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The launch of the Accounting Research Center (ARC) is a milestone in the 40 year history of the EAA. Today’s academic knowledge creation and diffusion has changed to a highly networked process where digital interaction becomes increasingly important. Young scholars are used to live both in a real (tangible) and digital world, as reflected in their use of online social platforms, banking, shopping etc. In addition to the annual meeting, talent workshop and the doctoral events (PhD forum and colloquium), the ARC expands the EAA services to the accounting research community by providing a 24/7 digital research platform with resources, blogs, discussion fora, events calendar and a PhD review service. We are convinced that the ARC will stimulate the research productivity, expand the research community, enhance the exchange of ideas and improve high quality team collaboration. For example, discussions at the EAA meeting or PhD forum can be continued at the ARC (e.g., Slide Deck PhD Forum EAA Maastricht 2016), aspects of research projects or publications can be highlighted, blogs draw the attention to issues related to the academic community (PhD education, e.g. The Doctorate (PhD) In Accountancy In Europe: 3.3 ), and practical research tools can be shared (such as Introductory Guide to Using Stata in Empirical Financial Accounting Research and Getting started with the Jupyter Notebook ). In addition, ARC contributors receive credit from fellow academics by being mentioned or by receiving likes.
The initial ideas about the ARC were developed in 2014 by Beatriz Garcia Osma, Thorsten Sellhorn, Hanna Silvola and myself and were presented to the EAA Management Committee in the Fall of 2014. At the 2015 EAA annual meeting in Glasgow in depth interviews were conducted to understand the demand for a digital research platform. The ARC architecture and technical design were developed in 2016 and 2017. The EAA Maastricht annual meeting in May 2016 brought together a team of more than 15 inspired volunteers who would contribute to the ARC. The events section was the first element and was launched in September 2016. A team of event editors under the leadership of Tami Dinh have created the world’s most comprehensive list of accounting research related workshops, conferences and other events. Ties de Kok and Christoph J. Sextroh took a lead in the development of the other ARC aspects (forum, resources and blogs), which are launched at the EAA annual meeting in Valencia. The ARC is becoming the main pillar of the digital transformation of the EAA community.