THE Journal of Big Data was recently accepted into Scopus, a large database of peer-reviewed literature. Editors-in-Chief Borko Furht and Taghi Khoshgoftaar reflect on the past, present and exciting future of the computer magazine.
What exactly is big data and why is it important?
B. Furht and T. Khoshgoftaar: Big data is a large and complex collection of data sets, which is difficult to process using handy database management tools and traditional data processing applications. Big data computing refers to the acquisition, management, analysis and understanding of data at volumes and speeds that push the frontiers of today’s technologies. The challenge of big data computing and research is to provide the hardware architectures and related software systems and techniques, capable of transforming ultra-large data, from various domains, into valuable knowledge.
What prompted you to start the Journal of Big Data in 2014? How did you imagine its uniqueness among other IT magazines in the sector?
B. Fear: In 2012, a group of eminent researchers from US universities including UC Santa Barbara, UC Berkeley, MIT, Cornell University, University of Michigan, Columbia University, Stanford University, as well as researchers from major high-tech companies such as Microsoft, Google, ABM , and Yahoo, have created a white paper on « Challenges and opportunities with big data.” One conclusion was that Big Data has the potential to revolutionize both research and education. Both Taghi and I were already involved in several applied research projects in big data applications funded by NSF and LexisNexis, which is one of the leading companies in big data and data analytics. We were confident that this new field of research will become the driving force of this decade, so in 2013 we proposed to Springer to create the new Journal of Big Data; we believe this is the first magazine in this field. The first documents were published in 2014.
Professor Furht, you also maintain the subscription diary Multimedia tools and applications. How has being the editor-in-chief of an emerging open access journal proved to be different from running a more established traditional publication? Did something surprise you?
B. Fear: Yes, I founded the magazine Multimedia tools and applications (MTAP) in 1993 at a time when we did not have high quality digital video and images on our computers or televisions. In the first year of MTAP extension magazine, we published 4 issues with a total of 16 articles. Today, after 23 years, there are more than 2,000 articles submitted a year and we publish 24 issues a year with 560 articles.
We expect the same, or even faster growth, to happen with the Journal of Big Data.
The recent acceptance of Scopus recognizes the impact the magazine has made in just a few years. As articles are added to the database over the next few months, the research will reach a wider academic audience. How do you feel about it?
B. Furht and T. Khoshgoftaar: We believe Scopus will help us further promote the Journal of Big Dataand increase the number of readers and the number of mailings.
How do you see the topic of big data particularly benefiting from the open access model?
B. Furht and T. Khoshgoftaar: The open access model offers many benefits to both authors and readers, including high visibility, a fast publishing schedule, and greater flexibility, including a large number of color illustrations and the creation of relevant links. In particular, the topic of big data is suitable for the open access model, so the authors have the opportunity to publish large datasets and provide various ways to view big data.
How do you see the field of big data research changing and what is the role of this journal in the evolution?
B. Furht and T. Khoshgoftaar: Big data research is still in its infancy; however, in recent years, we have seen an incredible growth of research and publications in this area. There are still many challenges and many opportunities with big data. Big Data applications are already revolutionizing the industry and the demand for data scientists is growing. Our journal’s role is to remain a leading provider of high-quality documents in big data technologies, systems and applications. The magazine is intended for a wide variety of people involved with big data including academics, designers, developers, educators, engineers, professionals and graduate students. The diary can also be useful for business managers, entrepreneurs and investors.