OpenCon is a platform for creating, empowering, and connecting the next generation of leaders to advance Open Access, Open Education and Open Data–across disciplines, and in every corner of the globe. OpenCon’s initiatives include an annual flagship global conference, satellite events organized by volunteer hosts around the world, and an ongoing online community. Each year, OpenCon’s global conference convenes promising students and early career academic professionals from around the world interested in opening research and education. OpenCon is a project of SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) and its student program, the Right to Research Coalition.
Although OpenCon participants come from diverse geographical locations, over the years we have learned that inclusion means more than simply having diverse representation in the room. Both as a conference and global community, we continue to work on making OpenCon a more inclusive space. We are constantly learning. This report was created to:
Although we encourage this report to be used as a resource for other organizers, we understand that many of the practices and accessibility requirements we mention: (1) are not exhaustive, (2) may not be possible depending on the infrastructure or finnancial resources available to organizers, and (3) may not be appropriate in all geographical and cultural contexts (the authors of the report are Northern American and European). In this way, the report is not meant to be a set of rules. Rather, we hope it will help organizers to be more thoughtful about integrating these values at every step of the conference planning process within their resources and means.
Here are some practices that we encourage conference organizers to consider when putting together an event. They are a combination of practices we've learned to take over time, recommended practices from external sources, and areas for improvement based off feedback from our community.
We welcome contributions to this report! Visit our Github repository to submit edits, or start a new issue if you have a piece of feedback or topic of discussion you would like to raise. If you'd like to provide feedback directly to us, we also welcome that. See our contact information below.
While we've compiled our learnings from the last three years into this guide, we understand that there is always room for improvement. We hope to receive community feedback on the report, and welcome the community and members of the public to provide feedback on our list of suggested practices. You can provide any feedback directly to us via e-mail or social media. We will be regularly iterating and updating the webpage to reflect these comments and contributions.