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[ RESEARCH COMMUNITY ] April 17, 2020

"Innovation around R&D is the only way out and up" - iGroup's David Shawah on the importance of early-stage research in COVID-19 times

Early stage research matters all the more in COVID-19 times. During the pandemic we need access to research faster than every before.

We spoke recently with David Shawah of iGroup, a leading provider of scholarly and academic content, technologies, and workflow solutions helping universities, research institutes, government agencies and corporations achieve their goals. iGroup works closely with its customers through a team of over 1,200 embedded across 15 countries and territories. We asked David about iGroup’s views around early-stage research and their recent partnership with Morressier. 

Moressier: How did iGroup become interested in early stage research?

David Shawah: Overall, our goal is to be a leading provider of information and technological products and services in a way that enhances research and education across the globe. Researchers are always looking for information to move science forward. Whether it is staying up to date, looking for innovative ideas or areas for collaboration, or minimizing their research risk, researchers can never have enough information; they do not want to miss anything important. Early-stage research fits in with our goals and our mission to support researchers and the research process.

Morressier: Why did you decide to partner with Morressier?

Shawah: We were interested in making this important information available to researchers as part of our services. Prior to Morressier, there was really no company focusing on both the collection and standardization of early-stage information and blending it with the discovery tools necessary to make it accessible. So once we learned that Morressier was doing exactly this, it was easy to see that their solution could help us fill this gap.

Morressier: What are the goals of the iGroup-Morressier partnership?

Shawah: Through our large global infrastructure, iGroup will be assisting Morressier with the sales and marketing of their suite of products and workflow solutions. We will also be helping connect them with local society publishers sponsoring scholarly events. This includes working with smaller societies to enable them to easily publish their early-stage research, such as conference posters.

Morressier: What are the benefits of broadening the global distribution of early-stage research?

Shawah: Look at the current COVID-19 health crisis and the impact it is having on our scholarly ecosystem. At the end of the day, Research & Innovation will continue to be the underlying forces that will drive countries and their economies forward.

Almost all scientific disciplines will play a part in finding a solution to this latest crisis. Chemistry, life sciences, and medicine for cures and vaccines, public health to create new policies and procedures now and to combat future pandemics, economics to help societies cope with financial issues, computer science and electrical engineering to develop technology and apps to better manage data around the spread, and more. Innovation around R&D is the only way out and up and the best place to be now and after the crisis. This makes access to all research – including early-stage research – vitally important.

Morressier: What other technological trends and developments in scholarly publishing most excite you?

Shawah: Because information and data is growing at exponential rates we feel one of the most exciting areas is around Machine Learning, AI Data Mining and Predictive Analysis. The human mind can only do so many thing, but with the help of technology it will soon be able to dig deeper and project further, including relationships, trends, and anomalies amongst various data sets.

Butterfly on flower with message about digital transformation in scholarly publishing