the Max Planck Society, eLife, Overleaf by WriteLaTeX and a growing number of university libraries. Today, we’re announcing a call for partners in organizing OpenCon 2014 satellites events around the world to bring the energy of the in-person event to those unable to attend the conference in Washington, DC.
The predecessor to OpenCon 2014 saw five applications for every available space at the meeting, and OpenCon is on course to exceed this. For those who can’t attend the main meeting, satellite events will provide a way to participate in the conference, join the growing OpenCon community, and become Open advocates by attending an event closer to home. As with the main conference, satellite events will provide a place to conceptualize, catalyze, and launch initiatives advancing Open Access, Open Data and Open Education. Satellite events will also serve as an excellent opportunity to capitalise on excitement generated from International Open Access Week and can reflect the fact that conversations surrounding Open Access, Open Education and Open Data are not homogeneous and vary country by country and institution.
Satellite event partners will have the latitude to design an event which suits their needs, while being supported and guided from peers, OpenCon 2014 organisers, and the Right to Research Coalition. Satellite events can be held concurrently, time shifted, or on different days. They can rely exclusively on OpenCon 2014 keynotes and panels for programming, or they can be a mix of content from the main OpenCon meeting and locally organized presentations. Satellite events are expected to range in size from small viewing parties to more expansive events that include many local advocates and experts to provide their perspective. We’re committed to supporting local partners. We’ve developed a support pack which provides ideas on running impactful events, guidance on doing a professional meeting, access to support, resources and more. Support materials for satellite events will also be available in Spanish, and potentially other languages, to reach potential partners in various countries and increase the diversity of events.
Many organizations have already expressed interest in hosting satellite events. John Hammersley, co-founder of WriteLaTeX, is one such organizing partner: “We’re delighted to further support OpenCon 2014 and make it even more international by holding a satellite event in London. OpenCon is all about getting students and early career researchers involved in these key topics and by holding a satellite event we can help the event reach and include as many people as possible. ”
Individuals or organisations interested in planning an event can learn more, find support and download resources here: http://www.righttoresearch.org/act/opencon/satellite. Hosting a satellite event can be a great way to continue the conversation around International Open Access Week and to build contacts and momentum in your area. The first of a series of drop-in calls for those interested in running events will be later this week from 9-10am GMT on Friday the 17th of July. Details on joining can be found here: http://www.righttoresearch.org/act/opencon/satellite/support.