Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Is the Future of Legal Scholarship in the Blogosphere?

That is the question asked in an article published last week in the Legal Times.

It provides an overview of the increasing use of the legal blogosphere by tenured law professors to pursue legal scholarship:

"If you are looking for the future of legal scholarship, chances are that you may find it not in a treatise or the traditional law review but in a different form, profoundly influenced by the blogosphere (...) Who are the bloggers? The uninitiated might think they would be young professors, those who have grown up with the Internet and are comfortable with self-publication in that format. While there are some of those, the legal blogosphere tends to be populated by midcareer professors who have tenure, are intimately familiar with traditional legal scholarship and see the Internet as a way to reach more readers in a less ritualized format (...)"

"Why, then, spend the time? One answer is that a blog reaches far more readers than traditional scholarship. Eugene Volokh said in 2006 that his blog gets about 20,000 unique visitors a day. Readers of traditional law review articles are not counted, but, he says, he's pretty sure that number is very far from 20,000".

"Immediate feedback is another reason. In days of yore, a law review article would be written, published and perhaps presented at a symposium. Scholars would reply with another article, perhaps followed by a response from the initial author. With a law review publication schedule of six to 18 months, scholarly dialogue proceeded at a snail's pace. Bloggers explore issues as they happen, knowing that others will critique their opinions within days, if not hours or minutes".
Earlier Library Boy posts on the topic include:

  • Harvard Blog and Legal Scholarship Conference Update (May 11, 2006): "In the past few years, blogs have begun to affect the delivery of legal education, the production and dissemination of legal scholarship, and the practice of law. We are delighted that over twenty of the nation’s leading law professor bloggers have agreed to join with us for the first scholarly conference on the impact of blogs on the legal academy."
  • Open Access Publishing and the Future of Legal Scholarship (March 31, 2006): "A few weeks ago, the Lewis and Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon hosted a conference on open access publishing in the legal field. 'Interestingly, the open access publishing model has not yet become as popular in legal scholarship as in other fields. Why has legal scholarship lagged in the open access publishing movement? Should law schools, who do the most to fund both the production and publication of legal scholarship, push toward an open access publishing approach?' "
  • More Law Journals Adding Blog Companions (April 20, 2007): "A number of law journals are now leveraging weblog technology to present information and commentary online. Some are offering online weblog 'digests' which supplement the traditional printed journal, while others are solely online. The common thread (...) is a desire for a more timely forum to comment on new developments in the journal's area of coverage"
  • Gatekeeping in Legal Scholarship in an Online Age (July 24, 2007): "Paul Horwitz, a visiting professor at the Notre Dame Law School, has recently published a paper on the open access Social Science Research Network entitled 'Evaluate Me!': Conflicted Thoughts on Gatekeeping in Legal Scholarship's New Age: «Bloggers, SSRN, and online law review supplements like this one have increasingly routed around and weakened, if not undermined, the traditional gatekeepers who certified legal scholars and their scholarship. Is this a good thing?» "

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share Subscribe
posted by Michel-Adrien at 1:19 pm

0 Comments:

Post a comment

<< Home