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The fate of academic publishing and academia in a semantic environment

Tom P. Abeles (Editor − On the Horizon, Sagacity Inc., Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA)

On the Horizon

ISSN: 1074-8121

Article publication date: 23 September 2014




The purpose of this article is to present a viewpoint on the future of academic publishing. It is important for a traditional peer-reviewed academic journal that is focused on the future, particularly of post-secondary education, to be sensitive to the waters in which it swims and to sense how the climate is changing within the journal area and education as a whole.


This is a viewpoint on the future of academic publishing.


The rapid development of the Internet and the semantic Web is showing that: The traditional double-blind peer review process is changing to a variety of processes from both pre- and post-review to open reviews; open access is firmly established and growing; there is a shift in promotion/tenure towards more emphasis on teaching; the semantic Web is introducing changes in the impact value of journals in research and education, including the function of the institutions themselves.

Social implications

Islands of concentrated knowledge locked in Ivory Towers are now readily accessible, broadly changing how individuals gain and improve competencies and use of increasing, evolving knowledge bases.


This article discusses the following: There is a growing alternative to the hegemony of the traditional publishers of journals even with the moderate response to open access. Basic knowledge as offered in institutions is becoming a commodity, the cost of which is asymptotically approaching zero; “Big Data” and the semantic engines on the Internet are amplifying the human capabilities of accessing, parsing and rapidly evaluating an increasing knowledge base, impacting research and education.



P. Abeles, T. (2014), "The fate of academic publishing and academia in a semantic environment", On the Horizon, Vol. 22 No. 4, pp. 221-228.



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