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OpenCon: An eye-opening experience

MSc Global Health student Amanda Giancola

MSc Global Health student Amanda Giancola, who recently attended OpenCon, a conference about open access and education with an aim to move toward a more open system for information-sharing. Photo credit: Sarah Janes

February 7, 2019

Thanks to the McMaster University Library Travel Scholarship, Global Health student Amanda Giancola recently attended OpenCon, where she learned more about what she and others students can do to support Open Access, a worldwide movement to make scholarly publications, data and educational resources available without cost or access barriers. Read what Giancola said about the eye-opening experience:

I won’t lie. I didn’t know much at all about “Open” before I attended OpenCon 2018.

I knew that the year I took between my undergraduate and graduate studies had been riddled with frustration from wanting to keep up to date with research in my field, and being faced with paywalls. I also knew that, contrary to the thought that once I returned to the comfort of an academic institution I would not hit these paywalls, I CONTINUED to hit paywalls as a grad student.

But my narrow (and self-interested) vision of Open Access (OA) was completely transformed by participating in OpenCon – a global conference focused on issues related to OA held this year in Toronto which I attended thanks to the McMaster University Library Travel Scholarship.

The Open movement is a philosophy about how people should create and share knowledge and educational resources. Proponents of the Open movement believe that barriers to high quality education and resources should be eliminated. I learned at OpenCon that “Open” has a role to play in development, diversity, inclusion and equity-all values I hold as priorities, and values that enticed me to pursue a master’s degree in Global Health at Mac.

Read the full article in Daily News