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 on-hand database management tools and traditional data processing applications. Big data computing refers to capturing, managing, analyzing, and understanding the data at volumes and rates that push the frontiers of current technologies. The challenge of big data computing and research is to provide the hardware architectures and related software systems and techniques, which are capable of transforming ultra-large data, from various domains, into valuable knowledge.
What compelled you to start the Journal of Big Data in 2014? How did you envision its uniqueness among other computer science journals in the field?
B. Furht: In 2012, a group of prominent researchers from U.S. universities including UC Santa Barbara, UC Berkeley, MIT, Cornell University, University of Michigan, Columbia University, Stanford University as well as researchers from leading high-tech companies such as Microsoft, Google, ABM, and Yahoo, created a white paper on “Challenges and opportunities with big data.” One of the conclusions has been 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 leading companies in big data and data analytics. We were confident that this new field of research will become the driving force in this decade, so in 2013 we proposed to Springer to create the new Journal of Big Data; we believe this is the first journal in this field. First papers were published in 2014.
Professor Furht, you also edit the subscription journal Multimedia Tools and Applications. How has being the Editor-in-Chief of an up-and-coming open access journal proven to be different from leading a more established, traditional publication? Has anything surprised you?
B. Furht: Yes, I founded the journal Multimedia Tools and Applications (MTAP) in 1993 at a time when we did not have video and high-quality images in digital form on our computers or TVs. In the first year of the MTAP journal, we published 4 issues with a total of 16 papers. Today, after 23 years there are more than 2,000 submitted papers per year, and we publish 24 issues per year with 560 papers.
We foresee the same, or even a faster growth, will happen with the Journal of Big Data.
The recent Scopus acceptance recognizes the impact the journal has had in just a few years. As articles are added to the database in the coming months, the research will reach a wider scholarly readership. How do you feel about this?
B. Furht and T. Khoshgoftaar: We believe that Scopus will help us to further promote the Journal of Big Data, and increase the number of readers as well as the number of submissions.
How do you see the subject of big data benefiting particularly from the open access model?
B. Furht and T. Khoshgoftaar: The open access model provides many benefits to both authors and readers including high visibility, a fast publication schedule, and more flexibility including large number of color illustrations and creation of relevant links. Specifically the subject of big data is well suited for the open access model, so authors have the opportunity to publish large datasets and provide various ways to visualize big data.
How do you see the field of big data research changing, and what is this journal’s role in the evolution?
B. Furht and T. Khoshgoftaar: Big data research is still in infancy; however, in the past few years, we have witnessed a dramatic growth of research and publications in this area. There are still many challenges as well as many opportunities with big data. Big data applications are already revolutionizing the industry and demand for data scientists is growing. Our journal’s role is to remain a leading provider of high-quality papers in big data technologies, systems, and applications. The journal is intended for a wide variety of people involved with big data including academicians, designers, developers, educators, engineers, practitioners, and graduate students. The journal can also be beneficial for business managers, entrepreneurs, and investors.