Publish Or Perish Must Perish
Scholarly journals are not where the interesting action is says one person, and I’d have to agree.
In the new Internet age, groups of people that want something done find each other and do it over the Internet. This is historically opposed to the nature of research progress prior to this. Previously, long-term research would, perhaps unexpectedly, yield results that medium term research would eventually benefit from that would facilitate short term research which helped development which facilitated technology development and then technology adoption.
Now, however, instead of a few smart people spending many years/decades on a problem, a large number of ordinary people can spend a few days/weeks on a problem. The nature of the solution is different but it works.
If academia fails to realize that it must consider these kind of solutions as equally factual/valid as those it would generate, then it will likely fall into a state of considered irrelevance. The increasing tendency to focus on shorter-term development (due to corporate funding opportunities) instead of more longer-term research is already the beginnings of the internal collapse.
The fact that journals are not where the action is suggests that really all journals are now at best just the minutes of a meeting where ideas are discussed (granted, written better and with more detail). The Third Culture (readable online here) marks the beginnings of this when it comes to conveying paradigms about reality. OpenSource marks the beginnings when it comes to technology.. Together, academia as we know it will result in inceasing publication of less than usefull articles for the sole purpose of satisfying the credetialism that publish or perish brings about. To this end, the emphasis on publish or perish must end. This is not to say that things should not be published - journals are good for posterity. But this is to say that those second-rate journals that exist only because those poor researchers who can’t come up with new ideas and so created a journal with poor standards just so that they can get published - yeah, those “researchers” - should not have the kind of pressure that they have on them. By decreasing the pressure for people like that to publish, we can decrease the noise-to-signal ratio in academic publications and actually improve the ability of people to use academic journals for research.
Academia will (perhaps in a few decades, maybe sooner, if I’d need to guess) radically have the way it does things changed quite a lot.