OpenCon 2016 to be held in Washington DC on November 12-14

Today, SPARC and the Right to Research Coalition are excited to announce OpenCon 2016 will be returning to Washington, DC on November 12-14, 2016, where it will be hosted at the American University Washington College of Law.

OpenCon is more than a conference. It’s a platform for the next generation to learn about Open Access, Open Education, and Open Data, develop critical skills, and catalyze action toward a more open system for sharing the world’s information—from scholarly and scientific research, to educational materials, to digital research data. OpenCon 2016 is at the center of a growing community with thousands of students and early career academic professionals from across the world.

Applications to attend OpenCon 2016 in Washington, DC will open on June 6th. For more information about the conference and to sign up for updates, visit

Organized by the Right to Research Coalition and SPARC, OpenCon 2016 builds on the success of the first two OpenCon conferences held in Washington, DC and Brussels, which collectively convened approximately 300 participants from more than 40 countries. OpenCon’s 41 satellite events have reached approximately 2,000 attendees across 25 countries, and throughout the year, hundreds are engaged with monthly community calls and webcasts along with an active community discussion list.

OpenCon seeks to bring together the most energetic, engaged students and early career academic professionals—regardless of their ability to cover travel costs. Because of this, attendance at OpenCon is by application only, and the majority of past participants have received travel scholarships.

OpenCon has made significant progress in its mission to catalyze and support collaboration and projects led by the next generation. Initiatives that have been founded by OpenCon alumni with support from the community include the Open Access Button, Open Access Nepal, Open Access Nigeria, the OOOCanada Research Network, Open Access Sudan, WhyOpenResearch?, the Open Access Academy,, the Open Research Glossary, and many more.

OpenCon 2016’s three day program will begin with two days of keynotes, panels, and interactive workshops, drawing on both the knowledge of leading experts and the experience of participants who lead successful projects. The third day will provide a half-day of advocacy training followed by the opportunity for in-person meetings with relevant policy makers, ranging from the US Congress and federal agencies to embassies and key NGOs.

Speakers at the first two OpenCon conferences have included Jimmy Wales (Co-founder of Wikipedia), Amy Rosenbaum (Director of Legislative Affairs to the President of the United States), Mike Eisen and Pat Brown (Co-founders of PLOS), Julia Reda (Member of the European Parliament), and Phil Bourne (Associate Director for Data Science of the U.S. National Institutes of Health), and more than 15 students and early career academic professionals leading successful initiatives.

The OpenCon conference and community are only possible with the support of leading organizations with a strong commitment to support student and early career academic professional involvement across Open Access, Open Education, and Open Data. We deeply appreciate the support of our past sponsors, including the Max Planck Society, PLOS, eLife, BioMed Central, SpringerOpen, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Overleaf, Microsoft Research, Figshare, Creative Commons USA, and the more than 30 universities and organizations that have sponsored individual scholarships. If your organization is interested in supporting OpenCon, you can find more information and a variety of sponsorship opportunities at

Satellite events will continue to be central to the success of OpenCon in allowing the community to scale. OpenCon satellite events are independently hosted meetings that mix content from the main conference with live presenters to localize the discussion and bring the energy of an in-person OpenCon event to a larger audience. These events are an excellent way to discover those interested in Open Access, Open Education, and Open Data within your community, build support, and catalyze action. If you or your organization are interested in hosting a satellite event, more information is available at

If your organization is interested in helping to promote OpenCon and find students and early career academic professionals in your community interested in these issues, consider becoming an OpenCon Partner.

Applications to attend OpenCon 2016 open June 6th. For more information about the conference and to sign up for updates, visit You can follow OpenCon on Twitter at @Open_Con or #opencon,and on Facebook.


SPARC®, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, is a global coalition committed to making Open the default for research and education. SPARC empowers people to solve big problems and make new discoveries through the adoption of policies and practices that advance Open Access, Open Data, and Open Education. Learn more at

The Right to Research Coalition is an international alliance of graduate and undergraduate student organizations, which collectively represent nearly 7 million students in over 100 countries around the world, that advocate for and educate students about open methods of scholarly publishing. The Right to Research Coalition is a project of SPARC.


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