Tag: OpenCon

OpenCon Berlin 2016: Advancing Openness in Research and Education

OpenCon Berlin 2016: Advancing Openness in Research and Education

ScienceOpen has teamed up with OpenAIRE and Digital-Science, alongside two of their portfolio companies – Figshare and Overleaf, to organise an OpenCon ‘satellite’ event to be held in Berlin on the 24-26th November.

This event will form one of the many international satellite events of the bigger OpenCon 2016 conference that will take place two weeks earlier in Washington, DC.

OpenCon is the student and early career academic professional conference that focuses on Open Access, Open Education, and Open Data. It seeks to empower the next generation to advance openness in research and education.

OpenCon satellite events are organised by those who are passionate about communicating the important messages of Open Information with the world, and are welcome to anyone interested in joining the conversation and connecting with a community of like-minded individuals.

When: 24th to 26th of November 2016.

Where: Humboldt University Berlin.

What: The event:will focus on putting Open Science into action through open collaboration. On Thursday evening (24th) we will be hosting a hackathon to get people in the mood and have a chance to get settled before the main event!

Hashtag: #OpenConBerlin

Our keynote speaker (Friday 25th, 10am), will be Julia Reda MEP – a woman on a mission to reform copyright legislation.

Alongside presentations and interesting talks made by those who have benefited and gained from open information, we’ll run focused workshops on themes you’ll choose via crowdsourcing.

During the event, we will run a few short and themed focus group sessions; in each session we hope to start a conversation where people share advice and success stories about the industry. Discussions and resources willbe collated via open documents like etherpads and collected as outputs of the event.

We’re all in the business of collaboration and we hope the event will inspire those who attend to do just that!

Registration: OpenCon Berlin 2016 is free to attend, but you must RSVP via the OpenCon Berlin 2016 website:

Useful links:



Digital Science:


Etherpad: – updates, the agenda, and notes will all be posted here.

Open Science stars: Iara Vidal

We’re running a series to showcase some of the different perspectives in the scholarly publishing and communication world, and in particular regarding the theme of ‘Open Science’. We’ve already heard from Joanne Kamens about her work in making open data repositories and campaigning for greater diversity in STEM; Dan Shanahan discussed issues with the impact factor and assessment in academia; Gal Schkolnik let us know about her research into Shewanella and experiences with Open Access publishing; and Israel Bimpe described his story as a student from Rwanda and global health champion. So quite a mix, and it’s been great to get such a variety of thoughts, perspectives, and experiences.

But we’re not stopping there! We spoke to Iara Vidal who is working on her PhD in Information Science at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, and has plenty of experience with altmetrics and also in working as a librarian. Here’s her story!

Hi Iara! So can you tell us a bit about your background to get things rolling?

Sure! I had my first experience with scientific research in high school. I was in what we call a “technical school” here in Brazil, studying to be a meteorological technician. In 1998 me and some other students did a study correlating rain levels with the incidence of certain diseases whose transmission is somehow related to water. It was great fun to go looking for all the data we needed, and we actually got a poster accepted at the 10th Brazillian Meteorology Conference (pdf is available here, if you’re curious and can read Portuguese – there’s a short English abstract but that’s it). That was my first scientific event – and honestly, conferences are probably my favourite aspect of academia to this day. For college, I changed from Meteorology into Library Science. I joined a research group in my university and kept presenting papers in small scientific events and student meetings. It was an amazing experience, but when I graduated in early 2005 I decided to go work in libraries instead of staying in academia. I *love* being a librarian, but things became difficult when, through reasons that are too complicated to explain here, I ended up as the sole librarian in a federal agency. Much as I tried, I could not improve my situation. So, in 2012, I decided to leave and pursue an academic career. I got my master’s degree in Information Science in 2014, and have been working on my PhD since 2015.

When did you first hear about open access and open science? What was your initial reaction?

I think I first heard about open access in the early 2000s, maybe in one of the Library and Information Science student meetings I used to go to. But it was only in the past few years that I got more involved in the issue. In 2013 I attended a conference celebrating the 15th anniversary of the SciELO Network (, which got me really excited not only about open access, but also about the role of Latin America and other peripheral regions in all this. As I researched more about open access I got to know about open science as well. My reaction to all this was of excitement (hell yeah let’s free knowledge!), but also questioning: how do we get people to change their behaviour? I think the answer lies in incentives, which increased my interest in research evaluation. I studied altmetrics in my master’s and am now moving to article-level metrics, but the end goal is improving evaluation.

How do we get people to change their behaviour? I think the answer lies in incentives, which increased my interest in research evaluation.

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