The end of gatekeepers?

Been Thompson wrote this on Stratechery this week:

… the end of gatekeepers is inevitable. The Internet provides abundance, not scarcity, and power flows from discovery, not distribution. We can regret the change or relish it, but we cannot halt it: best to get on with making it work for far more people than gatekeepers ever helped – or harrassed.

Most of his post is about current events or Netflix or other things, but his general point is interesting for academic publishing. The rise of Open Access and other models suggests that whatever we think academic publishing will look like in 20 years is probably wrong. 

What are the implications of such changes for how we disseminate knowledge? What will our models be in 20 years? 

Here’s a prediction: Google will dominate. Take that as a starting point and these implications follow:

  • Impact factors will be less important than Google metrics. 
  • If multiple channels affect Google metrics, authors will focus on multiple channels.
  • If publishing on platforms affects those metrics, platforms will become more important. 
  • If “wildcat” channels affect Google metrics, channels will proliferate.

Those are just few ideas. Comments are closed but please feel free to respond on Twitter at @abwhitford.