Call for Papers for the 2020 Conference
The Call for Proposals for the 2020 Researcher to Reader Conference opens on 1 July and closes on 23 August 2019. Proposals can be submitted using an Excel form that can be downloaded here from 1 July:
The Conference organisers have used their best efforts to ensure that this downloadable form does not contain any viruses, trojans or other malicious code, but recommend that anyone downloading this file uses appropriate methods to protect their own systems.
The next annual Researcher to Reader Conference will take place in London on 24-25 February 2020. The Advisory Board is inviting proposals for presentations, panels, debates and workshops on the subject of international scholarly communications.
We are particularly seeking proposals from librarians, researchers, editors and funders, and from people based outside the UK and under-represented demographics.
Proposers are invited to provide an abstract (50-100 words) and a fuller description (100-300 words) by 23 August 2019.
To make a proposal for participation in Conference, please first explore the R2R website for more information, then download, complete and return the proposal form.
Call For Proposals – Summary Information
The Researcher to Reader Conference is a key forum for discussion of the international scholarly content supply chain – exploring how academic knowledge is conveyed from the researcher to the reader.
The Conference takes place annually in London each February and is attended by around 150-200 senior delegates from all parts of the scholarly communications community, including funders, researchers, research managers, editors, publishers, distributors, technologists and librarians.
Topics and Themes
The Conference covers the full life-cycle of scholarly communications, from the researcher who creates content to the reader who consumes content. We particularly value topics that are of broad interest across the diverse range of people and organisations that participate in scholarly communication, rather than subjects that focus on a particular silo. Our delegates are primarily interested in the interactions between the various parts of the scholarly communications supply chain, and how different people and organisations can work together more effectively. The Conference also values topics that are practical, informative or supported by evidence – we are interested in facilitating what could be done, rather than merely debating what should be done.
We are very open to a wide range of subjects that could be explored within this framework, but some topics that our Advisory Board feels could be particularly interesting in the current climate include:
- Are the new business models in an open world working? Including Big Deals, Transformative Agreements, Read-and-Publish, Publish-and-Read, Subscribe to Open, Freemium, and all the others…..
- The effectiveness of lofty and unilateral declarations, manifestos, initiatives, campaigns and plans – how powerful have all these pronouncements been, and is there a better way to make progress?
- Research incentives, behaviours, integrity and trust – how scholarly communication can be assisted or impeded by ‘the tenure track’ and other incentives? Does research culture need to change?
- Preprints and Peer Review – is it enough to have scholarship communicated, or does it also need to be credibly communicated, having been judged, approved and rated?
- Is curation and brand important in scholarly communication? Are diligent curators and trusted brands (such as funders, universities, libraries, publishers, societies or journal titles) important as arbiters of quality and as maintainers of legacy?
- Is ‘commercial’ always compromised and ‘not-for-profit’ always pure, or can the efficiencies of the business world successfully co-exist with academia?
The Conference has a variety of session formats, intended to give different topics an appropriate expression and to provide a varied and interactive timetable for the delegates. Our two-day programme usually includes a mixture of the following formats:
Presentation: Given by a single speaker for 20-30 minutes, within a plenary session comprising 1-3 speakers, followed by Q&A.
Panel: A lively moderated discussion amongst knowledgeable and well-prepared pundits, which also involves the delegates. Typically running for around one hour, and involving little or no formally presented content.
Debate: A challenging and divisive proposition argued for or against, in a formal setting, by two (or four) well-prepared debaters, supervised by a strong moderator.
Workshop: A facilitated collaborative conversation, about a clearly-defined question or problem, with very high levels of delegate participation and engagement. Delegates pre-select one out of choice of parallel workshops, and each has a total duration of about 2½ hours, split over three separate sessions across the two days.
Proposers are invited to offer topics and/or contributors. They may wish to:
- suggest a topic of interest;
- propose themselves or another person as a panellist, debater, facilitator or moderator, based on particular knowledge or skills;
- propose themselves or another person as a speaker, together with an appropriate topic;
- propose a panel, debate or workshop package, including a topic plus most or all of the other contributors.
Proposer Credentials and Affiliations
Proposals should be relevant to the themes of the Conference, and can be given by any member of the research, publishing and library community. Presenters who are employed by commercial organisations are encouraged to participate, but their presentations must be of general interest to the community and faithful to the event’s objectives, not merely corporate messages. Selling or demonstrating products or services as part of the programme, whether from a commercial supplier or a not-for-profit organisation, is absolutely unacceptable, and those with a promotional message are encouraged to become sponsors of the Conference.
The most effective workshops are created through a partnership between a subject expert and a facilitator, and we have particular focus on the quality of workshop facilitation.
Proposers are encouraged to provide evidence of their experience or suitability, based on past successes an evidenced where possible by video-recordings, although this is not essential.
Call For Proposals – Guidance for Proposers
The information below provides additional guidance to help potential contributors to put forward proposal that are likely to be accepted by the Advisory Board. We recommend that proposers study this guidance carefully as it should be helpful in ensuring that a proposal is efficiently and effectively prepared.
Each of our presentations is normally given by a single speaker within a plenary session comprising 1-3 speakers, with each speaker having approximately 20-30 minutes, followed by a joint 10-15 minute Q&A, moderated by the session chair.
We find that the presentations most appreciated by our delegates are not product pitches (commercial or otherwise), are presented by just one speaker, are delivered in a lively but not ‘evangelical’ tone, and are supported by informative visual aids, not slides that appear to be merely the speaker’s notes in bullet-point form.
Our panels are lively open discussions amongst knowledgeable pundits, where the panel members are opinionated and well-prepared, the delegates are encouraged to participate, and good facilitation is crucial. We typically allow about 1½ hours for a panel, including some scene-setting by the chair and/or panel members, the panel discussion itself, and contributions from the delegates.
We encourage active solicitation and management of delegate questions (often via Twitter or other tools), and we avoid so-called panels that turn out to really just be several long and loosely-connected presentations followed by a brief Q&A.
We had our first formal debate in 2019, and it was very highly rated by our delegates. We welcome proposals for a debate for our next programme, where a challenging or divisive proposition is argued, for or against, by structured speeches given by two/four well-prepared debaters, coached and supervised by a strong moderator.
The workshops at R2R are dynamic facilitated conversations, with high levels of delegate participation and engagement. Each workshop discusses a clearly-defined question or problem, and attempts to reach a resolution. Delegates pre-register for just one of a choice of five workshops. Each workshop has a total duration of about 2½ hours, split over three separate sessions spread across the two-day Conference.
A workshop topic may build on the content of a Conference presentation, or cover other issues of relevance to the creation, supply and consumption of academic research. A workshop could be used to gather scoping or qualitative responses as part of an academic research project or be part of a standards consultation.
Workshops tend to work well when they attempt to discuss and reach resolution on a clearly-defined question or problem. The workshops are not breakout presentations, but highly interactive discussions. Some of our most successful workshops have been created and run by a two-person team comprising a subject expert and a facilitator. The subject expert will frame the question to be worked on, and provide expert knowledge during the workshop. The facilitator will summarise the topic, lead discussions, encourage broad participation and ensure that the outcomes are documented. The Conference has a particular focus on ensuring high-quality workshop facilitation.
All contributors who are invited to participate in the programme will generally be offered complimentary admission to the Conference, although we can only offer a maximum of two complimentary places per workshop. Any other costs for attendance will be the responsibility of the participant, although we are occasionally able to offer some support toward travel or accommodation.
Proposal Creation and Evaluation
To make a proposal for participation, please first explore the Conference website, and review recordings of past sessions at our YouTube channel. Then the potential contributor should download the proposal form, complete it carefully and email it to us.
We would be grateful if proposers would provide thoughtful and complete information in their proposal, within the specified word limits, as our Advisory Board has a challenging task of interpreting and evaluating numerous proposals to determine the suitability of the topics and contributors for our delegates.
Titles, sub-titles, abstracts and biographies should conform to the standards set out, to increase the probability that they can be included in our published programme with minimal editing.
The Advisory Board has complete discretion regarding which proposals are accepted for the Conference programme and the Board’s decision is final. The Conference accepts no responsibility for any costs incurred in the preparation of proposals, or for any consequences of acceptance or rejection.
Proposers may be invited to modify their proposals to meet the needs of the Conference programme. Proposers may withdraw their proposals up to the point of acceptance, or when invited to make modifications.
Proposers agree that, if accepted, their proposal may form part of the Conference programme and that any presentation and biographical content may be included in Conference materials, including potential distribution of slides, scripts, transcripts or abstracts, and any video, audio or photographic recording.