My OpenCon 2016 Application

I’ve finally decided to share the application I used for last year’s OpenCon. Why am I doing this?

  1. Writing good motivational or reference letters[1] or applications is hard. Usually I try to look up examples. If you are as confident about your writing skills as I am, you might be happy to have an example to look at.
  2. It’s not dark magic, no secret recipes and keywords to succeed (except Elsevier. The ppl at OpenCon love Elsevier. Use it at least 35 times).
  3. I decided to post my application while I was writing a guest post for the OpenCon blog, which you can find here.

So, here you go:

Why are you interested in Open Access, Open Education and/or Open Data and how does it relate to your work? If you are already involved in these issues, tell us how. 1600 characters (~250 words).

I believe that knowledge, the ultimate goal (achievement vl?) and output of science, should be a public good. This thought is my main incentive to advance Open Science. The pursuit of this ideal comes with many challenges, but Open Access, Open Education and Open Data are (three of) the tools that are needed to address current and future issues.

This year I started to work on my biggest Open Source Project so far. I am one of the core developers of Open Knowledge Maps, which tries to change the way we discover scientific knowledge. The engine powering “OKMaps”, Headstart, is developed by us as well and openly available onw GitHub.

Following the invitation of my supervisor, Peter Kraker, I participated in the work group “Open Access and Scholarly Communication” of the Open Access Network Austria. I had the chance to meet and learn from bright minds who have been involved since the early days of arXiv. The main outcome are 12 propositions for the future of an open scholarly communication; the Vienna Principles. The reception was impressive: Next to a multitude of blog posts, even translations in three languages can be found (German, Spanish, Japanese).

As a full-time student, my personal interest in advancing these issues has shifted towards a specific question. How can students actively participate and also benefit from Open Science? As one part of my own answer to this question, I held a workshop on Open Science for students at the MEi:CogSci Conference in Vienna. The material is available on my GitHub.

The biggest goal of OpenCon is to catalyze action. What ideas do you have for advancing Open Access, Open Education and/or Open Data, and how would you use your experience at OpenCon to have an impact? 1600 characters (~250 words)

Primarily I see myself as a student and thus would like to improve the perception, understanding and acceptance of Open Science among other students in Austria. There is a substantial lack of Open Science related initiatives in the earliest stage of an academic career. I want students to be not only involved and engaged in Open Science, but also enthusiastic about it.

Openness among students needs to go mainstream without being reduced to a buzzword or even a doctrine from above.

Another topic that I have been working on in this last year was Artificial General Intelligence (AGI or strong AI) and specifically Computational Creativity. The questions that arise when one pairs AGI with intellectual property and copyright laws are incredibly exciting. Who owns music, literature or paintings created by AGI?

But little work has been done on the implications for science/concerning this matter, little work has been done on the implications for science? The research question that I would like to address in the future is how to deal with knowledge created, verified and curated by AGI.


Hello, my dear reviewer!

As reading and reviewing applications for OpenCon is hard work, I will try to keep this section short and simple, by providing a few relevant links for my application. As the saying goes: “A URL says more than thousand words”

  1. Writing your own letter of recommendation is terrible. It’s the worst. And really stupid. Is this only a thing in Austria? ↩︎

Published 13 Jul 2017