Selected Post: Why Hasn’t Scientific Publishing Been Disrupted Yet?
Often I’ve found that the work that is both the most rewarding personally, and that most engages with others, stems from asking questions about current topics which I don’t completely understand: Why should anyone in scholarly publishing care about Twitter? Why do trade publishers talk so much about the “supply chain” whereas that term is totally foreign to STM publishers? Everyone is talking about scientific publishing being disrupted by market forces and various innovators, so why hasn’t that happened?
This last question provoked my most lengthy, most read, and most commented-on Scholarly Kitchen post to-date. The post stemmed from a genuine lack of understanding as to why this industry would remain relatively stable, despite the fact that the Internet and the World Wide Web were both created with the explicit intention of transforming scientific communication. The tsunami wave unleashed by these twin inventions has swept entire industries away and remade the global information landscape practically overnight. And yet the STM and scholarly publishing corner of the world seemed to move with relative ease and an in an orderly fashion to an online orientation. In fact, one post in response wondered if it’s truly disruption when you’ve done it to yourself.
This post explores some reasons why this might be the case. The conversation in the comments section is definitely a worth a read as is Kent Anderson’s related post on the Age of Systems.