When Tim Berners-Lee created the Web in 1991, it was with the aim of better facilitating scientific communication and the dissemination of scientific research. Put another way, the Web was designed to disrupt scientific publishing. It was not designed to disrupt bookstores, telecommunications, matchmaking services, newspapers, pornography, stock trading, music distribution, or a great many other industries.
And yet it has.
[…] The one thing that one could have reasonably predicted in 1991, however, was that scientific communication—and the publishing industry that supports the dissemination of scientific research—would radically change over the next couple decades.
And yet it has not.
The article offers a detailed assessment of why the web has changed scientific publishing in some small ways without fundamentally disrupting the pre-existing system. You may be tempted to say that it is just because academia is fundamentally a conservative, status-driven institution, but would not the same be true of many other industries that have been reshaped by the internet?
HT to Marginal Revolution.