Scientific journals as monopolies

The trouble for the scholar is that publication in a journal of record is a professional requirement. It won’t do to simply email a PDF version to all the scientists who have an interest, since directly distributed articles can’t be cited (except as ‘‘personal communication’’) and aren’t likely to be read (since there is no peer review filter). Moreover, a paper must as a practical matter cite all recent and seminal papers from journals of record that impinge on the topics broached by his own paper, and to do so intelligently the author must in fact have access to all the journals in his area, so that effectively each  journal is a monopoly – the fundamental effect of copyrights is to enforce monopolies on information,  after all


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