The story that broke over the weekend concerning the activities of Elsevier and Merck wherein the authority of the peer-review process has once again been called into question will not prove to be a TKO for either player. However, it does serve to foreground the pressing need for scholarly publishers to step forward and restate with authority the unique values and benefits they bring to the publication process as they see it.
It is difficult to discern which party played the role of Pacquiao and who served as the hapless Hatton in this particular engagement, but what can be said is that both parties can expect to endure a degree of discomfiture in the near future.
Scholarly publishing has a strong jaw, but if it is to avoid the crushing left cross of the rise of the scholarly web 2.0 communities, it needs to be developing quicker footwork as it ducks and weaves, be prepared to roll with the web 2.0 punches, and be less predictable in its responses.
Hat tip to CBC.CA for the photo.