Predicting and Strategically Planning for the Uncertain Future

This guest post is drafted by an expert team from Wiley. Wiley is one of the world’s leading providers of online resources covering scientific, medical, technical, social and physical sciences, and humanities. It provides solutions and learning resources, educational content and services to research professionals. With this post, Wiley aims to share insights on the contemporary publishing landscape and the future of publishing.

A little spark of imagination is all it takes to bring anything into life! We can’t always predict the future, but we do know two things. First, what it’ll take to get there, and second that we want to walk abreast with the research community on that journey. To assist the research industry in fulfilling this vision, Wiley will continue to listen, experiment, and remain open to new possibilities. We aren’t afraid to try new things. We are keen on adding new features to our platforms and begin new types of partnerships that make publishing research easier for researchers. Indeed, the best way to start any new endeavor is to ask questions, hypothesize, and experiment.

What if the Future of Research Publishing Moves Beyond the Article Format?

Even with all the capabilities of the internet, the gold standard of research is still the article PDF. This object hasn’t changed much since the time of its inception in the 1990s. Could or should that change in the near future? That’s the type of question we need to ask so that we can explore what the possibilities are. Conducting research is dynamic and multidimensional, but publishing it is static. A world where publishing research is about bringing it to life for the reader—now that’s something to get excited about.

How do we do that? We experiment! Wiley tries a lot of different things and analyzes what people think about them. Take this example that we’ve just tried in a chemistry journal, which empowers authors to publish interactive computational graphics along with their research. The reader can log in and manipulate the data to draw their own conclusions and interrogate. This type of activity can change how we engage with the published paper. Moreover, it can bring us one step closer to reflecting the research process’ depth and breadth.

Where do We Find New Partners in the Journey to Share Research With the World?

Exploring how to change the way we publish is exciting! However, we also want to make sure that research is and remains accessible and usable for as many people as possible. That takes the development of new strategies for maximizing the impact of your published work. Recently, we celebrated Open Access Week, and next year we’ll celebrate the tenth anniversary of our Open Access publishing program.

We aren’t done. There’s a long way to go to making access equitable, and to make it more dynamic and future-focused—think open data, methods, and more. But what we’ve learned in the last ten years is we need to continue to find partners who believe in openness and trying new things as much as we do. Governments, universities, private funders, and publishers need to collaborate to make the possibility of openness a reality. Likewise, we must also remember to raise awareness and make sure that every researcher knows exactly why the growing research community needs openness.

How can we make sure our community stays collaborative and diverse?

When we think about the future of research, or the future of publishing, neither is possible without everyone getting involved. In 2020, we’ve seen the impact that collaboration can have, especially in the context of COVID-19 research. Researchers are resilient! They have reached new heights this year by coming together from around the world to share research and solve problems. They’ve also opened doors for marginalized researchers and forgotten audiences.

Creating inclusive communities in the research industry will involve all of us. It isn’t easy to change a system of rewards and incentives in a way that promotes inclusion and supports equity. We got to talking about that in a recent episode of our science communication podcast, ‘This Study Shows’. Additionally, Wiley has put together RISE: Research in Support of Equity, a collection of freely available articles and book chapters. It is our hope that this resource will encourage you to ask questions. Furthermore, it will broaden your understanding with new perspectives, and engage with social equity.

We would love for you to join us in figuring out what the future looks like for the research community. In addition, how it can make your professional life better. Reach out to us on social media with your ideas, read and comment on our content on The Wiley Network, or listen to our podcast and share your feedback. We’re listening, talking, and ready to dive in.

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