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OpenCon 2014 Announces First Travel Scholarship Sponsors

Published Jun 11, 2014, 1:25pm

Inaugural Sponsors Encourage Others to Consider Support

The Right to Research Coalition and SPARC are pleased to announce the support of three leading research libraries for OpenCon 2014: The Student and Early Career Researcher Conference on Open Access, Open Education, and Open Data. The libraries at Emory University, Grand Valley State University, and the University of Kansas have each committed to sponsor a travel scholarship to OpenCon 2014 for a student or early career researcher on their campus.

OpenCon 2014 will convene participants from around the world, and serve as a powerful catalyst for projects led by the next generation of scholars and researchers to advance the conference’s three focus areas.

The scholarships provided by these sponsoring libraries will reserve a fully funded place at the meeting, including travel, for a participant from each university.  Each sponsorship accomplishes two goals: providing the selected attendee from each institution with experience and training on OpenCon’s three issue areas to bring back to campus; and helping to support the attendance of other leading young researchers from around the world who would not otherwise be able to participate.

The Right to Research Coalition and SPARC encourage other libraries and institutions to consider making a similar commitment.  You can find more information about sponsoring a travel scholarship as well as other sponsorship opportunities here:

Below, you can read why each of our first travel scholarship sponsors see it as a sound investment for their library and an important commitment to support student and early career researcher involvement in opening up scholarly communication.  A contact email address for each is provided if you would like to contact our inaugural scholarship sponsors directly to discuss their motivations for sponsorship. 

Lorraine Haricombe: Dean of Libraries, University of Kansas
Contact: aemmett [at] ku [dot] edu

“The University of Kansas Libraries enthusiastically supports the travel sponsorships program for graduate students and early career researchers from around the globe to attend OpenCon 2014. We strongly believe that the current generation of graduate students and early career researchers stand poised to not only inherit, but also shape the scholarly communication landscape. OpenCon promises to bring together the best young minds and budding advocates for openness in the scholarly communication ecosystem and offer them the chance to learn and consult on the system that is theirs to shape.  We recognize the importance and readiness of the next generation of scholars becoming knowledgeable and experienced advocates for an equitable and innovative system of scholarly communication. We are proud to be a sponsor of the inaugural OpenCon conference in North America!”

Lisa Macklin: Director, Scholarly Communications Office, Emory University Libraries and Information Technology
Contact: lmackli [at] emory [dot] edu 

“Emory University Library and Information Technology Services is pleased to support a Travel Scholarship to OpenCon 2014. The goal of Emory's open access policy, repositories, and publishing fund is to distribute research by Emory authors as widely as possible through open access, increasing the impact of that research, and also to raise awareness of open access for scholarship, educational materials and data. Having an Emory student or early career researcher attend OpenCon 2014 will provide them with valuable experience and an international perspective that they can share to benefit others on our campus. We’re planning to host local events afterward for the Emory delegate to share their experiences with the Emory community and advance the conversation around opening up access to research results. We think OpenCon 2014 directly supports this goal and is also in keeping with Emory's vision to create "positive transformation in the world through courageous leadership in teaching, research, scholarship, health care, and social action."

Lee Van Orsdel: Dean of University Libraries, Grand Valley State University
Contact: vanorsdl[at] gvsu [dot] edu 

"There is good reason to believe that today’s graduate and undergraduate students will see the advent of a truly open system of global information sharing for text and data of all kinds.  ‘Open,’ to them, is the natural state of things, a value they were literally raised on.  Today’s junior faculty—early career researchers—will have opportunity to shape the transition to that better world.  It’s a brilliant plan to bring the two groups together for OpenCon 2014, where they can deepen their understanding of the issues, share ideas and experiences, receive advocacy training and hammer out strategies to achieve the changes both want to see.  Grand Valley State University Libraries are proud to sponsor a scholarship to support this fresh and promising approach to building stronger coalitions for change.“

You can find more information about OpenCon 2014, sign up for updates on the meeting, and learn about sponsorship opportunities at

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