Back in 2010, Nicholas Knouf developed a visualization of journals belonging to Elsevier, John Wiley & Sons, Taylor & Francis, and Springer among others. His findings were published in Vol. 1, No. 1 of the open access Journal of Journal Performance Studies, a publication created expressly for this task that never saw a second issue.
In total, Knouf analyzed 16,000 journals, rendering transparent what many scholars knew for a long time. The publishing of academic journals shows similar signs of concentration like other industries handling time-sensitive goods. The irony is of course that knowledge used to mature in far slower intervals, in which the quarterly appearance of a journal was merely a way to test new ideas and present preliminary findings. Before the book was out. Now, articles online “ahead of print” are already cited by colleagues before their author ever hold a printed copy in their hands. It’s online first (and soon only).