Read our OpenCon report on inclusive conference planning and contribute!
At OpenCon, we believe that scholarly information—academic journal articles, research data, educational resources—should be shared in an equitable way. It is important these values are also reflected in our communities and conference. Openness in research and education often embraces rhetoric around breaking down barriers to access, but are we practicing this in our own work? Although the Open movements are global in nature, privileged voices are typically prioritized in conferences. Marginalized voices—e.g. women, people of colour, those based in the Global South—are often underrepresented or sometimes excluded from the conversation altogether.
We want those involved in the Open Access, Open Data, and Open Education movements to ask: how can we minimize barriers to access—not only to academic materials and research data—but also barriers to participation in our own communities?
We understand that if we want dialogue about these issues, we need to start by assessing our own community: What have we learned? What practices have we found helpful for creating a diverse and inclusive space at OpenCon? Where is there still room for improvement?
Over the last few months, we have been working on the OpenCon Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion report to address these questions. The report was created to keep OpenCon transparent and accountable to our commitments to these values. We also wanted to use the document to gather existing guidelines on planning accessible events, share our learnings, and to encourage other organizers to plan events that minimize barriers to participation. We hope the report can begin a discussion about these values in the broader Open communities.
A downloadable PDF version of the report can be accessed here.
A digital version of the report can be accessed here.
Let us know what you think.
Like many communities, we understand OpenCon still has significant work to do when it comes to building diversity, equity, and inclusion into all aspects of our work. We hope this can be the start of an ongoing conversation. We welcome feedback and contributions by email [email@example.com], or directly to the online version of the report via Github. Details on how to contribute can be found here.