With academics doing much of the work and the Internet reducing distribution costs, you might expect the cost of academic publishing to fall as the Internet makes communication more efficient. Instead, the opposite has happened. Subscription rates for top academic journals have skyrocketed in recent decades – with one study reporting per journal subscription costs rose 215 percent between 1986 and 2003, despite the consumer price index only increasing 68 percent in that same time period.
At some point academic research will be free and public by default. Some day.