This coming weekend, I will be off to Washington DC to attend the OpenCon 2014 conference.
So what is OpenCon? The full title of the conference is Student and Early Career Researcher Conference on OpenAccess, Open Education, and Open Data. Attendees are coming from all over the world: from England and South Africa to Germany and Canada. I am very lucky to have been chosen by the Dean of the Penn State libraries, Barbara I. Dewey, to receive a fellowship to attend this conference.
The first time I heard about Open Access was when I started my position as the Digital Scholarship Services Graduate Assistant in the Penn State Libraries, back in August 2013. For a junior scholar like me, Open Access is incredibly exciting as it offers a way for people to learn about my passion and my work. I love the idea of sharing my research and my data, because I believe that our role, as scholars, is to share our knowledge with as many people as possible. To support Open Access, I have made two documents available online — a conference paper and a poster — both of which I have uploaded on Penn State’s institutional repository ScholarSphere. Users from all over the world can download these documents and access my research. I am also the project manager of Mapping Decadence, a website I have created to show how location played a role in shaping collaborations between writers and publishers at the end of the 19th century in Paris. My goal with this website is to share my data in an effort to help other scholars answer questions that they might have on the period’s publishing world or on the four Decadent authors at the center of my work. The next step of this project will be to develop a platform so that other scholars might be able to contribute and add information on different authors/publishers of the period, in order to create an extensive map of the Parisian literary world of the Belle Epoque.