OpenCon2016: Ideas and action to increase openness
I go to a fair share of conferences and academic events every year (too many, my wife says!), but for the last two years there has been one event that has been a clear favourite of mine—OpenCon. What makes OpenCon stand out is that it is much more than a place for students and early career researchers to learn about Open Access, Open Education, and Open Data. OpenCon is a catalyst for action, a source of inspiration, and a supportive community of energetic people who are ready to take action to increase access to scholarly and scientific research, to educational materials, and to digital research data.
By simultaneously being a place to critically engage with ideas and an action-oriented platform, OpenCon embodies the same philosophy behind the Public Knowledge Project (PKP). Like OpenCon, PKP engages in scholarly inquiry while simultaneously taking concrete action (building software) that can be used to open access to research. This is why we PKP is once again proud to publicly support OpenCon.
On a more personal level, in anticipation of this year’s OpenCon, Meredith Niles, Erin McKiernan, and I (all OpenCon Alumni, and early career faculty) have decided to similarly wed these two ideas. We have started a project to assess the extent to which openness is encouraged in review, promotion and tenure (RPT) guidelines, under the belief that changes in RPT guidelines and forms may provide the impetus for behavioral change, leading to broader interest and adoption of open access principles.
We have taken action. Now it is your turn! First, if you are a student or early career researcher interested in open access, open educational resources, or open data, you should apply to OpenCon now (applications are open until July 11th, and travel fellowships are available). Second, you should help us in our project by uploading any department’s or institutions RPT guidelines/forms, and answering a few questions about them! Lastly, whatever you do, do not miss OpenCon2016 or it’s many satellite events. I can guarantee it will also become your favourite event of the year.