Four of our Max Planck Open Access Ambassadors (OAA) had the opportunity to attend OpenCon, the world’s largest conference on Open Access, Open Data & Open Education, held November 12-14, 2016, in Washington, D.C. One of them is Amie Fairs, OAA from the MPI for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen. She provided us with a short personal account of her impressions:
“In November 2016 I was lucky enough to go to OpenCon2016, an international conference organised to advocate for Open Access, Open Data and Open Education. Being a Max Planck Ambassador for my institute, I was really excited to get out there and meet people from the international open community, and I wasn’t disappointed! The conference was amazing: completely inspiring, and full of people working on projects big and small to advance openness with science and education. One thing that I felt awed by was the diversity of these projects. There are people working on promoting open access on country-wide levels, people working on how openness is viewed in hiring and tenure procedures, and people working on creating educational materials completely open and accessible.
The conference itself is organised a bit differently to usual conferences, with a mixture of presentations and hands-on discussion sessions. It really allows for participants to get to know each other and to build up networks to advocate for open once the conference is over. I have taken advantage of this and have started a project with another PhD candidate, Daniela Saderi at Oregon Health and Science University, to educate researchers on how to be open. I was also able to network with the other Max Planck OAAs, and it was great for us to meet each other. I’d really encourage anyone who has any interest in open topics to think about applying to the next OpenCon.
When I came back from the conference, I gave a presentation to my institute to talk about what is happening in the open world right now. You can find the pdf of the presentation here, and if you would like a copy of the powerpoint then please send an email to amie [dot] fairs [at] mpi [dot] nl.”
A detailed report of the conference from all four Ambassadors can be found here.