New legal scholarship forum: Stanford Law Review Online

Stanford Law School announces the launch of the Law Review’s new website, Stanford Law Review Online.

www.stanfordlawreview.org

The site will be a forum for scholars and practitioners to write in a timely manner about legal topics in the news. These web-only articles will be closer in size and style to a newspaper Op-Ed than to a typical Law Review article. The goal is to combine the top-flight legal analysis of a law journal with the quick turnaround and readability of a blog.

The very first article, California’s De Facto Sentencing Commissions, by Professor Robert Weisberg.

You can now also follow the Review on Twitter @StanLRev

Open Access Law Journals – “One Journal at a Time”

Judy Janes and Marissa Andrea just published a good article on open access law journals.  Their article, “One Journal at a Time,” includes a few paragraphs providing “a brief history of open access.”  In addition, they comment upon how “the success of RSS feeds, SSRN alerts and SMARTCILP/CLJC email updates has further accelerated the transition to Open Access journals.”

In their “Learn More” section of the article they link to a video presentation where Dick “Danner discusses Open Access and the Durham Statement and also his paper entitled “The Durham Statement on Open Access One Year Later: Preservation and Access to Legal Scholarship” available at SSRN.”

Other resources linked in the Janes and Andrea article include:

Directory of Open Access Journals

Science Commons Open Access Law Project

and

New York Law School list of law reviews with online content

This movement will benefit us all, as Janes and Andrea state it:

. . . As more journals become available on the Internet through an initiative called Open Access, published legal scholarship — once only available in print form from law libraries, or online through proprietary databases ­— will reach a wider audience. This is a movement not only benefiting practicing attorneys, but historians, scholars and members of the public with legal research interests, who will be able to access legal scholarship by simply googling a topic.

Law Journals and Open Access: A Call to Action

Here’s a little article I just wrote for Speaking of Computers, “an e-newsletter for the Stanford academic community.”  This has been covered here before, but I think it’s a message worth repeating, especially as we brace for budget cuts and some hard decisions.  And besides, now I have a really nice photo to share!

 Law Journals and Open Access: A Call to Action

In November, I had the pleasure of attending a meeting of the so-called Gang of 10 law library directors (directors from some of the nation’s top law schools) held at Duke Law School in Durham, North Carolina. One of the activities of this meeting was the drafting and signing of the “Durham Statement on Open Access to Legal Scholarship,” which calls for all law schools to stop publishing their law journals in print format and to rely instead upon electronic publication, coupled with a commitment to keep the electronic versions available in stable, open, digital formats.

Why Open Access?
Each of the nation’s 200+ law schools produce at least one student-edited law journal, containing scholarship and important policy pieces from law professors, judges, distinguished practitioners, and students. The bulk of legal scholarship is published in such law journals. Here at Stanford Law School we produce nine such journals. Right now the only way to access all of this significant content electronically is through expensive databases such as HeinOnline, LexisNexis and Westlaw.

It would be a better legal information world if researchers could reliably turn to the host law school for any law journal from that school and find all of its articles, available for free in open and stable electronic formats.

Open Access Leaders
It was especially fitting that this inspirational document was drafted and signed by us while at Duke. Duke is a leader in the open online repository movement, with the Duke Law Faculty Scholarship Repository created in 2005, and all Duke law journals made accessible online since 1997. The Duke Law Faculty Scholarship Repository is a full-text electronic archive of scholarly works written by the Duke Law faculty, as well as other scholarship produced at the law school. A scholarship repository and open access law journals go hand-in-hand.

The chief architect of the Durham Statement was John Palfrey, the new library director at Harvard Law School, who is also a leader and visionary in the open access movement. In May 2008, the Harvard Law School faculty unanimously voted to make each faculty member’s scholarly articles available online for free.

What’s Next?
The Durham Statement is our exercise in aspiration, with the hopes of getting more – eventually all – law schools on the open access bandwagon.

There are issues yet to be resolved. For one thing, especially during these difficult economic times, financial analysis is needed. Law schools receive royalties from the online databases that provide law journal access – some schools far more than others – so the cost-savings to the schools from ceasing print and to the schools’ libraries from no longer having to buy, bind and shelve issues needs to be carefully weighed against any potential loss of revenue income. And there are additionally important archival and standards issues to be debated and decided.

The Durham Statement seeks to move the analysis, debate, and discussion forward.

For More Information
Durham Statement on Open Access to Legal Scholarship
https://legalresearchplus.com/2009/02/20/durham-statement-on-open-access-to-legal-scholarship/
http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/publications/durhamstatement

The Duke Law Faculty Scholarship Repository

Harvard Law School open access motion

durhamdrafters1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The authors of the Durham Statement. Top row, left to right: Dick Danner (Duke),
Radu Popa (NYU), John Palfrey (Harvard), Claire Germain (Cornell),
Paul George (University of Pennsylvania), Jim McMasters (Northwestern),
Blair Kauffman (Yale). Bottow row: Paul Lomio (Stanford),
Judith Wright (University of Chicago), Terry Martin (University of Texas).

A Tiny Heart Beating: Student-Edited Legal Periodicals in Good Ol’ Europe

A Tiny Heart Beating: Student-Edited Legal Periodicals in Good Ol’ Europe

ILSU Working Paper No. 2008-12/EN

LUIGI RUSSI, Bocconi University

FEDERICO LONGOBARDI, affiliation not provided to SSRN

This paper has a twofold aim: to analyze the possible opportunities disclosed by the observed growth of student-edited law reviews in Europe and to propose an innovative model of student participation to legal publication.

The first part explores the phenomenon of student-edited law reviews in the U.S., focusing on its recognized educational benefits. Among others, it is observed that participation in student-edited law reviews might promote greater scholarly maturity among J.D. students, who might in turn be better equipped for a career in the academia after finishing law school, in comparison to their same-age European peers. Hence, there follows an examination of the possible beneficial repercussions that the establishment of student-edited law reviews may yield on the process of faculty education in (continental) Europe, in light of the general practice therein endorsed of academic “apprenticeship” under a mentor. Such benefits may consist, among others, in the enticement of larger numbers of potential academicians and in their possible greater intellectual maturity, providing new meaning to the aforementioned time-honored European practice.

The second part of the paper focuses, instead, on the drawbacks brought about by excessive proliferation of student-edited law reviews in the U.S., such as alleged decrease in the quality of published scholarship as a consequence of the superficial quality control that student editors sometimes perform. In view of the foregoing, an innovative model of student publication is proposed, in order to prevent the onset of such drawbacks in Europe, while retaining the above-outlined benefits of early student involvement in academic discourse. It is suggested to complement few, authoritative sources of published scholarship in the form of peer-reviewed journals with student-edited working paper series which, if based on the guideline to provide substantial constructive feedback to authors, could ultimately help foster a quality improvement of published scholarship.

Source: LSN Legal Writing Vol. 3 No. 15,  08/18/2008