This paper asks the question ‘Why should we carry out research into Asian open and distance lifelong learning?’ For the purposes of professional advancement? To improve understanding and practice? To assure and improve quality? To inform and influence policy-makers and decision-makers? Or to ensure that open and distance lifelong learning are regarded as scholarly activities in their own right? It is argued that managers and practitioners should engage in such research for all of these reasons. It also argued that such research needs to be far more robust in its investigations, findings and conclusions and that the aim should be to achieve a higher profile for Asian research in the international literature.