Since the first volume of LIBER Quarterly (LQ) was published in 1991,1 our journal underwent from time to time necessary changes: from paper to digital, from membership journal to Open Access, an enlarged editorial board, a strengthened peer review process and, more recently, the move towards publication of open research data in LQ’s Harvard Dataverse. Although some continuity is an important quality of any product, it should not preclude positive change. After 30 years, LIBER’s Executive Board has requested a reflection about the future direction of our journal.
As an academic journal, LQ is well established and respected in the field. While reporting on important activities relevant to the European research library community, it must retain a scholarly character and this requires a difficult balancing act between descriptive and analytical content. A majority of our authors belong to the supportive staff of universities or research institutes, and they are not generally required to publish papers – indeed, it might even be considered as a distraction from their ‘real’ duties. Nevertheless, in the same way as scientific progress is realised through a broad communication of new findings, also the improvement of the services of our research libraries is based on a collaborative approach and active sharing of well researched studies or demonstrable best practice from all our specialists. Current global power shifts, the post-truth world and COVID19 form an increasingly volatile context for research libraries and have called attention to the importance of certain library trends that we must debate and explore – including the move towards fundamental digital transformation, the need for innovative approaches, and a strong focus on sustainability and ethics in our practice.
Communication and collaboration is the core idea behind the existence of LIBER. A special Task Force has been appointed by the LIBER Executive Board which will guide the Editorial Board towards the developments and improvements needed to better fulfil this important task in a changing world.
This means that you may see some changes in the near future. The Editorial Board has been extended, and new members may be added. After 8 dedicated and formative years, Raf Dekeyser is retiring as managing editor and we wish to record our deep gratitude to him for his magnificent contribution. He has been succeeded by Trudy Turner under whose leadership, and guided by the board and the community, the journal will continue to develop and evolve in the coming years. Building on its distinguished history, strong reputation and growing readership, LQ is well placed to re-position itself once more as part of a response to profound changes in a post-COVID world.