Over a decade ago, researchers, clinicians and information providers worldwide were enthusiastically embracing online access to information as a revolution in STM publishing. Indeed, Web access to STM literature was hailed as a revolution on the order of Gutenberg's invention of the printing press.
Today we’re in the midst of a fascinating new phase of what clearly is the ongoing evolution of dissemination of scholarly content. We need just one word to sum up this new phase: mobile.
The main point I’d like to make, in my welcome to this issue on “mobile access,” is that mobile is here and it’s here to stay. Apart from that sweeping generalization, I have the same questions about mobility that we all have.
Addressing diverse aspects of mobility are this issue’s authors, who include:
- Doyle Friskney on how mobility is challenging academic libraries
- Jay Katzen on the impact of mobile technology in the research workflow
- Mike Takats on putting clinical medical content into the pockets of physicians
- Wan Wee Pin, Liau Yi Chin and Chua Lay Lian on making the library truly accessible anytime, anywhere
- Lisa Carlucci Thomas and Joe Murphy on strategies to help academic libraries meet their patrons’ demand for mobile access
- Chad Carpenter and Scott Plumlee on how libraries can get started on the road to going mobile.
Reading this issue, I thought about how hard it is to predict the future of STM information access. Our technology and our zeal to improve our lives through technology have raced ahead during the past decade, since MD Consult’s launch in 1997 and ScienceDirect’s launch in 1999.
Where will the next decade take us, as mobile devices become more pervasive and powerful? How will mobility of content change the way we learn, conduct research, treat patients and provide information access?We can’t know for sure.We can simply continue to experiment, and collaborate with our customers to meet their changing needs. And, through publications such as this, built bymany kind contributors, we’ll continue to share the results with each other.
Randy Charles, Managing Director, Global Clinical Reference Group
Elsevier Health Sciences, Philadelphia, PA, USA