26-27 OCTOBER, 2022 | CAIRO


The Forum for Open Research in MENA (F.O.R.M.) is being organised by the Knowledge E Foundation and Gulf Conferences to support and promote Open Science across the Middle East and North Africa. Endorsed and supported by UNESCO, our Advisory Partner, this event is designed to foster awareness and understanding of Open Science and its benefits, and facilitate the exchange of ideas and actionable insights. Bringing together leading international experts and key regional stakeholders, along with open-source and open-resource solutions and technology providers, our goal is to provide a forum for MENA librarians, researchers, government policy makers and higher-education institutions to exchange ideas and start new cross-regional collaborations developing Open Research policies and infrastructure.

The movement towards Open Science is vitally important to ensuring the long-term sustainability and inclusivity of our education systems and scholarly communities. However, Open Science is also a complex and multi-faceted concept, and it can be difficult to know how and where to start. The problem is compounded by the negative publicity surrounding predatory publishing practices and the mistrust of Open Access which this has engendered in the MENA region (and across the world), together with issues surrounding funding allocation and the disparity in subject-field approaches.

F.O.R.M. seeks to address these issues by encouraging discussion and debate amongst leading regional and global stakeholders, facilitating the development of structural frameworks and practical policies. We hope to encourage participants to consider all the issues surrounding equitable Open Scholarship and Open Science practices, by bringing together industry leaders and global experts, and providing a mixture of outstanding talks, strategy sessions, networking opportunities and workshops.

We invite scientists, scholars, and professionals to discuss new findings, research and case studies on any aspect of Open Science. Proposals for 20-minute papers, pre-made panels, and roundtable sessions are all welcome.

Preference will be given to proposals addressing the following themes, relating to the main issues impacting the growth of Open Science in the MENA region (as identified by UNESCO):

  • The development and implementation of Open Science infrastructure
  • The design and implementation of Open Science policies and strategies
  • Capacity building for Open Science stakeholders, enabling them to develop and implement relevant infrastructures, policies and strategies
  • Open Science financing and incentives to ensure sustainable growth and healthy education ecosystems
  • The construction and monitoring of assessment frameworks for Open Science in MENA


Topics can also include but are not restricted to:

  • Why is Open Science important?
  • Sustainability and Open Science 
  • Broader accessibility and inclusivity implications
  • How university leaderships can support the creation of equitable Open Science
  • How libraries can support Open Access
  • How can strategic visions be transformed into practical policies and actions?
  • Best practices for Open Access publishing and how to make Open Access publishing models work for libraries and universities
  • Practical guidance (e.g. advisory documentation on trusted open education tools, services, repositories and indexes)
  • Using researcher KPIs to encourage Open Science
  • How to support the accessibility and global visibility of Arabic language research
  • Disparities in subject field approaches to and engagement with Open Scholarship
  • Predatory publishing
  • Misunderstanding and mistrust of Open Access and Open Science
  • MENA case studies for libraries, universities, and government policy-makers
  • Open data
  • Open citation, bibliometrics, impact
  • Repositories and discovery channels (inc. pre-print)
  • Open peer review and transparent publishing possibilities and practicalities
  • Licensing
  • Open Science, authoring, and publishing tools
  • Open resource software and open resource service providers
  • Technical solutions, business models and non-commercial alternatives to support Open Science


We particularly welcome proposals from within MENA, however proposals from all areas of the globe will be considered. Please share this call widely within your networks. Please send abstracts of no more than 300 words, together with a short biography of the speaker(s) (including institutional affiliation or employer, and relevant expertise in this field). Submission deadline 31st August 2022. Send proposals to the Conference Organisers (addressed to Dr Emily Choynowski) by email ( or via the website submission form. The Advisory Committee will review the proposal abstracts, and presenters will be notified no later than September 14th, 2022. Travel and visa advice will be provided shortly afterwards.


ICON book (1)


ICON committee (1)


ICON agenda (1)


Please direct any enquiries regarding the Forum to We welcome expressions of interest in sponsorship, as our sponsors enable us to make the event accessible and affordable for as many delegates as possible.