Scholarly publishing was established out of a need to disseminate the discoveries made by the gentlemen (as it was in those days) in the various scientific societies. Naturally, as Science became a much more important field of study than other disciplines, there was a lot of opportunity for scholarly publishing. Companies that focussed solely on scholarly publishing rather than trade publishing could amass a large share of the market as well as a lot of money.
For our fifth session of LAPIS, scholarly publishing was discussed from its origins in the 17th century to the present. The hot topic being discussed alongside scholarly publishing is ‘open access’. This is the concept that research should be made available to the public without restrictions, financial or otherwise. Of course, this is a model that could seriously cut into the profits made by companies that focus on publishing journals. However, this could be a good thing for academic researchers and university students.
With the technology available in the 21st century, free availability of information is the norm. Publishing research and other material openly may just be another facet of information that millennials expect on the Web.