Academic Publishing: Elsevier’s ‘Research Futures 2.0’

From Publishing Perspectives:

In its second round of research-into-research, Elsevier has returned to the field of its initial inquiry in 2019, when a study sequence was begun in an attempt to look at how research might look and fare in a decade.

With input from more than 1,000 researchers in an internationally structured study, the company in 2020 (1,173 respondents) and 2021 (1,066 respondents) continued the work, releasing nine days ago, on April 20, a new set of insights targeting pressures on publishing, funding, and women in research, with an eye to opportunities developing in funding sources, technology, and collaboration.

. . . .

  • In the United States, 40 percent of researchers predict that a longer-term impact of COVID-19 will be a greater dependency on technology, such as artificial intelligence, when doing research–that compares to 47 percent of researchers internationally
  • Internationally, it’s less widely thought (than other predictions) that a longer-term consequence of the pandemic will be more higher-quality research being produced and shared (24 percent) or that it will lead to more students going to university in the next two to five years (17 percent)
  • However, researchers in the States are even less optimistic than the international average, with only 17 percent predicting more quality research, and only 12 percent predicting more university students.

. . . .

For women, a key area of our conversation with Kolman, unique challenges persist, in the purview of the new study.

“Women reported having less time to do research during lockdowns,” the company reports, “which could slow or hamper their future career prospects. Sixty-two percent reported they were finding it difficult to find a good work-life balance during the pandemic, compared to just 50 percent of male researchers—a trend that could have significant negative long-term effects on the careers of women in research.”

Ironically, women in research were also seen embracing technology “faster than their male counterparts: 53 percent of women scientists [said they] think the use of technology in research will accelerate over the next two to five years versus 46 percent for men.”

And women are deemed in this study to be more likely to have shared their research with the public than men, 60 percent women vs. 55 percent men saying they’ve shared their work publicly.

In the chart below, you see study response analysis indicating that more women and younger researchers said they’d seen project stoppages during the pandemic years.

Link to the rest at Publishing Perspectives