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VCU Libraries hosts Virginia satellite OpenCon to international conference on open research and educational practices

October 18, 2017

Jeff Bland illustration: Red doors, all open in a white field, suggesting openness and transparency.

VCU invites students, faculty, librarians, scientists, writers and researchers to the Virginia satellite session of the international conference OpenCon Jan. 12, 2018.

This global conference draws people interested in advancing open access, open education and open data. While the main conference will be held in Berlin Nov. 11-13, satellite events are held in partnership with it and scheduled at varied times throughout the year.  

VCU Libraries’ day-long OpenCon Virginia satellite event at James Branch Cabell Library will bring together students, researchers, educators, librarians, and others interested in learning more about accessibility of information in research and education. The program will include keynotes, lightning talks and breakout sessions on topics of open data, reproducibility, open educational resources, new methods and models of open publishing and more.

Scheduled keynote speakers are:

  • Hilda Bastian, Ph.D., works at the National Institutes of Health to make clinical effectiveness research accessible as the lead for the PubMed Health team and support post-publication scientific discourse as the lead for PubMed Commons. Bastian was a health consumer advocate in Australia in the ‘80s and ‘90s. Controversies riddled with ideology and vested interests drove her to science, and epidemiology and effectiveness research have kept her hooked ever since. She was a founding member of the Consumers’ Health Forum of Australia, the Cochrane Collaboration and its Consumers and Communication Review Group. In 2004 she joined the group of people who helped build Germany’s national Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG). Bastian is a member of the PLOS One Human Research Advisory Group and is a member of Wikipedia’s WikiProject Medicine.

  • Tressie McMillan Cottom, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of sociology at VCU and faculty associate with Harvard University’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society. She researches and publishes on race/class/gender, education, and technology in the new economy and is the author of Lower Ed: The Troubling Rise of For-Profit Colleges in the New Economy (2017, The New Press) and is also co-editor of two academic books: “Digital Sociologies” from Policy Press and “For Profit U” from Palgrave MacMillan. She speaks extensively, including recent invitations to The White House, South Africa, New Zealand, and Italy. Her public scholarship has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, NPR's Fresh Air, The Daily Show, Slate, and The Atlantic to name a few.

“This is an opportunity for VCU to lead the commonwealth of Virginia in this effort,” said Scholarly Communications Outreach Librarian Hillary Miller. “Openness in scholarship is the next wave in universities and researchers, faculty, students, administrators and librarians must all work together to build a more open future. We look forward to having members of these groups from throughout the commonwealth engaged in this conversation about how to better serve the public and fulfill our missions to share scholarship and data and remove barriers of price or proximity that prevent access to information vital to society.”  

OpenCon Virginia 2018 invites submissions for lightning talks on any of the conference topics: open access publishing, open data, open science, open education, or any topic related to the concept of “open.” Lightning presenters could share in progress or completed open projects, tips and tricks for integrating openness into existing workflows, or ideas for creating a more open system of information in research and education. Each presenter will have five minutes to deliver their lightning talk. To submit your idea for a lightning talk, fill out the submission form by December 8.

Learn more and register to attend. There is no charge to attend and seating is limited.

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VCU Libraries

James Branch Cabell Library Monroe Park Campus
901 Park Ave., Box 842033
Richmond, VA 23284-2033
Toll-free: (844) 352-7399
(804) 828-1111
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Tompkins-McCaw Library MCV Campus
509 N. 12th St., Box 980582
Richmond, VA 23298-0582
Toll-free: (844) 352-7399
(804) 828-0636

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