The final date for submissions  – 1 November 2013 – to the Widening Participation Conference 2014 (30 April – 1 May 2014) is fast approaching!

The conference programme is beginning to take shape now, with confirmed keynote speakers in the form of Gill Crozier, Kelly Coate, Stephanie Marshall, John Storan and Belinda Tynan: an excellent line up!

We are also adding further detail about the conference themes, to spark your enthusiasm: see http://www.open.ac.uk/about/inclusion-and-curriculum/research-and-scholarship-community-practice/conferences/wp-conference-2014-widening-participation–0 for further details.

We have a dedicated page up on the website –  http://www.open.ac.uk/about/inclusion-and-curriculum/research-and-scholarship-community-practice/wp-conference-2014-widening-participation-through-curr-0 – which outlines how to make your submissions and what is required. At our last conference we asked for a 1,000 word overview paper to accompany the submission, which gave the opportunity for the research to be described in more depth. This worked really well, with a very high quality of submissions, so we are repeating this for our 2014 conference.

After the conference we will be working with presenters to edit these 1,000 word papers as mini-articles for publication, and encouraging and supporting further development of full articles wherever possible.

As in previous years, we shall be working closely with Editors of the journal Widening Participation and Lifelong Learning to publish the mini-articles, which will offer your work to a global audience: Readership of the on-line version of our last conference special issue is in the thousands.

We are also going to the buck recent trend for conferences to squeeze as many papers into the programme as possible. Its effect can sometimes be to truncate presentations to the extent that researchers are unable to convey the important messages of their research in the time they are given. Which is not fair, and is does not make for a good conference experience for presenters or delegates. So we will be giving more airtime to each of the papers – 30 minutes rather than the more usual 15 or 20 – and plenty of time for discussion, both after the presentations and virtually following the conference.

So if you’ve not already done so:

If you have any queries regarding your submission or registration, please get in contact: john.rose-adams@open.ac.uk.

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