Beginning of a journey!

Today I decided to start a new type of posts called “e-Research”, which will cover the issues of doing research on East Asia (or in general) in the digital age. I guess I have had very good fortune to start my career in the right place at the right time. For the first four years in my professional career (2003-2007), I was the reference librarian for the East Asia Library at Yale. On that position, I had worked with probably hundreds of researchers at all levels: senior scholars, junior faculty, graduate students, and undergrads, which is an extremely helpful experience. Currently at Rutgers I am in charge of a medium-sized East Asian Library on my own, which allows me to continue working with East Asianists at all levels. My position at Rutgers also gives me the opportunity to observe and reflect the trend of research and scholarship beyond the Asian studies.

Through my experience as a librarian and as a researcher myself, I couldn’t help noticing the impact of technologies on research, both in terms of substance and style. I have heard more than once how accomplished senior scholars are able to keep producing great works without much adaptation to the new technologies. And I truly admire that. But I am not sure if today’s graduate students or undergraduate students will be able to compete in the research fields without adopting and adapting to technologies. But technology is definitely not the only force at work here. Other factors–transnational flow of information and scholars/students coming to mind, also affects the way research is done today.

Anyway, this series of posts (and the whole FOREASt project) will be a journey of discovery. Honestly I don’t know where it will lead me. But I guess that does not matter. What I will do is to write regularly about my own experiences with research and researchers and my observations of the larger issues. And hopefully something will come out of this process. So let the journey begin!

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