Staying Up to Date on the Current Research Trends

By Mikaela Felty on Mar 31, 2022
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As we settle into the new year, it is important to stay up to date on the everchanging research trends and emerging concepts rocking the academic world. As an academic publisher, IGI Global is committed to publishing the newest state-of-the-art research impacting the research field. Many emerging research opportunities are coming into focus within our eleven subject areas, and we are excited to nurture these new opportunities to develop and add to the growing body of research.
Every day, IGI Global receives numerous proposals for new publications from experts all over the world. We pride ourselves on remaining up to date with the latest trends and wanted to share a few emerging areas of interest and exciting new developments that we are looking to support.
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Research Areas of Interest
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Business & Management
Business After the COVID-19 pandemic shook the very ground of business operations, from technological advances in open work to the need for employee retention practices, it is clear that advances in business practices can bring further success to the industry.
Emerging from the ashes of the pandemic’s destruction is financial technology, or FinTech. While FinTech itself is an emerging field of interest, subfields are already growing within FinTech. Decentralized Finance (DeFi) is the “shift from traditional centralized financial systems to peer-to-peer finance enabled by blockchain-based technology” (Popescu, 2022). DeFi eliminates the control banks and other financial institutions have over currency and other financial products. This technology enables secure and equitable access to anyone who has internet access. Still in its early access, we would embrace the opportunity to support further research and deployment of DeFi.
As we are in the midst of the “great resignation” and as the world comes out of the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies are encountering issues in hiring and employee retention. From this blooms a focus on the study of Employee Empowerment. Employee empowerment encourages the autonomy of the worker and promotes employee decision-making and encouragement (Singh, 2021). A crucial topic for managers and business executives, further studies into the promotion of self-determination, competence, and meaning in employees can provide more answers to the difficulty that is employee retention.
Computer Science & Information Technology
Computer The field of computer science and information technology is constantly updating year by year. Exciting new advancements are being made, some of which may have been difficult to imagine mere decades ago. One of these advancements has been made in the form of Computer-Generated Imagery (CGI) and its uses in Deepfake content and programs such as StyleGAN and DeepDream. Emerging CGI technologies implementing machine learning and computer vision practices and artificial intelligence have many implications for society today and new practical uses are still being developed.
Another field of interest in computer science and information technology is DNA Digital Data Storage, which is currently in its experimental stage. DNA Digital Data Storage encodes and decodes binary data to and from synthesized strands of DNA. This research has enormous potential at its current stage due to DNA’s high storage density.
Education
Education The COVID-19 pandemic had greatly changed the way in which educational institutions are teaching their students. Especially within K-12 schooling, many students had to learn from home and, oftentimes, needed increased parental involvement in their learning. Parent Involvement in Education has been a popular topic in the education field, researching not only the effects that parents have on their children’s education, but also methodologies involving how to best support education through parental involvement.
Another popular research topic emerging from the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic surrounds educational technologies. Educational technologies feature a wide range of tools and presentations as well as methodology including using video games to gamify education. A newer study in educational technologies is the use of Educational Virtual Reality. This new form of educational technology can be implemented in both Higher Education and K-12 classrooms for a variety of purposes. Whether it be used for the purpose of training medical students studying surgical procedures or providing young children with immersive educational experiences, educational virtual reality features itself as a groundbreaking educational technology.
Environmental, Agricultural, & Physical Sciences
Environment Research within the sphere of environmental, agricultural, and physical sciences is more important now than ever. Due to pollution and issues related to climate change, environmental research in sustainability practices is a hot topic. With this, comes research into renewable energy. One of the most emerging topics in emerging energy is Space-Based Solar Power (SBSP). Still in its early stages, SBSP focuses on the collection of solar power from outer space through the use of Solar Power Satellites (SPS). Researchers of SBSP are exploring its potential of solving both climate change and fossil fuel depletion.
Being a practice since the conception of human civilization, agricultural projects are still being met with the latest technological updates. Agricultural Robotics are currently being researched and developed, and some of these technologies have even moved onto trial projects. Agricultural Robotics feature a wide array of potential uses, however at its current stages, it is applied mostly to harvesting. Research into agricultural robotics has the potential to push the field of agriculture toward more efficient and sustainable practices.
Government & Law
Government Following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, almost all facets of society had to be transferred to online processes. The technological advances that have been made were very convenient for this transition, and many believe that the transition from many in-person services to online and digital methods will lead to a permanent change and further advancement.
While these digital services and platforms were useful during the COVID-19 pandemic and even proved to be beneficial to a myriad of citizens such as people suffering from chronic pain or people with mobility disabilities, the increased use of digital and online services for socialization, work, and even medical uses has increased the vulnerability of every-day citizens to corporations using their information for purposes they have not consented to. Data Privacy Legislation issues were prominent even before the COVID-19 pandemic, but the pandemic has sparked further focus and 2022 is expected to be a pivotal year for data privacy.
Another focus in the research sparked from the COVID-19 pandemic is Disaster Relief and Management. This field of research spans from managing natural disasters at a state-level to investigating the best methodology to provide aid in times of economic or health crises. Further research into the field of disaster relief and management could potentially help governments around the world better prepare for international disasters.
Library & Information Science
Library In recent years of conflict and misinformation, libraries— public and academic alike— have provided themselves as hubs of knowledge and community. Public Programs offered in libraries help in promoting community, engaging citizenship, and furthering the education of all diverse communities.
Further, a popular topic within the realm of library and information science has been the Open Science Movement, which provides people across the world with information that was previously inaccessible behind paywalls. Current research is investigating the open science movement and its implementation into the academic community as well as the effects that it has on academic populations around the world.
Media & Communications
Media In 2019, cell phone companies began deploying the fifth generation or broadband cellular networks (5G). Following this deployment, people worldwide benefited from greater bandwidth, higher download speeds, and improved internet service quality. Currently, the sixth generation (6G) is currently under development. These 6G networks are expected to offer more than improvements in internet services, and are thought to eventually support applications beyond mobile use scenarios such as virtual/augmented reality, ubiquitous instant communications, pervasive intelligence, and the Internet of Things (Dohler, 2017). Research on 6G applications in fields such as holographic telepresence, unmanned aerial vehicles, extended reality, smart grid 2.0, industry 5.0, and space and deep-sea tourism (Alwis, 2021) are also currently being sought.
There is no debate over the COVID-19 pandemic’s influence on collaboration. Out of necessity, technologies surrounding mobile collaboration surged. Recent research into mobile collaboration has produced the sophistication of conferencing and telepresence systems as well as collaboration tools and transmission technologies. Mobile collaboration’s unique ability to allow multiple users in multiple locations to collaborate with one another has multidisciplinary uses that are being explored daily.
Medical, Healthcare, & Life Sciences
Medical Medical research is constantly evolving and adapting to the most advanced solutions to medical problems. Neural Implants have been studied as a way to assist patients suffering from negative effects of a stroke or other head injuries. These devices are connected directly to the brain’s surface or attached to the brain’s cortex. This has most recently been applied through animal testing, and requires further research to help treat a range of brain pathologies such as epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease.
Another important field we are looking to support research in is virotherapy, which focuses on the conversion of viruses into therapeutic agents by reprogramming them to treat diseases. Virotherapy, while still in human trials, could branch into uses in anti-cancer oncolytic viruses, viral vectors for gene therapy, and viral immunotherapy.
Science & Engineering
Science Engineering The call for sustainable practices has also impacted engineering. Scholars in materials science have been developing bioplastics, plastics produced from renewable biomass sources. The advantage to many of these bioplastics is their biodegradability, which if implemented commercially, has the potential to cut down on much of the plastic-related pollution in our ecosystem. Currently, bioplastics have been introduced into the market, but are not yet commercially significant.
Another exciting development in the engineering field is the conception of the powered exoskeleton, a wearable machine which uses a combination of technologies to allow for increased strength and endurance. These wearable robotics have a multitude of applications from military use to assisting with the mobility of those suffering from paralysis.
Security & Forensics
Security The deep and dark web provides increased features of privacy and anonymity for its usage. Because of this, however, many illegal activities take place such as illegal pornography, the hosting of terrorist organizations, and “darknet markets” mediating the transactions of illegal goods. New tools and methodologies are being developed to better police the dark web and to put a stop to these harmful activities.
Advancements in security have undergone a technological evolution to the benefit of authorities and security practices as well. The implementation of multimodal contactless biometric face/iris systems has been deployed at various airports and federal security checkpoints. Research is being done not only into the technology behind such systems, but also the ethics and implications behind their implementation.
Social Sciences & Humanities
Social With the surge in the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) movement being brought to the academic community’s focus, it is essential to investigate the issues being discussed to create a free and equitable society for all. A popular topic in research as of late has been in the field of gender studies. Gender studies represents more than feminist or women’s studies; it also discusses the societal perspectives and influences on femininity and masculinity as a whole as well as the gender identities held by transgender and gender-nonconforming individuals. This topic is integral for understanding how to best promote and empower men, women, and nonbinary individuals toward a more inclusive and understanding society.
Another important sociological field is generational studies. As medical advancements continue to increase longevity, causing more generations to interact in such spaces as schools and workplaces, more research is needed to ensure ideal collaborative environments are formed, managerial strategies are applied, and society is prepared as younger generations become active members of their communities.

New technologies and fields of study are being developed every year. IGI Global strives to support as much of this emerging research as possible and continues to look forward to working with academicians, researchers, and professionals studying in these and other innovative topics. Many more research topics are being developed than those listed in this article. If you would like to contribute to the growing body of research on one of these exciting upcoming topics, please submit an online book proposal form, or contact us at acquisition@igi-global.com for more information. Furthermore, if you are looking for research on a specific topic, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Works Cited
Alwis, C. D. et al., "Survey on 6G Frontiers: Trends, Applications, Requirements, Technologies and Future Research," in IEEE Open Journal of the Communications Society, vol. 2, pp. 836-886, 2021, doi: 10.1109/OJCOMS.2021.3071496.
Dohler, M. et al., "Internet of skills, where robotics meets AI, 5G and the Tactile Internet," 2017 European Conference on Networks and Communications (EuCNC), 2017, pp. 1-5, doi: 10.1109/EuCNC.2017.7980645.
Popescu, A. D. (2022). Understanding FinTech and Decentralized Finance (DeFi) for Financial Inclusion. In M. Anshari, M. Almunawar, & M. Masri (Eds.), FinTech Development for Financial Inclusiveness (pp. 1-13). IGI Global. https://doi.org/10.4018/978-1-7998-8447-7.ch001
Singh, V. (2021). Role of Employee Empowerment and Organizational Trust: Empirical Evidence From the Indian IT Industry. In A. Pathak, & S. Rana (Eds.), Transforming Human Resource Functions With Automation (pp. 145-156). IGI Global. https://doi.org/10.4018/978-1-7998-4180-7.ch008
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