Many people have noted that the role of academic journals has become primarily a means of peer review, now that there are websites like the arXiv to handle distribution. However, there is also a movement to relieve journals of even this role. The Chronicle of Higher Education is running a story about a web site called Faculty 1000, which is trying to do just that for the biological sciences. They don’t have a math section yet, and it is clear that the site is still in its experimental stage, but this is definitely something to keep an eye on.
The Chronicle article is subscription locked, but if you are on campus or have a library proxy, you should be able to read it here. The first half of the article is a bio. of the web site’s founder, Vitek Tracz, who has already made a splash in the publishing industry by creating a number of successful electronic journals at a time when everyone thought they were just a fad. You may want to skip to the second half, which gives an assessment of where Faculty 1000 is now, and its prospects for the future.