There are a multitude of sub-issues to consider when engaging with the topic of changes in scholarly communication. The following links and statements are provided to give some idea of the scope of these issues.
Trends in scholarly journal publishing
Over the past three decades, large numbers of scholarly publications have moved from being owned by scholars, i.e. by scholarly and professional societies, to being owned by private publishers and corporations. We have moved from a public goods model to one of scholarship as commodity.
Ownership vs. Access
The past three decades have also seen much consolidation within the publishing industry, creating virtual monopolies on the dissemination of scholarship within certain disciplines. At this point, 40 major publishers are controlled by six entities.
As we embrace the digital environment, for it's promise of convenience, timeliness, and ease of use - scholars should be aware that in many cases, libraries now pay annual 'access' fees to content that in a print environment, we would own. When subscriptions end, often content that has been 'leased' in the past is no longer available to the community that we serve. This is a large area of concern and is being addressed through more pro-active licensing agreements - but it is a problem that is not completely solved.
Impact of Journal Costs on Library Collections
The impact of changes in scholarly journal publishing has had a profound impact on the ability of University libraries to support research and scholarhship
Open Access represents both an idea, that the results of publicly funded research be freely available, and a movement, characterized by various initiatives to make published scholarly literature freely available on the web.
Tenure and Promotion
The landscape of scholarly communication has changed. Faculty evaluation is largely based on recognition of scholarship. Does the culture of faculty evaluation need to adapt to this changing landscape?
Modern Language Association Report on Evaluating Scholarship for Tenure and Promotion
U.C. Berkeley Center for the Study of Higher Education Report:
Peer Review in Academic Promotion and Publishing: It's Meaning, Locus, and Future
University Press Angle
AAUP Statement on Open Access
University Press Publishing in the United States