Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

More on OA for legal scholarship

Carol Parker, Institutional Repositories and the Principle of Open Access: Changing the Way We Think About Legal Scholarship, New Mexico Law Review, Summer 2007.

Abstract:   This Article begins by looking at the traditions and cultural values that make open access to primary legal sources and governmental information essential, and that make open access to legal scholarship the next logical step. This Article then traces the evolution of the open access movement that has given rise to institutional repositories, and which has become a global phenomenon affecting all academic disciplines. Further, this Article examines in detail the effects of applying open access principles to legal scholarship, current options for law schools wishing to establish a repository, and the growing number of law school repositories currently in existence. This Article explores how legal scholars use repositories in creative new ways to publish digital objects, changing the landscape of legal scholarship. Finally, this Article concludes that open access to legal scholarship is a principle that should be adopted by U.S. law schools because it is consistent with the American tradition of citizen access to government and legal information.

Update.  Also see Stevan Harnad's comment:

...Though a bit out of date now in some of its statistics, because things are moving so fast, this article gives a very good overview of OA and concludes that, no, Law Reviews are not a special case: Those articles, too, and their authors and institutions, would benefit from being self-archived in each author's Institutional Repository to make them OA.

Professor Parker conjectures that most potential users worldwide already have affordable subscription access to all the law journal articles they need via Westlaw and Lexis, so the advantage of OA in Law might be just one of speed and convenience, not a remedy for access-denial....