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OpenCon applications are go!

OpenCon is the bestest most awesomest conference of the year. Applications are now open for it: https://secure.opencon2016.org/apply/ and anyone with an interest in any aspect of the ‘world of open’ should apply.

Here are the important parts of my application, for complete transparency:

Why are you interested in Open Access, Open Education and/or Open Data and how does it relate to your work? If you are already involved in these issues, tell us how.

I strongly believe in free, equal access to global knowledge as a fundamental right, and ground my daily activities as a researcher in this. I care about open as a mechanism for accelerating research, for process transparency, for accountability. Science is open by default, and we spend billions every year privatising and placing barriers around it, which to me is unacceptable. One of the things which motivates me is how ‘open’ has become distorted from a set of principles, into ‘services’ provided by publishers. What used to be about equality and freedom is now about mandates, policy, and compliance, and we need to work harder to return to, and communicate, these original values. Throughout my PhD, I have relentlessly campaigned in various ways for better ‘open research’ practices, and have had complete commitment to this personally from day 1. This culminated recently in becoming the ‘Communications Director’ for ScienceOpen as I complete/continue my research, where I work every day on all things open. This includes leading workshops, giving talks, hosting discussion sessions, and working with different communities to realise how we can all work together to set the default to open. I also still badger certain publishers on a frequent basis for being so rubbish.

The biggest goal of OpenCon is to catalyze action. What ideas do you have for advancing Open Access, Open Education and/or Open Data, and how would you use your experience at OpenCon to have an impact?

Most recently, I have been working with ScienceOpen, where we have been working on different aspects of open research on a global level. Much of this has been focused on OA publishing, open peer review, and open evaluation. I have recently published a paper justifying the reason for OA, which was the result of OpenCon 2015 (https://f1000research.com/articles/5-632/v1). I also co-run the Berlin Open Science meetup, where we meet regularly to discuss and advance various aspects of open science. Recently, this led to me lead the Mozilla Open Science sprint here in Berlin, where I also began to lead a new project on open peer review models, a fundamental part of open science. I’m also engaged with projects about setting up open science curricula at an EU level, and we are about to start a series of ‘working open’ and ‘reproducible research’ workshops for researchers, with have been developed with other members from OpenCon. My ideas for advancing Open Science in general are to continue bringing the global community to work on new projects, and to engage more with open practices. I would love to explore more how open interacts with risk for researchers, as well as accountability and more general academic practices and behaviour.

Voila! Enjoy, and hopefully we’ll meet in DC 🙂

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