It is a very exciting time to be a part of the global research community. The community is itself rapidly evolving as the research enterprise becomes more complex than ever before. As librarians and publishers, we must evolve as well. I strongly believe that in doing so we will be able to create unique and powerful new ways to help researchers become more productive and more effective.
There are two trends that are particularly challenging for researchers and the global research community. First is the increasingly interdisciplinary nature of research. The once rigid lines that divided traditional research disciplines have grown indistinct. Researchers are venturing into new realms of scientific exploration that actively force the intersection of traditional disciplines. The result is that every day whole new fields of research are emerging that our community must be ready to support and nurture.
The second trend is the increasingly global nature of research. Research outputs are coming from every corner of the globe, most notably from emerging economies. China, for example, is now the world’s second-largest producer of academic research outputs. Other developing countries, including Brazil, India and Iran, have shown marked increases in research outputs as well. While I am sure that the burgeoning globalization of research will benefit science in myriad ways, it comes with inevitable growing pains. The quantity of research output is not necessarily correlated with quality, and researchers are constantly challenged to find the best, most relevant information from an increasingly diverse range of sources and content.
Although changes often bring new hurdles for our community to overcome, we have every reason to be optimistic. Changes like these present us with exciting opportunities to better serve our community, as long as we are able to think creatively and step outside of traditional paradigms.
This issue of Library Connect offers valuable information about the two trends I’ve introduced here. I encourage you to closely follow these trends, which are redefining the scholarly community as we know it.
YoungSuk “Y.S.” Chi
Vice Chairman and CEO S&T, Elsevier, New York, NY, USA