Sophie Alexander Attend London Info International for the low down on key issues & trends
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By Sophie Alexander


Find out what the London Info International (LII) offers conference and exhibition visitors in December - from planning for uncertainty to new search technologies and copyright challenges.


London Info International is a conference and exhibition that brings together those from the scholarly, research and professional information industries to improve outcomes in research, education and business.

This year sees a diverse range of world-leading speakers who will discuss some of the hottest topics affecting the information industry, including uncertainty, Brexit, AI, cyber security, "fake news", as well as the shift to open access, open science etc.

It runs on Tuesday 5th and Wednesday 6th December at the Business Design Centre in London, with a pre-conference day on Monday 4th.

Alongside the main conference there'll be a free exhibition comprising leading publishers as well as tools, technology and service providers to the global information community.

To tell us more about this year's event and why information professionals should go, Sophie Alexander spoke to Clive Snell, co-founder and director of London Info International.


Jinfo: Tell us why information managers should attend LII

Clive Snell: The role of the information professional is rapidly changing, along with the roles of publisher and researcher.

The supply side for the information profession is a completely movable landscape and to simply keep abreast of what's going on, we're staging an event which provides the opportunity to come and assess that landscape, network together, learn from each other and see what might happen next.

It also gives people the opportunity to meet other information professionals from around the world. We're passionate about being "international" and around 28 countries have registered so far. It gives people the chance to reflect on their experience and learn a few things which can be put to practical use in their work. That's why we would like information professionals to attend.


Jinfo: Who should attend LII?

Clive Snell: Our focus is on scholarly, research and professional information.

It's primarily aimed at information professionals across the board including information managers, library directors and librarians, info scientists and researchers from both corporate and academic fields.

On the supply side there'll be publishers, content providers, and people involved in tools and technology development and usage.

So we have a very broad view, and the aim is to bring as many parts of this community together in one place to learn from each other. Although most view their work challenges as unique, our experience is that a well-organised knowledge transfer event can highlight commonality in these challenges and a learning process results.


Jinfo: What makes it different from other industry events?

Clive Snell: There are an awful lot of other industry events but I guess the fundamental difference is that we're not tied to any membership bodies and we're very international. There are many events that are there to serve members and that's great and we've actually got good partnerships with a number of them, but we're not driven by that.

We're driven by our desire to bring the information community in its broadest context together. Through this desire, we want to be as inclusive as possible and get as many people attending as we can.


Jinfo: Could you pick out some of the conference themes that you think will particularly appeal to the Jinfo audience?

Clive Snell: Planning for uncertainty is key at the moment. There is a lot of uncertainty in the world at the moment with Brexit, Trump and fake news and they're leading to different environments in which to make decisions, to invest and to plan for the future. There's a whole piece around ownership and rights. We're talking about the value of information and information rights under stress, we've got a number of pieces around copyright which are critically important.

The open agenda is a fundamental and ongoing disruption, and the direction that that will take is of considerable relevance to how information services engage with the people they're serving. At the same time patterns of user behaviour are changing, adding a further layer of complexity.

Search is always an important issue for information scientists. We're living in an age of mistrust - how do you ensure searches that are trustworthy?

We've also got a new generation of technology. There is continual pressure from start-ups, new services, technologies and platforms.

 All of these subject areas are covered in depth in the main conference and through a range of other free activities on the exhibition floor.


Jinfo: Are there any speakers that attendees should make a special note to hear?

Clive Snell: Well I'm going to say all of them of course!

We've got some fantastic keynotes which are worth pointing out.

Ziyad Marar, the head of global publishing for Sage Publishing; Alfred Rolington, who has a very interesting background, was once the CEO of Jane's Defence, now CEO of Cyber Security Intelligence Ltd. He's got the information piece but also the information security piece.

We have Nicola Jones, head of publishing for grand challenges, from Springer, who will be addressing grand societal challenges.

We are just finalising Danny Kingsley - she is head of scholarly communication at Cambridge University and will be doing a keynote.

We've also got a session called "Whose research is it, anyway?" that touches on the role of the publisher and copyright. This will cover themes that are fundamentally important to information scientists and management. David Worlock will be moderating that.

We've also got a really interesting lady called Wilma van Wezenbeek, who's director of TU Delft Library. She's also involved with open science and does a lot of work with the EU.

We've got professor Rosalind Smyth, Institute of Child Health director of Great Ormond Street Hospital, along with Hannah Hope from the Wellcome Trust. So we've got funding bodies as well as the research side and the librarians.

A very rich collection of high-value speakers. It is genuinely very difficult to pick out just a few as we have so many quality speakers.


Jinfo: What do you see as key trends affecting information managers and researchers in the corporate sector?

Clive Snell: Change is the new constant and we see continual disruption with open science, open access, new impact measures, pirate services etc. These things gather pace all the time and are changing the landscape.

Tools and technologies are coming in that are creating single feeds which people are interested in at the information management level. Where do the researchers and publishers fit in with all of that? It's almost existential for some of the largest corporations that have been acting in this space for years, sometimes hundreds of years, and I think those are key trends that will affect the way this landscape develops.


Jinfo: How can people book their place at LII?

Clive Snell: They could give us a call but the easiest way is to go to our website and book your place.

There are a variety of options. You can sign up as a full conference delegate. We have a pre-conference event that we're doing with Research Information which is called "Challenges in the scholarly publishing cycle" that features researchers, publishers and the librarian. That's on Monday and there's a package that allows you to buy all three days. Or you can simply come and visit the exhibition and enjoy some of the open conference pieces and presentations that are freely available. All of which can be booked online.


About Clive Snell

Clive SnellClive Snell is Co-founder and Director of London Info International. Clive is an entrepreneur and chief executive with over 20 years' experience in media organisations. While a director at VNU Business Publications he ran some of the most successful B2B IT publications. As managing director of Learned Information (Europe) Ltd he ran the Online Information conference and exhibition.

Clive then set up Bizmedia - a multi channel specialist B2B media company, ultimately executing a successful sale to Closer Still Media at the end of 2014.

Clive's experience includes corporate business development, start-ups, licensing, international and consulting experience. He has a deep understanding of B2B cross media product development coupled with extensive knowledge of the Information, IT and learning marketplaces.

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