OpenCon 2017 has ended
avatar for Meggie


University of Barcelona(starting September)
Most of us know that gut wrenching feeling you get when you find out that, the full text of the abstract you are reading cannot be accessed or when you really want to carry out a research but unfortunately don’t even know where to start.

I have always been curious and always ask the question ‘Why?’. This is what inspires me to be a researcher. In my opinion, research is a channel to not only coming to terms with the issues and challenges we face but most importantly a means to coming up with effective and efficient solutions.

Now imagine having the opportunity to learn good research skills in order to be able to conduct quality research, coupled with the ability to access a limitless number of literature from all over the world and of different levels without any restrictions….

Fortunately, all this has been made possible, thanks to the Open Access, Open Educational Resources and Open Data initiatives.

The Medical Students Association of Kenya (MSAKE), which is a national member organization of the International Federation of Medical Students Association (IFMSA), introduced me to this concept 2 years ago. MSAKE is a strong supporter and advocate of the Open Access Initiative. Having had the opportunity to attend trainings on Open Access organized by Open Access student ambassadors in Kenya; has been an amazing and eye opening experience.

As mentioned above MSAKE organizes trainings and Open Access awareness campaigns which involves students from all the medical schools in Kenya. Through these trainings students learn about: Open Access, Open Access resources, the importance of Open Access to medical students and researchers and how to do research. These workshops create a platform for medical students to pursue research and be advocates for Open Access.

Having been given the opportunity to attend this meeting, I plan to utilize the skills and knowledge I will have gained work to continue to work with the amazing team of Open Access student trainers to ensure we continue to have Open Access trainings in all medical schools. It is my hope that after the OpenCon, I will apply the advocacy skills acquired and strengthen Open Access advocacy nationally, regionally and where possible internationally.

Research is a basic skill that should be offered to all students especially now, as we are in the era of evidence-based medicine. I am ready to learn the best way to advocate for inclusion of research into the medical school curricula and Open Access.

I look forward to meeting you all as we work towards making the world ‘Open’.

Licensed CC BY 4.0