- What if I haven’t received a confirmation email?
- Can I save a draft of my application?
- How do I access my draft application? What if I lost my link?
- I applied in 2015. Can I start from my old application?
- What if I need to correct information in my application after I submit it?
- What if I miss the application deadline?
- Review Process
- Will you provide a customized logo for my event?
- Is there a deadline for organising satellite events?
- What do we have to do to be an official satellite event?
- Can we obtain local sponsorship?
- Can I come to the main event and host a satellite event later?
- Could we charge for tickets?
- Who is eligible to host a satellite event?
- Can multiple groups co-host a satellite event?
- What language can you host an event in?
- What does it cost to host an event?
- What financial support is there?
- Will videos be subtitled?
- What are the responsibilities of a host?
- Attendee FAQ
- About OpenCon
The general application period for OpenCon 2016 closed on Monday July 11. Application decisions will be delivered between August 1 and August 7. If you didn't apply this year, there are still many other ways to get involved, including satellite events, a live webcast, and community activities.
Why is there an application process for OpenCon 2016?
OpenCon 2016 has an application process, rather than general registration, because a large number of participants will be offered full or partial travel scholarships to cover the cost of travel and accommodation for the meeting. We understand that students and early career researchers often do not have easy access to travel funding, and we want to bring together the leading young advocates for Open Access, Open Education, and Open Data from around the world, regardless of their ability to pay for travel.
The significant amount of travel support given to participants is only possible through the generous support of our sponsors.
Who is eligible to attend OpenCon 2016 as a participant?
OpenCon's target audience is students of all levels, early career researchers, and young professionals in fields related to scholarly and scientific research (e.g. librarians, publishers, advocates, etc).
Students, early career researchers, and young professionals from all countries are welcome to attend OpenCon 2016.
Applicants must be eighteen years of age or older to attend OpenCon 2016.
Who qualifies as early career?
Early career is a flexible term and generally means someone within 8-10 years of the beginning of their professional career (i.e. after graduating with their terminal degree).
Yes, invited participants will include a spectrum of experience levels and involvement in Open issues. Part of the objective of OpenCon is to equip participants with the skills and inspiration necessary to start new campaigns, projects, and initiatives. Just make sure your application clearly addresses why you are interested in these issues, what your ideas are for getting involved, and what you plan to do after OpenCon if you attend.
Application decisions will be delivered by e-mail between August 1 and August 7. Please wait until August 7 to contact us if you have not received a notification.
Your notification e-mail will inform you whether you have been invited to attend OpenCon 2016, and the level of scholarship funding you have been awarded, if any. For any updates on the application process, please visit the OpenCon blog.
Due to the volume of applications, we are unable to respond to requests for notification sent before August 7. If you contacted us before August 7 and still have not received a notification after August 7, please contact us again.
Yes! OpenCon is a unique meeting in that the organizers will provide full or partial travel scholarships to a large number of the participants at the meeting. In past meetings, more than 75% of participants received full or partial scholarships.
The application process will be competitive, so in addition to applying for a general travel scholarship, we also encourage applicants to consider asking their institutions to secure one of our remaining sponsored scholarships.
Scholarship funding is available for the following expenses:
- Travel to and from Washington, DC
- Accommodation during the nights of the conference (shared room)
- Participation fee that covers registration and most meals
- Visa application fee (if needed)
If you are invited and are awarded a scholarship, your invitation will specify which of the above expenses are included. Please note that scholarships will not cover travel to and from the airport, meals that are not provided at the conference, insurance, or other incidental expenses. Note that due to the number of scholarships we will be granting, we cannot process any reimbursements from receipts. Therefore scholarship funding will only apply for travel and accommodation booked through OpenCon's travel agent.
Please note that attendance at OpenCon is by application only, and you should not arrange for travel until and unless you receive an invitation. If you are awarded a travel scholarship, you will be contacted by OpenCon's travel agent to arrange your travel. Travel and hotel reservations must be made by OpenCon to be eligible for scholarship funding.
Please do not make travel arrangements before application decisions are issued during the week of August 1, 2016. No exceptions will be made on the basis of pre-existing travel plans.
Yes! We will provide invited participants needing a visa with an invitation letter and information on how to apply for a U.S. visitor visa. However, you will still be responsible for submitting your own visa application and arranging an appointment at the embassy nearest you. Travel scholarships are conditional upon successfully obtaining a visa, if needed.
Thanks to generous support from our sponsors, OpenCon is able to provide scholarships for the registration cost of most invited students and early career professionals. If you do not apply for a scholarship or are invited without one, there will be a modest participation fee of $300 that covers direct costs, including the venue and most meals. If you are invited to the conference, your invitation e-mail will include instructions on how to submit payment for this fee.
Also note that we do offer a limited number of sponsorship opportunities that include free registration at the conference.
Yes. Automated confirmation messages are sent as soon as you submit your application. If you submitted your application and believe you did not receive a confirmation e-mail, search your trash or spam folders for a message from email@example.com. If you still believe you have not received a confirmation email, please contact us using the form below. If you have already contacted us and have not received a reply, please check the e-mail address you provided for errors, as we may not be able to reach you.
Yes. This year our newly designed application system allows you to save a draft of your application, then come back and complete it later. In the application form, there is a button at the bottom of the page that says "Save for later." Simply click this button, and you will be sent a secure link where you can resume the application later. You can request a reminder of this link by visiting the application form and entering your e-mail address. Saved drafts not submitted by the application deadline (July 11 at 11:59pm U.S. Pacific Time) will be considered final.
When you first saved your draft, you were provided with a secure link where you can access your draft. If you did not save this link, you can retrieve it automatically online. Here's how: Return to the application form and enter your e-mail address. Click "Start Application" and a box will pop up. Click the yellow link that says "Access Draft." This will automatically send you an e-mail containing your link. Please be sure to enter the exact e-mail address you provided when you saved the draft, so our system can identify you. If you are still unable to access your draft, please contact us using the box below.
I applied in 2015. Can I start from my previous application?
Yes. If you applied for OpenCon in 2015, we automatically created a draft application using last year’s data. To access the draft, visit the application form and enter the e-mail address you provided in your 2015 application. Click "Start Application," and a box will pop up with a yellow link that says "Access Draft." Click the link and we will e-mail you access to the draft. If this doesn't work, it is likely you used a different e-mail address. Either try again or simply proceed with filling out the blank application form.
If you are applying for a scholarship sponsored by your institution and are unable to access your draft, please contact us using the form below.
Once you submit your application, all information is considered final. Submitted applications are immediately referred to the OpenCon Application Review Team. You will receive a copy of the data you submitted in your confirmation e-mail, and if you notice significant errors, you may contact us using the form below to request a correction. However, because of the volume of applications we receive, we cannot guarantee that corrections will be made.
Unfortunately the general application period for OpenCon 2016 is closed. The good news is that there are many other ways to get involved, including satellite events, a live webcast, and community activities.
Applications are reviewed by the OpenCon Application Review Team, which is comprised of more than 60 alumni of previous OpenCon annual meetings and other leaders in the OpenCon community. The most highly rated applications are referred to the OpenCon 2016 Organizing Committee for final review. The Organizing Committee will issue invitations and travel scholarship notifications during the week of August 1, 2016.
Applications will be considered based on their merits, and we will look for the most qualified and engaged students and early career professionals to attend. The three primary qualities we will be looking for are:
Interest in OpenCon’s issue areas
Demonstrated previous engagement, concrete ideas for future projects, and/or a plan to contribute meaningfully to a current initiative
Likelihood to take meaningful action after OpenCon 2016
Unfortunately due to the number of applications we will receive, we are unable to provide specific feedback on your application. We encourage everyone to bear in mind that the application process is highly competitive, and we unfortunately will have to turn away many engaged and passionate applicants. This is one of the reasons why we prioritized Satellite Events this year, which provide the opportunity for local leaders to convene meetings around OpenCon’s issue areas in their communities. Click here for more information on satellite events.
OpenCon has developed custom software to manage the application collection and review process, led by OpenCon alumnus Jan Gondol. At the conclusion of the application process, the code will be released as free and open source software under a MIT License. The code will be posted in the Right to Research Coalition GitHub page. You can view the code for the 2015 version of the software here.
Yes! To maintain the identity of the conference, we will ask satellite events to use the customized OpenCon satellite event logo.
There is no hard deadline, but we encourage organizers to plan ahead and get started early and we can’t guarantee we’ll support events organised at the last minute. Live stream watch parties can be planning quickly, but larger events will take more planning.
You must register your interest on the form at the bottom of the page here, after which point we’ll get in touch. You then submit a short plan to the organizers to be approved in order to become an official event.
Yes - as long as the sponsee is inline with SPARC’s guidelines and OpenCon’s Student and Early Career Researcher organising committee agree. You can request a potential sponsor to be reviewed by contacting Joe[at]righttoresearch.org.
Yes, in fact that’s encouraged! Satellite events should be held within 5 or 6 weeks of the the main meeting, so you’ll need to plan ahead!
If you chose to charge for an event, that is your decision. However, the event is targeted at students and early career researchers - two groups not known for having much money spare! We require ticket prices to be set at a level which only cover the event costs.
Any group which supports OpenCon’s issue areas of Open Access, Open Education, and Open Data can host a satellite event, provided they have an adequate plan and are approved by the OpenCon Organizing Committee.
Yes of course, as long as the groups don’t conflict with the above previous point.
Any! OpenCon 2015 will be conducted in English (and the content will be streamed/uploaded without any subtitles) however you may have local content in any language you please and we encourage you too!
We don't charge our partners to host events, or for accessing the live-stream. The only costs incurred are those you arrange for your event.
Currently we can't guarantee financial support for events, although we are trying to find ways to directly financially support events. However, we're endeavouring to facilitate extremely low cost, high quality events by providing in direct financial support through high quality resources, content, web infrastructure and more that would normally incur significant cost. You can find our resource for helping to fund satellite events here.
This we'll be trying to find a platform to enable subtitles to be sourced for our videos by the community, however we won't be able to produce these in house.
Hosts are responsible for carrying out their event, including but not exclusive to:
- Designing their program,
- Promoting their event,
- Finding venues,
- Obtaining financial support and partners for there event (where required),
however as detailed on the resources page we will provide support in each of the above (and more) where possible.
Please note this FAQ is only for attendees at OpenCon in Washington, DC, USA on November 12-14, 2016. Attendance at this conference is by invitation only. If you are looking for information on satellite events please see here, or contact a host directly.
When and where will the conference take place?
The conference will take place from November 12-14, 2016 in Washington, DC, USA. The first two days of the conference will be hosted at the American University Washington College of Law. The third day will be held at the U.S. Capitol Complex. See your invitation for further information.
The conference program will begin around 9:00am and conclude by 6:00pm each day. There will be optional evening activities. Most people will arrive on November 11th and depart on November 15th.
How do I register?
Please refer to your invitation e-mail for a link to the registration form and link to submit payment for the $300 conference fee (if applicable).
Please note that the conference is by invitation only, and general registration is not available.
How do I reserve a room in the conference hotel?
You will have the opportunity to request a reservation at the conference hotel in the registration form you were provided in your invitation. The hotel is located in Bethesda, MD within 2 blocks of the Bethesda Downtown metro station, which is two short stops on the metro to the main conference venue and about 20 minutes from downtown Washington.
You can reserve a room as part of our conference room block at the following rates. There is an additional 13% tax on top of all rates. Recipients of travel scholarship funding will be automatically booked into a shared double room, and may put that value ($80/night) toward reserving a private room.
- Shared double room with a participant of the same sex: US $80 + tax per night
- Private single room: US $140 + tax per night
- Private double room: US $160 + tax per night
What expenses are covered by scholarships?
The e-mail you received inviting you to the conference specifies which expenses are covered by your scholarship. The possible options are:
- Roundtrip travel to Washington, DC from the city you indicated in your application
- Accommodation at the conference hotel (shared room with a participant of the same sex)
- Conference participation fee (includes registration, breakfast, lunch, refreshments, and conference-related travel in DC)
Travel scholarships do not cover any other expenses. This includes:
- Transportation to and from the airport (or train/bus station)
- Meals outside the conference, including dinner
- Travel insurance
- Visa application fees (unless explicitly granted in your invitation)
We estimate total incidental costs for those traveling to OpenCon should be less than US $100.
We are aiming to provide dinners where possible, however this depends on securing more sponsorship.
How do I book my scholarship travel?
If your invitation e-mail specifies that you have been awarded a travel scholarship, you will be contacted by our travel agent once you complete your registration form. Travel arrangements MUST be booked through our travel agent to be eligible for scholarship funding. DO NOT make your own arrangements, as we will be unable to offer reimbursement.
Can I request a special itinerary or different travel dates?
Your scholarship has been allocated a specific budget based on the typical roundtrip flight cost for the airport you indicated in your application. You may request a different itinerary or alternate travel dates; however, you will be responsible for any differences in fare.
What if my plans change after my scholarship travel is booked?
If your plans change after your travel has been booked, you will be responsible for any change fees or additional costs.
How do I reserve my scholarship accommodations?
If your invitation specifies that you have been awarded a travel scholarship that includes accommodation, you will automatically be booked into a shared room with a member of the same sex. Private rooms are available to scholarship recipients for an additional US $68 per night. Scholarships only apply for rooms booked by OpenCon in the conference hotel.
How will you know if I’ve watched the required webcasts?
In your registration form, you committed to watch a set of webcasts to prepare you for the conference. We don't have a way of tracking whether you do this or not, but we expect you to honor your commitment. The conference content will expect you to know the basics in each of OpenCon's issue areas (Open Access, Open Education, and Open Data), and all panels will include element of each area. So, it is in your best interest to watch them.
Visas & Passports
What are the passport requirements to enter the United States?
The U.S. requires your passport to be valid for six months beyond your intended trip. Please verify that your passport is valid through May 15, 2017 (or later, if you leave later) to ensure you meet this requirement.
Do I need a visa in order to travel to the United States?
You can find more information about the U.S. visa requirements here. If you need a visa, you will need to apply for a Class B Visitor visa. The application fee is typically $190 and the process takes up to 60 days, so we encourage you to begin as early as possible.
Please note that you may be eligible for the U.S. Visa Waiver Program (ESTA), which allows citizens of certain countries to enter the U.S. without a visa (including much of Europe, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, and Chile). However, some of the requirements have recently changed, so please verify your eligibility here.
How do I get an official letter for my visa?
Invitation letters and instructions for applying for a U.S. visa will be sent once you fill out the form linked in your invitation. If you have not received this within two weeks of filling out the form, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can I be reimbursed for my visa application fee?
If your invitation specifies that you have been given a scholarship for the visa application fee, yes you will be reimbursed. Instructions for submitting reimbursement will be included in the visa instructions sent to you after you register. Please be aware that international bank transfers are often slow, so reimbursement will not be immediate.
What if I already have a visa but it's in an expired passport?
If you have a valid U.S. visa but your passport has expired, you can still use it to enter the U.S. Simply bring both your expired passport with the visa and your new passport and present them to the border agent. Please note that both passports must have the same name. Also check to make sure your visa expires after November 12, 2016 and allows multiple entries.
My question isn’t answered! Who do I ask?
If you’ve got a question, ask Joe@righttoresearch.org and he’ll get back to you.
OpenCon is organized by the Right to Research Coalition, SPARC, and an Organizing Committee of students and early career researchers from around the world. SPARC is is a global coalition of academic and research libraries committed to making Open the default for research and education. The Right to Research Coalition, a project of SPARC, 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.
Visit SPARC's page on Why Open Matters for more information on Open Access, Open Data, and Open Education.
Any other questions?
Please ensure your question hasn't been answered by the FAQ above before applying. See questions listed in the FAQ here. Please note, we won't be able to answer any questions about the status of your application until after August 5th.