In a blog whose answer is “yes,” Matt Welsh asks Does the academic process slow innovation?
What’s striking is that Welsh is only realizing this now, after spending years as a graduate student, then getting tenure at Harvard, and finally leaving academia. I had the same experience (minus the part about tenure at Harvard :-) and I’m convinced that those still embedded in the system are living in denial. That’s unfortunate, because those are the only people who can change the system.
There are certainly a few people still in academia who are working for change. In particular I enjoy the posts of Michael Eisen, who rants here about how academics spend $10 billion a year to read their own research.
Professors: this is your fault. You need to insist on change. Your universities are spending billions of dollars each year to line the pockets of academic publishers while you scrounge for grants. You are wasting your time rewriting papers to satisfy know-nothing reviewers when you could simply post your work online and keep moving. Wake up!