Fionn Murtagh’s Blog

Themes: information economy, intellectual property, research

Archive for October 2011

Momentous Change in Research Process

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The last few years have seen very great changes in research process. Some of these changes are accelerating by the day. One facet is at issue here, powered by economics and demographics.

Research results in all manner of outputs. For three and a half centuries, a very prominent form of research output has been a delimited or demarcated textual description that is laid out in a relatively standardized way. That’s the research article.

The big changes of interest are the “meteoric” increase in authorship by our Chinese colleagues, and the enormous increase in research journals coming from India and also from Western publishers.

A useful overview of the data is presented in Elsevier’s Editors’ Update. See in particular “The Rise of Asia: A Research Profile”.

China, it is noted there, has 1.4 million researchers and compound growth of 24% per year over the past ten years in number of papers published. Hardly a week goes by, I find, that there is not an invitation to be an author or an editor or, often enough, to be editor-in-chief, of a new journal.

As always great change goes hand in hand with significant new opportunity.


Written by Fionn Murtagh

2011/10/02 at 17:03