Steve Shaviro has writing an interesting blog post regarding publishing rights for academic authors. In the end of the post he makes an interesting point:
In particular, it’s pathetic that academics in the “humanities” don’t have the sort of network for distributing their research online in the way that scientists and certain groups of social scientists do. Putting up pdfs on my own website will have to suffice for now.
This brings me back to another post I wrote regarding the insignificant use of the Internet in disseminating academic research/writing on the web (read here). From Shaviro's position there could also be the advantage of authors having more control over their work, rather than the publishers. This could allow the author to reproduce their work in other forms of the media (e.g. blogs), giving access to more people, without worrying if copyright infringements are occurring. It is not as if the quality of the papers submitted would fall in quality. A group of established academics could even set up their own blog that would accept articles, through email, for a particular subject/discipline. Once the articles are peered reviewed then the articles could be uploaded as pdf files for readers to download. The advantages are the blog is free to set up and the access to students/academics/non-academic readers is free.