It used to be so straightforward.
A team of researchers working together in the laboratory would submit the results of their research to a journal.
A journal editor would then remove the authors' names and affiliations from the paper and send it to their peers for review.
Depending on the comments received, the editor would accept the paper for publication or decline it.
Copyright rested with the journal publisher, and researchers seeking knowledge of the results would have to subscribe to the journal.
No longer. The Internet - and pressure from funding agencies, who are questioning why commercial publishers are making money from government-funded research by restricting access to it - is making access to scientific results a reality.
The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has just issued a report describing the far-reaching consequences of this.
The report, by John Houghton of Victoria University in Australia and Graham Vickery of the OECD, makes heavy reading for publishers who have, so far, made handsome profits.
澳大利亚维多利亚大学的 John Houghton 和经合组织的 Graham Vickery联合完成这一报告，内容使目前为止收入丰厚的出版商们感到汗颜。
But it goes further than that.
It signals a change in what has, until now, been a key element of scientific endeavor.
The value of knowledge and the return on the public investment in research depends, in part, upon wide distribution and ready access.
It is big business. In America, the core scientific publishing market is estimated at between $7 billion and $11 billion.
The International Association of Scientific, Technical and Medical Publishers says that there are more than 2, 000 publishers worldwide specializing in these subjects.
They publish more than 1. 2 million articles each year in some 16, 000 journals.
他们每年在 16000 种刊物上发表 120万篇以上文章。
This is now changing. According to the OECD report, some 75% of scholarly journals are now online.
这个数字现在有所变化。根据 OECD 报告，目前有 75%的专业期刊在互联网上有在线阅读。
Entirely new business models are emerging; three main ones were identified by the report's authors.
There is the so-called big deal, where institutional subscribers pay for access to a collection of online journal titles through site-licensing agreements.
There is open-access publishing, typically supported by asking the author (or his employer) to pay for the paper to be published.
Finally, there are open-access archives, where organizations such as universities or international laboratories support institutional repositories.
Other models exist that are hybrids of these three, such as delayed open-access, where journals allow only subscribers to read a paper for the first six months, before making it freely available to everyone who wishes to see it.
All this could change the traditional form of the peer-review process, at least for the publication of papers.