The term “electronic publishing” sounds a bit quaint today. But 21 years ago when the ELPUB conference series first started, the term promised all manner of potential that the Web and network technologies could bring to scholarly communication, scientific research and technical innovation. Indeed, over the last two decades we have seen tremendous developments across all these domains, and at the same time our social, economical and political lives have been completely transformed.
Open Science represents one such transformation, and not surprisingly, the elements that make Open Science possible, including open access, open data, open software, and other domains of open have been regular topics presented and debated at previous ELPUB conferences.
However, development and diffusion of open research practices are highly uneven across disciplines and across regions. And despite the common claims that Open Science improves transparency and accountability throughout the research life cycle while democratizing the knowledge production process, empirical research and conceptual validation of these ideas has been limited. In addition, there is a growing tendency to conceptualize Open Science as a set of conditions waiting to be met, without regard for regional differences, including cultural and historical contexts of knowledge production.
The theme of the conference this year, Expanding Perspectives on Open Science: Communities, Cultures and Diversity in Concepts and Practices, is intended to generate discussion and debate on the potential and limitations of openness. We thus invited, researchers and practitioners from diverse backgrounds to share their results and ideas at what we trust will be a highly interactive forum.
We also asked potential presenters to consider exploring alternative models of interaction and co-creation between scholars and citizen scientists, and the role of dissemination and publishing within these interactions. To stimulate submissions, we included these questions in the open call: Who determines the agenda and direction of emerging discourses around Open Science? How does Open Science challenge the current positions and power of players and agents in varying institutional contexts? Are we seeing a converging global view of Open Science, or are there disciplinary, regional, and other differences that are important to consider? What are the gaps between existing Open Science policies, regulatory frameworks, and implementation requirements and how should they be addressed? How do Open Science agendas relate to the Open Innovation agendas of governments, funders and institutions? What is the impact of these agendas on research funding and dissemination practices?
By assessing these interlinked questions, the aim is to improve our understanding of current challenges and opportunities in the ecosystem of open science, and how to move forward collaboratively in developing an inclusive system that works for a much broader range of participants.
All submissions were subjected to peer review, performed by members of the Program Committee. In all, a total of 27 research and practitioner papers and 7 posters are being presented at this year's conference, along with 4 workshops on the first day of the conference. The papers represent a broad range of topics related to Open Science, from provision of common infrastructure, innovative tools, new publishing models, sustainability models, and policy provisions. We also have a broad range of conceptual papers exploring the boundaries and diversities of open research practices in varying institutional and cultural contexts. Perhaps for the first time in ELPUB history, we have speakers coming from countries that span the globe. This was due in part to the fact that several of the presenters are members of the Open and Collaborative Science in Development Network (OCSDNet), and they are coming from countries including Senegal, Jamaica, Brazil, Peru, Colombia, and Argentina. At the conference, we hope to have a productive discussion about the challenges and opportunities facing researchers and citizens in the global South.
In keeping with the theme of the conference, this year we have three diverse keynote speakers with diverse expertise speaking on diverse topics, but all related to the implications of how networked technologies are changing the way we produce, consume, and circulate knowledge. Rachel Harding, an early career researcher in genomics at the University of Toronto, will speak on “Open science and accelerating discovery in rare and neglected diseases.” Dr. Hebe Vessuri, CIGA (Centro de Investigación en Geografía Ambiental) UNAM in Mexico, will speak on “Tapping knowledge globally: open access and mobile objects in an asymmetric world.” And Mimis Sophocleous, Academic Director of the Historical Archives and Research Centre of Limassol, will be asking “What happens to poetry and prose when they go in digital form online instead of reaching their readers in a book form.”
This year's conference takes place in Cyprus, the third largest island in the Mediterranean, after Sicily and Sardinia. At the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and Africa, its geographic location, rich, unique history and cultural diversity make it particularly well suited for hosting ELPUB 2017. We would like to thank the Library Director, Marios Zervas, of Cyprus University of Technology, and his Staff for their involvement regarding the sponsorships from publishers, the articles that will be presented on behalf of the CUT, and the promotional actions taken to advertise the ELPUB 2017 conference in the local community. We also thank the Publishers who readily and positively responded to the CUT Library's request for sponsorship and support. Last but not least, we thank Easy Conferences for their communication and collaboration with the CUT Library regarding the organization of the conference.
The staff at Easy Conference have been tremendously helpful and supportive. They were extremely prompt and attentive with our many requests. Not only did they assist with logistics and social event planning, they also provided valuable input regarding programing. We could not have managed this conference without their dedicated support.
We would like to express our sincere thanks to members of the ELPUB Executive Committee who, together with the Programme Committee, helped us to bring together a diverse and exciting programme. A special thanks to Saman Goudarzi, an undergraduate student at the University of Toronto at Scarborough, for her editorial assistance with the manuscripts. And thanks to Anne Marie de Rover and Paul Weij at the IOS Press for their support in the production of this proceedings.
We wish everyone a productive an inspiring conference. We would like to extend an invitation to all of you to the 22st edition of the conference, which will be held in Toronto, Canada. We hope to see an even more diverse group of presenters, topics, and attendees at this conference, and look forward to welcoming you to Toronto!
Leslie Chan and Fernando Loizides
June 6th, 2017