Taiwan may be a small country, but its potential to support and grow a conducive environment for the research community is irrefutable. Wiley Taiwan’s first-ever research conference was held this past April, “Taiwan as a Hub of Research and Learning: Present & Future”. The theme reverberated among local and international thought leaders in research communications. Held in partnership with the Science & Technology Policy Research and Information Center (STPI), the conference was also a part of Wiley Taiwan’s 25th anniversary celebrations.
Mr. Liang-gee Chen, Minister of Science and Technology, Taiwan joined esteemed speakers from Taiwan’s academic and research institutions to discuss the way forward. Wiley’s speakers included Peter Wiley, Chairman Emeritus of the Board, Ben Townsend, VP Global Library Sales and Deborah Wyatt, VP, Research, Asia-Pacific Society Publishing. Experts in the field shared their thoughts on the country’s current research landscape and the key factors that will influence a more robust output. Below are a few of the key challenges and opportunities discussed.
1. The challenge of recruiting talent
Andrew Lin, Associate Professor from the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering in Chang Gung University, shared his view on the current situation, “Right now, we are facing some challenges in recruiting quality research personnel. In particular, many universities have professors who have big projects, but they are looking for post-starters or research fellows… the professors need a team to do it.”
Besides having the government’s support in research funding, Andrew believes that another way to increase the future standards of research personnel is to build a good (PhD) training program for post-graduates.
2. Paving the way for more original research
Jean Lu from Academia Sinica mentioned the number of great research projects that have emerged in recent years, and highlighted the importance of originality in sustaining the standards of Taiwan’s research work. “It is imperative for the leaders of research departments to encourage and support original research, so that young researchers will be spurred to go beyond their comfort zones...This will result in better research outcomes.”
To Jean, the right mindset and quality education of the younger generation are what influence a more robust research landscape for the nation.
3. Growing the rate of international co-authorship
Another promising outlook for Taiwan lies in its high rate of co-authorship. Deborah Wyatt from Wiley shared that Taiwan saw a higher rate of researchers collaborating with overseas authors (at 36%, in 2017) as compared to their neighbors in Asia, such as Japan, South Korea and China. One of the trends supporting this surge in collaboration is the growth of digital technology.
Ben Townsend from Wiley added that this fantastic trend is something that libraries should leverage “…Libraries should recognize themselves as part of an international network. Librarians have a great opportunity to reconnect with their researchers and help them expand even further with their international networks." He also emphasized the opportunity for Wiley to work in partnership with librarians to help authors through the publishing process.
Peter Wiley commended Taiwan’s targeted approach to international collaboration which focuses resources on ”…the highest quality research in select disciplines, so you are not trying to compete in a large variety of areas which you do not have adequate resources for. But, they (Taiwan) do have the resources to do that in the context of an international collaboration.”
Wiley has been consistent in the quality of papers it publishes around the globe. Peter credits this to Wiley’s long-standing experience in research publishing and our relationship with quality researchers. “As the largest society publisher, we have the ability to not only support the individual societies we work with, but all the issues that science faces across the disciplines. We bring together people from different societies across the disciplines to work on them.”
What are the research trends that you see in your region? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.