I’m sure you’ve heard the adage “publish or perish.” In order to get tenure—or, as the abysmal job market
begets hyper-professionalization, to be considered for a job at all—a
scholar must have a certain amount of articles appear in “peer-reviewed”
academic journals. These journals—Obscure Subfield Quarterly, One-Word Pretentious Greek Thing, etc.—usually have a circulation of about 300. Their subscriptions cost hundreds—if not thousands—of dollars per year. Thus, they remain all but inaccessible
to someone without research-university affiliation. Thus those articles
upon which careers depend are usually read by exactly three people.