Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Law Library Directors: Law Reviews Should Stop Print, Go Fully Digital

Today, the Law Library Blog reprints the Durham Statement on Open Access to Legal Scholarship, written by the directors of some of the major academic law libraries in the United States.

In the document, they call for the abandonment of print versions of law journals and the adoption of "stable, open, digital formats" for the dissemination of legal scholarship.

They also call on law libraries to stop acquiring print versions of law journals:
"The presumption of need for redundant printed journals adds costs to library budgets, takes up physical space in libraries pressed for space, and has a deleterious effect on the environment; if articles are uniformly available in stable digital formats, they can still be printed on demand. Some libraries may still choose to subscribe to certain journals in multiple formats if they are available. In general, however, we believe that, if law schools are willing to commit to stable and open digital storage for the journals they publish, there are no longer good reasons for individual libraries to rely on paper copies as the archival format. Agreed-upon stable, open, digital formats will ensure that legal scholarship will be preserved in the long-term."

"In a time of extreme pressures on law school budgets, moving to all electronic publication of law journals will also eliminate the substantial costs borne by law schools for printing and mailing print editions of their school’s journals, and the costs borne by their libraries to purchase, process and preserve print versions."

"Additionally, and potentially most importantly, a move toward digital files as the preferred format for legal scholarship will increase access to legal information and knowledge not only to those inside the legal academy and in practice, but to scholars in other disciplines and to international audiences, many of whom do not now have access either to print journals or to commercial databases."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:49 pm

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