“Imagine an industry where a few companies make billions of dollars by exerting strict control over valuable information — while paying the people who produce that information nothing at all.
"That’s the state of academic, scientific publishing today. And it’s about to be blown wide open by much more open, Internet-based publishers.”
“Taken together, these online publishers represent a significant threat to traditional journal publishers like Elsevier because they reach more people and cost nothing. The only remaining value that traditional publishers offer is the imprimatur they provide: The articles they publish have been peer-reviewed and are thus presumably more reliable.
“But even that imprimatur is under attack. The 'reproducibility crisis' in academic publishing refers to the fact that a huge proportion of published research, particularly in medical fields, is based on results that cannot be reproduced by other researchers. In one study, a tiny 6 percent of scientific findings in cancer research were reproducible.”
As Tweney alludes, the situation is not much different than that of the newspaper and magazine industries a few years back. For the most part, those businesses blundered along in a very profitable mode, ignoring the Internet until it was too late to do anything other than scramble for survival. It is possible that the academic journal business can find a new model. But given organizational inertia and the unwillingness to cannibalize an existing and still profitable business, it is unlikely.