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Oxford Brookes has a commitment to inclusivity in relation to everything we do. Between 2018 and 2020 the Central Research Fund supported development of an initiative in a key area of research practice – the conference.
Academic conferences can play a key role in the development of research careers, particularly for those new to a field. Yet we still encounter barriers to full participation of a range of participants, for instance through insufficient consideration of inclusion in decisions around practical issues such as scheduling, venue, selection of key participants, and accommodation of special support.
The Oxford Brookes Protocol on Inclusive Conferences was drafted by a Working Group drawing on expertise from across Oxford Brookes, including academics specialising in particular issues around inclusion, academics who regularly organise conferences, and professional colleagues responsible for driving the Brookes inclusion agenda in other areas of our work. The Protocol draws on the range of good practice of inclusion already in existence, particularly that in relation to planning and running inclusive conferences. We draw not only on the academic state of the art, but also on the policies of learned societies in relation to their expectations of academic conferences.
The Protocol is a living document. We have sought to draw on insights, and examples of good practice, from academic literature, learned societies, and initiatives aimed to improve inclusion within a particular discipline, or in relation to a particular group. Understanding of the complex issues around inclusion and the academic conference has changed, is changing, and will continue to change. The Protocol will be reviewed annually. If you have suggestions for changes, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. If your university, learned society, or other group, has adopted the Protocol, please let us know at email@example.com.