OpenCon 2018 Boston

Boston University

George Sherman Union

Terrace Lounge

775 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, MA

Map and Directions

Friday, November 9, 2018

Boston University Libraries and Boston College Libraries are pleased to announce OpenCon 2018 Boston. OpenCon is an annual global event that helps educate and drive culture change around open access. Participants learn about open access, open education, open data, and hear from colleagues regarding the important work they are doing in these areas. This can help catalyze action toward a more open system for sharing the world’s information—from scholarly and scientific research, to educational materials, to digital research data.

Our satellite event will feature a full day of presentations, lightning talks, and breakout sessions on OER, Wikipedia, local history, tools to help with OA efforts, and much, much more. The day will conclude with a screening of the movie Paywall: The Business of Scholarship followed by a Q&A with producer/director Jason Schmitt.

Registration to OpenCon is now full, but there are still seats available for the movie Paywall: The Business of ScholarshipIf you would like to join the waiting list for OpenCon, please visit

Schedule of Events

8:30 – 9:00 AM Check-in / Breakfast
9:00 – 9:30 AM Welcoming Remarks and Update on OA at BU: Jack Ammerman, Associate University Librarian for Digital Initiatives and Open Access, Boston University 
9:30 – 10:00 AM Presentation: Lauren Slingluff and Janine Kuntz, Wheaton College

Pathways to a Z-Degree: Capitalizing on the Course Adoption

10:00 – 10:15 AM Break
10:15 – 11:10 AM Lightning Talks
Margaret Manion, University of Massachusetts, Lowell

Making Open Textbooks More Discoverable

Anna Newman, Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Gender Differences in Approaches to Open Access

Phoebe Ayers, MIT Libraries

Wikipedia activities at MIT and beyond

Michael A. Toler, Aga Khan Documentation Center at MIT

Increasing visibility of Open Access Resources

Julia A. Lovett, University of Rhode Island Libraries

The 1foldr Data Report for Populating IRs: A Lightning-Fast Review

Jim McGrath, Brown University

Wikipedia, Public Humanities, and Hyperlocal History

11:10 AM – 12:00 PM Breakout Session:

Anne Britton, Local History and Open Access

12:00 PM- 1:00 PM Lunch
1:00 – 1:45 PM Breakout Session:

Kelly Fitzpatrick and Jack Cushman, Harvard University

Caselaw Access Project API

1:45 – 2:15 PM Presentation:

Amod Lele, Boston University

BULB: A WordPress Plugin for Open Educational Resources

2:15 – 2:30 PM Break
2:30 – 3:30 PM Movie

Paywall: The Business of Scholarship

3:30 – 4:30 PM Q&A with Director/Producer Jason Schmitt

The organizers would like to thank the Boston University Research Office for sponsoring this portion of our day.


About Our Speakers

(Please check back soon for more speaker bios)

Phoebe Ayers is the Electrical Engineering & Computer Science librarian at MIT, where she also supports research data management. She’s been editing Wikipedia since 2003, is the co-author of “How Wikipedia Works: and how you can be a part of it” (2008, No Starch Press) and was a member of the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees.

Kelly Fitzpatrick is a Research Associate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University collaborating with the Harvard Library Innovation Lab on the Caselaw Access Project. 

Kelly is an open access specialist focusing on the policy, strategy, and infrastructure that strengthen access to scholarship and digital collections.

Janine Kuntz is the Social Sciences Liaison at Wheaton College. In addition to supporting instruction and technology in the classroom, Janine works with faculty to improve access to course materials through the adoption of OER. She holds an MLIS from San Jose State University, a BS from North Dakota State University, and a BA from North Dakota State University.

Amod Lele is Lead Educational Technologist in the Office of Digital Learning and Innovation. He leads and manages a team of educational technologists supporting a wide array of technology tools, and manages the Educational Technology Collective to bring together educational technologists around BU. He is interested in the use and promotion of open educational resources (OER) in higher education, leading the BU Learning Blocks (BULB) project. He holds a PhD from Harvard University in religious studies and has almost ten years of college and university teaching experience. He regularly teaches a course on Indian philosophy in the CAS philosophy department, and expects to teach a course on the Bhagavad Gītā for the Core Curriculum in 2019. As a lifelong learner, Amod also earned an M.S. degree in Computer Science from Metropolitan College in 2016. In his spare time, he publishes scholarly articles on Buddhist ethics and writes a biweekly updated blog on cross-cultural philosophy.

Julia Lovett is currently Digital Initiatives Librarian, Associate Professor, at the University of Rhode Island. She is the primary administrator of URI’s institutional repository, DigitalCommons@URI, and manages the Libraries’ digital collections. Since 2013, when the URI faculty adopted a permissions-based Open Access Policy, she has played a key role in implementing the Policy and serves as the Faculty Senate Designate for the Open Access Policy. Julia has been active in scholarly communication groups, particularly the ACRL/NEC Scholarly Communication Interest Group, and recently joined the editorial board of the Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication. She holds an MSI degree from the University of Michigan and a BA from Wellesley College.

Margaret Manion is Head of Public Services and Science and Engineering Librarian at UMass Lowell. She was previously at Northeastern. She has a BS in Biology from SUNY at Albany, a MLS from Syracuse and a MS in Biology from Northeastern.

Jim McGrath is a Postdoctoral Fellow in Digital Public Humanities at Brown University’s John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage. He has written for Digital Humanities Quarterly, American Quarterly, and other publications. His research interests include internet culture, digital archives, hyperlocal histories, digital pedagogy, materiality and popular culture, and public history. He is on Twitter @JimMc_Grath.

Anna Newman is the Librarian for Digital Academic Strategies at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, where she supports open access and digital scholarship activities and coordinates the Gordon Library’s web strategy. She serves as vice-chair of the ACRL New England Scholarly Communications Interest Group and is web developer for the Audio Shelfie Project.

Lauren Slingluff is the Associate Dean of Library Services at Wheaton College. As a “rabid” OER enthusiast she advocates for equity in the classroom  and supports faculty in discovering and utilizing OER. She holds an MLIS from Simmons College and a BA from St. Lawrence University.

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