Call for Papers - 2024 Annual Forum

Transforming Knowledge Into Action

21st-23rd October | Doha, Qatar

Bringing together leading international experts and key regional stakeholders, the Annual Forum supports the exchange of ideas and strategies relating to the Arab world’s transition towards more accessible, sustainable and inclusive research and education models.

The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have become a source of inspiration across the world, and a driving force to combat inequality and injustice across every sector of society. A key element of this has been the growing prominence of sustainable, equitable practices surrounding science and education. In particular, UNESCO’s Open Science Recommendations have triggered a profound shift in the way we view and practice research, with a growing emphasis on the importance of ensuring responsible and sustainable production, dissemination and use of scientific knowledge for the benefit of everyone.

Global entities such as UNESCO are working with governments and other organisations to spearhead national and international projects focusing on addressing social injustices, climate change, and a host of other issues. However, in order for this vision to be achieved and Open Science to become the global cultural norm, academia needs to embrace the concept and adopt more ‘open’ policies and practices. And that is the focus of the 2023 Annual Forum for Open Research

It is the annual conference for the Forum for Open Research in MENA (FORM), a non-profit membership organisation supporting the advancement of Open Science policies and practices in research institutions and research communities throughout the Arab world, facilitating the exchange of actionable insights and the development of practical policies. Our Host Partner for this year’s Annual Forum is Khalifa University. 

The 2023 Annual Forum will offer a series of carefully tailored presentations and panels addressing the key themes and topics raised during the highly successful 2022 Annual Forum (held in Cairo with the support of UNESCO and the Egyptian Knowledge Bank).

We invite librarians, researchers, policy makers, higher-education institutions, and solutions providers to submit presentation proposals relating to the development and implementation of open science policies and practises, and the building of open science communities, in higher education institutions and libraries.

We are looking for 20 minute presentations, and 10 minute lightning-round presentations. Suggestions for round table discussions and whole panels can also be proposed.

  • Case studies from the Arab world (reflections on the challenges and obstacles, successes and solutions faced by individual insitutions)
  • The challenges of localisation and translation – Open Science in Arabic (language and infrastructure challenges)
  • Contextualisation of FAIR principles in non-WIRED countries
  • How can governments and funders support the transition to open in the higher education system?
  • Open Science, Open Data, Open Education and Open Access – developing policies and determining best practises to support sustainability
  • Human, physical, digital and political barriers to Open Science
  • The rise of community-owned and community-led Open Science infrastructures and publications
  • Improving global visibility of Arabic research, researchers, and research institutions via Open Science best practises
  • Building and Sustaining Communities of Practices (CoP) in Arabic speaking countries
  • Building reproducible, open and interoperable infrastructure in the Global South
  • Research assessment protocols and incentives for Open Science
  • Digital and human capacity building
  • The commercialisation of Open Science
  • Promoting Open innovation in the Arab World – when innovation meets entrepreneurship in Open Science
  • Open Science projects and initiatives from across the world
  • Research and open source software and solutions for Open Science – benefits and challenges
  • Preprints, transparent peer review, and open access publishing
  • Open access workflows in scholarly communications
  • Sustainable development and higher education
  • The rise of Open Science predators and how to identify, avoid, and even counteract them

Presentations can be delivered in English or Arabic. There will be a limited number of online-only presentation slots, however preference will be given to speakers who can attend in-person.

Please send proposals (in English or Arabic) of no more than 300 words to the Organisers by the 30th of June 2023. The proposal should include the title of your presentation and a brief outline of the topic, together with your name, professional affiliation, and email address. In addition, please include a short professional biography (of no more than 100 words).

Clearly state whether your proposal is for a 20 minute presentation or a 10 minute lightning round presentation and if you are submitting a proposal for a round table discussion or organised panel, please include information on the topic and all proposed speakers involved. Please also clearly state if you will be unable to attend in person and can only be considered for an online-presentation slot.

Send proposals to Dr Emily Choynowski before the 30th of June at

Proposals will be evaluated by the Scientific Committee and notifications of acceptance sent out by the 31st of July 2023.

Full presentations will not be required in advance of the event. Selected presentations will be considered for publication after the Annual Forum, at which point we will request complete papers be submitted for review.

Speaker Registration

Speakers attending the event in-person will be required to register. The registration fee is $200 ($130 early bird) and includes attendance at the 2-day conference, all coffee breaks and lunches, the drinks reception(s) and Gala Dinner, the opportunity to attend our valuable workshops, and a visit to the Body Museum at Khalifa University. Attendees and speakers will also receive a Certificate of Attendance.


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 the role, impact, and implementation of an aspect of Open Science in the higher education sector. 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


Please send short summaries of your proposed papers (maximum 300 words), together with a short biography of the speaker(s) (including institutional affiliation or employer, and relevant expertise in this field). We do not require the full papers at this time, and will not need the full paper until the event. Submission deadline for short summaries – 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. We accept submissions in English and Arabic, however where proposals are in Arabic please provide a translation, and please be aware that all we will require Arabic-language presentations to be accompanied English language versions of the papers (provided in advance so delegates can access them online and follow the presentations).


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.