ECS hosted its first ever satellite OpenCon event on October 1, 2017 during the 232nd ECS Meeting in National Harbor, MD. This landmark event marked ECS’s first large community effort aimed at creating a culture of change in how research is designed, shared, discussed, and disseminated, with the ultimate goal of making scientific progress faster.
OpenCon is an international event hosted by the Right to Research Coalition, a student organization of SPARC, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition. OpenCon provides a platform the researchers to learn about open access and open science, develop critical skills, and catalyze action toward a more open system for sharing the world’s information.
This event featured vocal advocates in the open movement, examining the intersection of advances in research infrastructure, the researcher experience, funder mandates and policies, as well as the global shift that is happening in traditional scholarly communications.
“This ECS OpenCon is a really important first for the global OpenCon community. It’s the first OpenCon satellite event hosted by a scholarly society, and that’s a huge deal” said Nick Shockey, SPARC director of programs and engagement and ECS OpenCon speaker. “The research that ECS members do has a very real-world impact, and making that work openly available will hopefully accelerate the research and innovation.”
Ashley Farley, open access program associate at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, kicked off the program with her keynote talk, “The Importance of Open Science in a Changing Scholarly Communications Paradigm.”
“Open science is about opening up the entire practice of science itself, kind of front-loading the process instead of waiting until we get to research results and then making sure they are open and available,” Farley said. “It’s building that openness from the beginning and having an environment that fosters collaboration, so you have open notebooks and open data. It promotes equity among scientists and really supports collaboration.”
EJ Taylor, co-chair of the ECS Free the Science Advisory Board and Society treasurer, gave the audience and overview Free the Science, ECS’s initiative to move toward a future that embraces open science to further advance research in our fields.
“Free the Science is truly a mission-based initiative that will help ECS maintain its independence as a nonprofit scientific society run by scientists and engineers for scientists and engineers,” Taylor said. “I am personally excited that ECS is in the position to be a real leader in our field but also a trailblazer in research communication. With your voice behind us, we can free the science and ultimately accelerate progress.”
Other speakers included the Brian Nosek of the Center for Open Science on open science, Meredith Morovati of Dryad on open data, Dina Paltoo of the National Institutes of Health on open and government, and Dan Schwartz of the University of Washington on open and academia.
The even concluded with the panel discussion, “Changing Culture: How are the Different Constituencies Represented at this OpenCon Going to Move the Needle on How Science is Communicated?”