John McCarthy, Stanford University
1996 April 2
Publication is gradually moving to the World Wide Web, and this process will continue until print publication is rather rare. The process will be faster for scientific publication, because the relative economic advantages are greater and the technology is more available and familiar to the scientific community. It looks like the process will not even have to for a generation of die-hards to be replaced.
While present technology is good enough to get the process started, new technology will make the transition even more attractive.
There are already many on-line scientific journals, and many print journals are already have on-line editions.
The main resistance is coming from conventional publishing organizations that face drastic down-sizing, but since they haven't even tried to outlaw competition (and won't succeed if they try), the down-sizing is inevitable. Library organizations may also face down-sizing.
Scientific publication will take many new forms.