The greatest irony, though, is this. The world wide web was designed in a scientific laboratory to facilitate access to scientific knowledge. In every other area of life - commerce, social networking, pornography - it has been a smashing success. But in the world of science itself? With the virtues of an open web all around us, we have proceeded to build an endless set of walled gardens, something that looks a lot like Compuserv or Minitel and very little like a world wide web for science.
Having the strong science background that I do with ten years spent as a forecast meteorologist, I can't help but ponder on the article James Boyle has written. How much research wasn't pursued further due to the fact that it never left the pages of the scientific journals and read by the masses? Why does the research community have a difficult time publishing their work on the Web? As long as a proper process for peer review is established for Internet publications, which it can with the proper content/collaboration management system, are scientific journals still a necessity?
I ask these questions because I've seen first hand how challenging it really is for researchers and scientists to openly collaborate on their work. We think of the research community and the education system as very open, but I have witnessed too many times the presence of pride and protection of "product" to know otherwise. I can't help but wonder, what will be the trigger in order for science community to go through the paradigm shift that it so desperately needs?