With this article we introduce a new article category in the journal, as announced in this issue's editorial--Viewpoints & Discussion. Articles under this category are intended to provide authentic and qualified opinions on topics relevant to the journal. These articles and follow-up discussions will pass through an accelerated, mainly editorial, review process. We invite readers to respond to such articles by sharing their personal thoughts and experiences, as well as to initiate new discussions. We hope these contributions will make the journal a site for lively discussions on research practice.
For this first "Viewpoint" we have selected a topic that should be of interest to many readers: What key research competencies will researchers and professionals need to have in the future? To introduce the topic, we look into a recent comparative study on this question that compares the situation in eight research-intensive countries. Reports on the study are available for free download, which can serve as a basis for discussion. In keeping with the idea of "Viewpoints & Discussion," no claim to offering a systematic and scholarly account of the topic is intended; the only aim is to throw a spotlight on a theme of current interest and to suggest a few pertinent conjectures and questions for discussion.