Who should speak for academics over the future of publishing? | THE Opinion

“What I find intriguing is not so much that commercial publishers have learned how to involve academics in peer review, but rather that the learned societies appear to have relinquished the intellectual leadership that [David] Martin assumed was theirs.

With so many journals now being published by so many different societies, university presses and commercial firms, disciplinary leadership is more diffuse than it was 60 years ago and no longer obviously lies with learned societies. Based on ownership, the big four commercial publishers have a clear claim to leadership in the business of academic publishing. But these firms have no grounds on which to claim leadership in the provision of academic prestige.

Given current debates about how the future of academic publishing will be shaped by technology and open access, this matters hugely – and not simply because of the cost of access to research….”