Friday, May 20, 2016

Academic Publishing: Toward a New Model

The Chronicle of Higher Education
Michael Satlow
May 18, 2016

The web, we all thought, was going to transform academic publishing. At the very least, it would make research far more accessible, lowering the cost and expanding the reach of publications. At most, it would fundamentally alter the nature of research itself, making it far more collaborative. In either case, though, academic publishing as we knew it was doomed.

Now, a decade later, as the web has fundamentally transformed so many areas of our lives, academic publishing is one area upon which its impact has been only modest at best. There are, it is true, a few open-access journals and many academics maintain blogs, but contrary to expectations, journal costs have soared and our writings remain perhaps less accessible, locked behind paywalls while libraries forgo buying print versions. While it is not difficult to understand why this has happened, a solution to it has been elusive.