Do you remember your last in-person conference? I do. I fondly remember reconnecting with familiar faces and learning alongside people brought together by shared interests. Yet some of the memories aren’t so warm: uncomfortable shoes, the buffet littered with dietary no-nos, some especially cringeworthy circus-themed post-lunch entertainment, and even connectivity problems when I misplaced my adapter!
But I also remember my first online conference, the Creative Commons Global Summit in November, 2020. As a conference volunteer, I remember how we scrambled to figure out what was possible: Recording? Networking? Translation? Dance party? It was a formative and transformative experience. And as transformative as it was for me, it was no doubt even more transformative for people who rarely had access to in-person conferences.
Now, with over a year of online conferences to learn from, it’s clear the innovations of online conferencing have set guideposts for the future of scholarly communication. Over the past nine months, the FORCE 2021 Organizing Committee has worked tirelessly to create a conference that draws on the best of what we’ve all learned about global online events. Under the leadership of Osman Aldirdiri, we’ve crafted an event that aspires to be as welcoming as possible to scholarly innovators and communicators from all disciplines, geographies, communities, and career stages.
We hope you will join us December 7-9 at FORCE2021: Joining Forces to Advance the Future of Research Communications for an event centering exchange and open discussion. We are members of all of the communities that make up FORCE11–scholars, librarians, archivists, publishers, research funders, and more, broadly and inclusively defined. If you care about the future of research communications and the technologies that are enabling new possibilities, learn more about the conference and REGISTER.
-Jennifer Miller for the FORCE2021 Organizing Committee