Friday, July 14, 2006

Open Access Law Publishing

The blog beSpacific referred yesterday to a forthcoming journal article by Jessica Litman entitled Economics of Open-Access Law Publishing available through SSRN.

From the asbtract:

"As technology has spawned new methods of restricting access to works, and copyright law has enhanced copyright owners' rights to do so, the publishers of scholarly journals have begun to experiment with subscription models that charge for access by the article, the viewer, or the year... Recently, we've seen a number of high-profile experiments seeking to use one of a variety of forms of open access scholarly publishing to develop an alternative model..."

"Law journal publishing is one of the easiest cases for open access publishing..."

"In part I of the paper I give a brief sketch of the slow growth of open access publishing in legal research. In part II, I look at the conventional budget of a student-edited law journal, which excludes all of the costs involved in generating the first copy of any issue, and suggest that we cannot make an intelligent assessment of the economics of open access law publishing unless we account for input costs, like the first copy cost, that conventional analysis ignores. In part III, I develop a constructive first copy cost based on assumptions about the material included in a typical issue of the law journal, and draw inferences based on comparing the expenses involved in the first copy, and the entities who pay them, with the official law journal budget. In part IV, I examine the implications of my argument for open access law publishing. In part V, I argue that the conclusions that flow from my analysis apply to non-legal publishing as well."

I also came across a general background article on open access publishing in the most recent issue of FreePint, the British info industry newsletter.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:39 pm


Blogger Peter Suber said...

Michel-Adrien: For regular updates on open-access developments, see my blog, Open Access News.

Peter Suber

11:03 am  

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