I just wrapped up a talk at the Gaidar Forum in Moscow. If there’s ever been a doubt that SSRN is willing to go to great lengths for the sake of early stage research, the freezing cold of Russian winter should clear that up.
Despite the cold, it was a spectacular experience to speak alongside other experts and talk about the issues facing all of us with the Forum organizers. The Forum prides itself on being “an important source of information on major trends in social-and-economic and political development” among other things. At the forefront of the event was an acknowledgement, not that the scientific world is changing, but that it has changed. A stark reminder that the future is now.
Instead we discussed why it changed and how to work with those changes. As Sergey Matveev put it while addressing big data, “knowledge creates more knowledge. So, scientific communication has become a prerequisite for developing an existing science.”
Well said, Sergey. Since we have dedicated the better part of two and a half decades to delivering Tomorrow’s Research Today, we agree that knowledge creates knowledge. Sharing research leads to better research, and the earlier we share it, the better for all of us.
What the scientific community realizes now is that sharing with a broader set of people is having a greater impact than sharing only within a discipline. There will always be another way to share. The way forward is to embrace the change from a textbook to an ebook to a hologram of the researcher reading her book to you (it could happen). Society is rapidly gaining value from research and the way we consume and share that knowledge will continually change.
One of the things that was reinforced during the event was my belief that no matter who funds the research it needs to provide value to the users. With this in mind, we’ve always practiced broad sharing by allowing authors to post research papers across multiple networks. We’ve become even more conscious of this importance in recent years. If not for inter-disciplinary sharing, we may never know how much useful information is locked away in other disciplines.
When it comes to posting your research my recommended rule of thumb is this. If you want to see an impact, share your paper; if you want to see a big impact, share it broadly.