Before the Internet, the only efficient method for sharing scientific knowledge was paper publications. Submit a paper to a journal. The journal reviews, edits, and prints the best submissions. Researchers then pay for a paper copy of the journal. This model makes sense in a world where stacks of paper must be shipped around the globe.
Now, many years after the invention of the Internet we are still stuck with the old publication model. Sure, it is possible to get a pdf instead of paper. With the exception of delivery method, the entire process remains unchanged. This is not acceptable.
Technology has a history of removing middle men (see: USPS, Cable TV, Music Industry) who are unable or unwilling to adapt. This will be the same case with scientific journals.
Some concerns have been raised that many of the supportors of Research Without Walls are Google and Microsoft employees. This potentially raises conflicts of interest due to the companies’ search engine efforts. These concerns are unfounded. The concept of research without walls is solid in its own right.
I have signed the pledge. The next step is to avoid submitting to closed journals in the first place.