This is a delightful long read and I’d be covering it in context over the series of small snippets. I encourage you to read the link; however, I’d be paraphrasing the context of the article anyway.
There had been a lot of noise around the “open access” journals; notably Public Library of Science, but it can be difficult to fight entrenched monopolies. Most “societies” have effectively “outsourced” to a handful pf publishers that makes it difficult to access content “freely”. Is the open access content having any impact? I don’t have easy answers because those are abstract- perceived influence depends on heavy marketing/ brand recall and other quantifiable metrics used in advertising- far removed from the cause of science that they purport.
Open-access advocates in academia have been pushing for decades to make more of their work publicly available and paywall-free, and in recent years they’ve been joined by the government agencies and large foundations that fund much scientific research. Covid-19 has accelerated this shift. I’m pretty sure there’s no going back.
But the transition from a mostly closed system of scientific communication to a mostly open one will not be straightforward.
Popular accounts often depict the move to open access as a simple toppling of a few for-profit publishers. As I have learned since writing such an account five years ago, the infrastructure around publishing, evaluating and repurposing scientific information has grown up over centuries and is not just going away.Viewpoint: Covid-19 Shows That Scientific Journals Need to Open Up
The write up starts with the history and explores the genesis (as well as the need) to disseminate the “scientific studies”. The publishing model, honed over centuries, won’t easily go away since the academics and publishing are intertwined in a very complicated manner.