Author : Dorien Daling
Twenty-first-century discourse on science has been marked by narratives of crisis. Science is said to be experiencing crises of public trust, of peer review and publishing, of reproducibility and replicability, and of recognition and reward.
The dominant response has been to “repair” the scientific literature and the system of scientific publishing through open science. This paper places the current predicament of scholarly communication in historical perspective by exploring the evolution of the scientific journal in the second half of the twentieth century.
I focus on a new genre of scientific journal invented by Dutch commercial publishers shortly after World War II, and on its effects on the nature of the scientific life. I show that profit-oriented publishers and discipline-building scientists worked together to make postwar science more open, while also arguing that formats of scientific publication have their own agency.