The Internet has transformed the way in which knowledge is disseminated, discoveries are shared and traditional business model of academic journal is operated in the electronic environment. At the same time, Internet as a medium also construct a completely new model of knowledge learning and distribution, which is the Open Access, funded by author-pay, institutional sponsorship, advertising, etc. As a result, the full text of content is free to all the readers around the world. However, negative impacts are brought to both readers and authors simultaneously. For example, authors have the responsibility to pay the publication fee and academic journals are incentivized by the OA to publish more journals, which will affect the overall quality and thus, the whole publication infrastructure of the OA model is not sustainable in the long run. Though not denying these impediments, this essay concentrates on the positive impacts of the Internet on journal publishing from the viewpoint of academic journals. Drawing the work of various scholars and taking Wiley Open Access as a case study, this essay identifies the impacts of the Internet on academic journal publishing by examining dynamic changes in practices and behaviors of readers and authors. I seek not to cover all the aspects, but to paying particular attention to scholarly communication.
Impact of the Internet on journal publishing
Academic journals have remained outstandingly unchanged in terms of their fundamental nature that to facilitate scholars and researchers to communicate their ideas. They are still based on the principle of peer review and formed of academic papers in issues published periodically. However, the Internet has changed the way that knowledge is disseminated and ushered in a new era of academic journal publishing. The Internet has offered a digital platform for the rising philosophy of openness. At the early stages of electronic publishing, web-based academic journals were only presented exactly the same as their print counterparts. With the improvement of digital technology, academic journal in many respects has been prevalent, achieving remarkable widespread acceptance by both readers and authors. Most researchers and scholars now can have immediate access to the journals they need for their academic research without waiting for the printed issues to be delivered. As Björk et al.(2010) has argued, “ten years ago scholars and scientists did almost all the reading from paper journal issues, obtained as personal copies, circulating inside their organisations, or by retrieving the issues from library archives. Today the predominant mode is to download a digital copy and either read it directly off the screen or as a printout”.
Scholarly communication in an electronic environment
The Internet has fundamentally reshaped the mode of scholarly communication in terms of the method of sharing and disseminating knowledge and as a result, both readers and authors...