Who drives innovation in scholarly communication?
Are technological innovations in the area of scholarly communication answers to problems posed by the participants (the users; the scholars; the researchers; the research administrators) in this process? In fact, there is a very clear, and very simple, answer to this question. In case you wonder, it is NO. [...]
So far our researchers often like the innovations and show an interest, at least a little, but they have not endorsed them. They have not taken the lead and have not changed the technology-driven causality into a demand driven one.
Now, many have tried to change this. They want to reach out to scholars, ask them what they want, and then try to steer the developments. But more often than not, asking (senior) researchers or the research administrators leads to nothing. One finds that their primary demands are already being met by the current system of (commercial) publishing.
Demand for change should not be expected come from senior researchers and research administrators, as these are the people who have the strongest investment in the current system and are least likely to want to undermine it. The current system works, for them. But if instead you look at researchers who just don't have enough money to play the game; at researchers who live in countries where the cost of subscribing to a journal is roughly equivalent to a faculty member's annual salary; or at researchers with ideas or results that are difficult to get published, you'll see demand for new modes of dissemination of research.
For instance, I think the use of blogs in research qualifies as an important innovation in scholarly communication; its emergence is clearly demand-driven. With a few exceptions, the last ones to start blogs will be senior researchers.