It hardly needs to be said that 2020 was a difficult year for the world. COVID-19 has infected over 120 million people and killed over 2 million as of March 2021 (Johns Hopkins). At the same time, police violence against people of color continues, even as communities engage in long-overdue reckoning initiatives. Across the globe, researchers, governments, and communities needed quick, open, up-to-date information on testing for, treating, and preventing COVID-19. Our increased dependence on technology during lockdowns provided some with safety and continuity, while others experienced the widening of the digital divide. There is no greater urgency than the work of identifying and addressing issues of inequality and lack of equity and inclusivity.
Although the results remain to be seen, the field of scholarly communications experienced disruption in 2020. The editorials below discuss these recent changes and imagine what could come out of the pandemic. We hope that these reflections invite conversation and action.