The Chronicle has an interesting piece here–Apparently a study conducted by the Ciber group at University College, London. The humanities and social sciences appear to be in the vanguard. Peer review is questioned and the article raises the implicit question of what journals have to offer.
As a journal editor, I’d say quite a lot. There is enormous value-added in quality control (peer review). The curation of articles with their data provides an organized way to evaluate scientific theories as they come into “fashion”.
That said, the new tools of the Net, are no doubt facilitating the informal, collaborative process of science. And I’d add to that science training.
A professor can reach out to a student over Facebook about an assignment in a way that’s fairly difficult to ignore.