PeerJ at OpenCon 2014

PeerJ is delighted to be taking part in this year’s OpenCon, both in talks and panel discussions by Peter Binfield (Co-founder of PeerJ), and by supporting an early career researcher with their travel fees to the event.

OpenCon 2014 is the student and early career researcher conference on Open Access, Open Education, and Open Data and will be held on November 15-17, 2014 in Washington, DC. OpenCon 2014 is organized by the Right to Research CoalitionSPARC (The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition), and a committee of student and early career researcher organizations from around the world.

We understand that many students and early career researchers, even those at well-funded institutions, simply do not have access to travel funding for a meeting such as this. Therefore we wanted to help support an early career researcher by covering their travel costs. It is also core to PeerJ’s mission to make publication affordable, and undergraduates represent the next generation of academics. If they contribute to publishable work, then they should be able to take advantage of publication in a high quality venue without financial barriers, which is why we offer free publication for undergraduates.

Jon Tennant was nominated by OpenCon to receive our travel grant, and as a big advocate of OA and already published in PeerJ we can’t think of a more worthy candidate!

Jon began university life as a geologist, followed by a leap into the life sciences. He is now based at Imperial College London, investigating the extinction and biodiversity patterns of Mesozoic tetrapods – anything with four legs or flippers – to discover whether or not there is evidence for a ‘hidden’ mass extinction 145 million years ago. Alongside this, Jon researches the origins and evolution of ‘dwarf’ crocodiles called atoposaurids, and published on this very subject recently in PeerJ.

Prior to this, there was a brief interlude were Jon was immersed in the world of science policy and communication, which has greatly shaped his view on the broader role that science can play, and in particular, the current ‘open’ debate. He blogs at http://blogs.egu.eu/palaeoblog/, and tweets as Protohedgehog.

Stay tuned as Jon will be writing a blog post for us on his experiences at OpenCon, and on why open access matters to him.