What a great article. I am uncertain if I completely agree with it yet; this is not the first time such a conversation has come up, however. Here is a brief excerpt from the piece:
This form of “publication,” the norm and gold standard of scholarship, has ensured that fewer people read and interact with the ideas expressed in the articles. The word “publication” therefore can only be used ironically in this context, for in fact it suggests rather keeping private than making public!
There is a further irony: One might ask who paid for this writing? Who employed the scholars who composed these articles? Who paid the scholars who did most of the editorial work? In both cases the answer is: “Not the publisher.” Often the answer is taxpayers and/or church members, usually assisted by a contribution (known as fees) from students. In short, and for want of a more specific general term, the public. This public, who have borne most of the costs involved in the production of the articles may only read them if they pay again!…
…The “Gold Standard” of twentieth-century scholarship is in conflict with the aims and goals of scholarship in the twenty-first. It is time we changed the rules of the academic game!
This comes back to accreditation and the debate over the old elitism of the Academe. The debate is, clearly, still hot and pressing.