Editor’s Cut

M. Eric Johnson and Anne Robinson

Comprehensive, online multimedia portal enriches O.R. and analytics knowledge base across a variety of topics.

Exploring a new topic has never been easier. A few moments with a powerful search engine like Google or Bing can quickly unearth a collection of content that provides both a basic understanding and a path to further exploration. These searches, however, are plagued with the challenge of distinguishing fact from fiction. The trove of information available on the Internet, while plentiful, still requires a filter for credible sources and factual information.

What if you want to get to the next level on a given topic? Particularly for researchers, a well-written review article can help map out the past in the detail needed to really understand the key issues and questions. However, depending on the time stamp of the review, the most recent work is often missing, and for truly innovative topics, few survey articles exist.

Searching journal collections such as ScienceDirect, ProQuest or JSTOR can uncover another layer of recent work – but the results are only as good as the creativity of the searcher. This is particularly true for new or rapidly evolving research areas. In these cases, a more dynamic and timely curation of introductory, research and relevant industry content can be extremely useful. That is exactly the goal of INFORMS’ new series Editor’s Cut.

Leveraging the expertise of our community’s thought leaders, INFORMS Editor’s Cut is a comprehensive online multimedia portal designed to enrich the knowledge base of those interested in leading-edge analytics and operations research applied across a variety of topics. Each collection brings together key analytical insights and innovations from leading academics and practitioners on relevant topics through a multimedia experience. Introductory material and substantial research and industry contributions provide something from beginners who want the big picture to those who are looking for leading-edge research.

Editor’s Cut is organized around topic areas that are new or rapidly evolving – where books or review articles likely haven’t been developed. The bundle of multimedia materials is useful for a broad range of INFORMS members and a wider audience including the press. While effective for accessing the vast wealth of INFORMS content, the volumes go further to include publications, references and media from other sources, such as magazine articles or TED talks.

One goal of Editor’s Cut is to anchor its subject matter area with a timely INFORMS conference theme, providing a connection to ideas and presentations that represent work that may not be in print for months. For example, the inaugural volume, released July 27, is focused on healthcare analytics and was developed as part of the 2015 INFORMS Healthcare Conference held in Nashville. Beyond the journal and magazine articles, videos, TED talks and podcasts, Volume 1 also contains segments recorded at the conference including interviews with industry leaders.

The collection is made available in an open access format for all INFORMS members. As a member service, INFORMS members need not have subscriptions to all of the journals represented in the volume. Additionally, relevant conference attendees who are nonmembers will receive a time-limited token to access the entire volume. The general public will be able to access already openly available information as well as abstracts to academic articles. The goal is to provide a sophisticated yet simple-to-use platform for exploration. In addition to its compelling content and sleek user experience, what makes Editor’s Cut a unique and powerful resource are the INFORMS experts leading and curating the collection.

Over the next months, Editor’s Cut will continue to evolve, incorporating the social media platform INFORMS Connect for complementary dialogues on the various topics. New volumes of Editor’s Cut will explore a range of ideas such as:

  • Sports
  • Climate change/weather
  • Big data
  • Politics/social uprising/elections
  • Humanitarianism
  • Disaster preparedness/epidemics
  • Information security/privacy
  • Food/agriculture/farming
  • Drones (delivery)/autonomous cars

Do you have an expertise you would like to share? Being an Editor’s Cut volume editor is easier than you would expect. With the assistance of the INFORMS staff, the editor will identify a mix of articles and media from academia and industry showcasing analytics and operations research as applied to a relevant topic. This could include famous historical articles as well as modern new publications, key interviews or podcasts with thought leaders, and other references outside of the INFORMS community. Details on specific requirements and an application form can be found here:

Please check out Editor’s Cut ( Feedback is always appreciated. We are hoping this new INFORMS series can help enrich your research, teaching and general knowledge.

M. Eric Johnson is the Ralph Owen Dean of Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management. Anne Robinson, a former president of INFORMS, is executive director, Strategy and Forward Supply Chain, at Verizon Wireless.