Open for business – report from the 2017 MmIT AGM

On the 9th January, MmIT held their 2017 Annual General Meeting. As well as the formalities of reporting back on 2016, setting objectives for the year ahead and appointing our (new) officers, we also ensured that those who attended enjoyed some very interesting talks and presentations. The theme of the AGM was ‘Open’ and we anticipate that this theme will run throughout the year and certainly into our Autumn annual conference, which this year is being held at the University of Sheffield on Thursday September 14th (date for the diary)

At the AGM, we were fortunate enough to be able to start the year with very informative presentations from three excellent and high profile speakers:

First to take the stage was Rosie Jones, Director of Library Services at the Open University. Rosie talked about the values and ethos of the Open University, and that the institution seeks to be ‘open’ in all that it does. The mission statement of the Open University is in fact ‘Open to people, places, methods and ideas’. The Library is an integral part in achieving the mission and Rosie illustrated how the library does this through: ensuring discoverability of open content; supporting open access as well as the Open Research Online publishing platform; and generally ensuring that high quality open content and learning is available to OU staff and students.

Our second speaker was Professor Stephen Pinfield from the University of Sheffield who gave an excellent overview of the current themes around Open Access publishing. This included a reflection on the current UK policy position including the rising adoption of OA in mainstream scholarly communications, the increasing influence of mandates from research bodies, the growing market complexity and publishing models and a discussion about developing institutional policies. As part of the presentations Stephen provided some great examples of importance of disciplinary differences, issues around article processing charges and the clearest explanation yet of the different models of green and gold open access models. Stephen’s very interesting and entertaining talk finished with a brief discussion about the possible future for OA and scholarly communication.

The final presentation was from Luke Burton of Newcastle Libraries whose presentation was entitled ‘Engaging citizens with data that belongs to them’. In this talk Luke spoke about how at Newcastle they are involved in publishing their library data and materials under an open licence, and argued that if library and information services released their information, it would allow libraries to evidence their combined impact as well as providing a huge data set for use by researchers, policy-makers, campaigners and fellow citizens. This was another fascinating talk and more detail of this exciting innovation can be found on the Cilip Website.

The AGM presentations got MmIT off to a great start for 2017, and the presentations can be found on our MmIT Slideshare account

You can also read the Blog post from Andy Tattersall, who was appointed as the new chair of MmIT at the AGM, in which he sets out his agenda for the group over the coming year.
The events don’t stop here, as MmIT embark upon delivering a programme of events throughout 2017, most of which will be free to MmIT members. The next one of these takes place in Newcastle on march 20th and is about the ‘The digital individual’. Don’t miss out.


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