A prestigious academic journal has just experienced the closest thing to outright mutiny: All six editors and the entire editorial board of the well-respected linguistics journal Lingua resigned en masse last week. And the reason says a lot about the ongoing disruption taking place in the formerly sleepy world of academic publishing. In many ways, academic publishers are going through the same kind of wrenching change that traditional media companies like newspaper and magazine publishers are. Subscription-based business models that worked for decades are coming apart at the seams, thanks in part to the web’s ability to distribute content much more cheaply and broadly. And academia itself is becoming much more open as well.
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